Aquatic and bog plants

No pond should be without plants – they bring it to life, add colour and interest, help to hide the liner, and attract wildlife of all kinds. Whether growing in the water itself, or around the damp margins, these often bold and beautiful plants can turn your pond into the star feature of your garden.


Aquatic and bog plants tend to be big and bold, lush and leafy, with brightly coloured flowers. Some aquatics spread out across the pond’s surface, while others grow vertically out of the water. Although our native species tend to be rather smaller and less flamboyant, in general these are plants that make a splash.


Aquatic plants like to grow permanently in water, and many are quite specific about the depth of water they need. Some enjoy a lot of space, others are more compact, and they usually like plenty of sun. Bog plants thrive in rich soil that is constantly wet and most prefer sun, but a few are happy in shade.


Many aquatics need a specific depth of water, so will struggle if planted outside their comfort zone. Some also dislike flowing water. Bog plants don’t tend to enjoy drying out, or spending long periods in standing water – most prefer something in between.

Did you know?

If you think beautiful waterlilies are only for large ponds or lakes, think again. There is a vast range of varieties available now, for all sizes and depths of pond – even miniature waterlilies ideal for a patio pond in a half-barrel or butler sink.

Growing guide

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.