University of Florida

Plants for Water Gardens

Before you start buying plants for your water garden, it's important to have a plan.

Water garden plants are grouped based on how and where they grow, and they're typically labeled as floating, submerged, or emergent. It's a good idea to include a mix of all three.

Water lilies are floating plants that produces beautiful flowers in many colors. Their leaves shade the water and help reduce algal growth.

Some water garden plants can also benefit wildlife. Yellow canna is a tall emergent plant that has bright yellow flowers that draw butterflies, and pickerel weed produces lavender, pink, or white flowers that attract bees.

Remember to choose the right-sized plants for your space, and pick plants that cover no more than two-thirds of the water's surface when mature.


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