5 Tropical Plants I Can't Do Without

It was a tough choice, but I finally chose my favorites!

With such a large variety of aquatic plants, it can be a little overwhelming at first, but it's also very exciting. There's a common misperception that the only aquatic plants available to water gardeners are cattails, iris, and water lilies. Not true. I've even got a photo to prove it:


Now that the weather is (finally) warming up, a lot of us are just itching to start planting. If you're not sure where to start in your water garden, I've got a few suggestions. These are my top five favorite tropical marginal plants. In my opinion, tropical marginals trump hardy marginals because they come in a wider variety of colors and textures, and the blooming plants out-perform hardy bloomers by a landslide. Although they only last one season, they'll continue to grow until they freeze (much longer than hardies, who stop growing in mid-October), and if you choose to bring them inside, they make wonderful house plants.


1. Papyrus 


Planting papyrus in your pond's plant shelf will add a fun and unique texture, which is something difficult to find in hardy plants. I just can't help myself from fluffing its feathery top! Papyrus also makes a great center piece in a patio pond.

2. Water Canna 

Water canna are an elegant way to bring color to your water garden. There are several varieties. Pictured below are a dwarf variety and a variegated (respectively) both with brilliant orange blooms. There is also a bronze-leafed variety with deep red blossoms. Water canna bloom quite frequently throughout the summer. They look great in ponds or even planted in pots by themselves. We keep them in decorative planters on our front porch!



3. Taro

Taro adds an elegant flourish to any pond. Its broad leaves vary in color from deep purple to light green. It tends to grow a little tall, so give it plenty of room to grow and spread.

4. Water Garlic

If you're interested in scents, this fragrant little beauty will delight you. As the name implies, it smells like garlic! Its slender, pale leaves only reach about 10" tall, but the bloom extends almost twice that height. The cute purple blossoms are pictured below.


Garlic can be seen in the bottom right of the patio pond.

5. Ornamental Rice

If you're looking for some foliage that's not green, I recommend ornamental rice. This dark red grass loves water, so make sure you plant it an inch or two in the water.


These five marginal plants are just a sampling of the wide variety of plants you can add to your pond, and these are all available at our store.

So readers, what are your favorite aquatic plants?

  --written by Cool Ponds' staff member Kasey Wicker


Popular Posts