5 Types Of Koi Pond Plants And The Best And Worst Of Them

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These Are The Aquatic Plants For Ponds People In Rhode Island Love

The 5 types of koi pond plants are bog, marginal, floating, emergent, and submerged. Iris’ and corkscrew rush are a couple of examples.

Discover more below-

It’s Not Complete Yet

“It doesn’t quite look done, does it?” asks Brian.

“That’s because it’s not,” agrees Amy. “The pond part is done and it looks great! But, we need to put in some koi pond plants to finish the job. Then it’ll look wonderful. It is one more cost of a koi pond we didn’t think about, though.”

Brian smiles and shrugs. “Awesome, a new experience for our green thumbs. Or will they be blue thumbs now…” he trails off. Amy lets loose a laugh. “Maybe they’ll be blue-green. But we haven’t even chosen our aquatic plants yet, so let’s do that first.”

Amy takes out her phone to start looking up pond plants on Google. Brian walks over so he can look on too.

Here’s what the couple finds out:

The 5 Types Of Koi Pond Plants

The 5 types of koi pond plants are bog, marginal, floating, emergent, and submerged. Each one is a different zone of the pond. A bog is wet soil, marginal has a few inches of water, floating floats, emergent has roots on the bottom and comes out of the water, and submerged stays under the water.

1. Bog Plants

Bog plants are on the edges of the pond where the soil is moist. You can add a bog (also called a wetland filter) onto your pond or you can use what moist soil you find.
A couple of good examples include water irises (Iris lavigata and some other species) and water hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus). These are both classic plants people put in their ponds.

2. Marginal Aquatic Plants For Ponds

Marginal koi pond plants thrive in up to 6 inches of water. Some can also live in the bog area. They’re great for decorating rocks close to the pond and adding some flavor to the edges.

One plant that’s great for the margins is the corkscrew rush (Juncus effusus ‘Spiralis’). Its green leaves corkscrew outward. This creates a unique and attractive look.

3. Floating Koi Pond Plants

While these plants look amazing, they’re not for every koi pond owner. Many floating species are invasive. This means they can take over your pond if you let them. They are great for keeping water cleaner and clearer as they take up nutrients algae feed on. Fish can use them as shade and to hide from predators.
Water Lilies Lotus image in Nature and Landscapes category at pixy.org
Hardy water lilies (Nymphaeaceae) grow quickly but Rhode Island hasn’t listed them as invasive. If you plant them be sure to watch them carefully.

4. Emergent Pond Plants

You’ll plant these aquatic plants for ponds on the shelf or pond bottom. Then you can watch it grow out of the water and bloom.
Pickerelweed (Pontederia cocrdata) and arrowhead plants (Sagittaria latifolia) are beautiful emergent plants.

5. Submerged Plants For Ponds

Any fish you have will love submerged plants. They can snack on them and use them to hide from any predators.

Hornwort (Anthocerotopsida) is a popular choice among pond owners. This plant doesn’t grow too quickly and fish don’t eat it too much. It also oxygenates the water.

Invasive Aquatic Plants For Ponds

These are invasive species in Rhode Island waterways. You’ll need to watch over them carefully to make sure they don’t take over your pond:

  • Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
  • Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)
  • American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) – emergent


You can find a full list and more information on them here: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/water/quality/surface-water/aisplant.php

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“These look wonderful! We’re definitely getting some of these for our pond,” says Amy happily. Brian smiles and nods. “I wonder if there’s anything else about koi ponds or plants we need to know before going on.”
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