Floating plants are the perfect addition to any pond — did you know that floating pond plants do more than add color and texture to the water?
Adding the right floating plants to your pond offers shade and protection for fish, turtles, and other aquatic life. Plus, they naturally help filter the water, add oxygen to your pond, help maintain temperatures, and keep away overhead predators.
Some floating pond plants even make for nutritious, delicious snacks for koi, goldfish, and more!
Want to add the benefits of floating plants to your pond? Find the next floating pond plant you’ll fall in love with here!
5 Floating Pond Plants You Can’t Live Without
Floating pond plants are gorgeous and provide a range of benefits for your pond and its inhabitants. We guarantee you’ll fall in love with these five perfect pond plants!
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Floating ferns like Salvinia have beautiful cat-tongue-like leaves and are perfect for almost any pond. Salvinia does great in low-flow water and is native to most continents.
It’s an annual plant in most of the United States that thrives in warm temperatures and doesn’t spread as voraciously as other floating pond plants.
Fish love this attractive fern to use for spawning and as cover. Salvinia plants are unique because they float on the water’s surface, forming dense mats that provide habitat for various aquatic organisms.
If you have goldfish, koi, or turtles, Salvinia is a great shade plant that fish and turtles love to eat. It also plays well with other aquatic plants, making it a go-to for pond plant beginners.
Another one of our favorite floating pond plants is duckweed. Each plant has 1-3 small leaves with a short root that hangs in the water.
While duckweed can bloom from May until June, it’s relatively rare. They propagate naturally (and fast!) when a plant grows additional leaves, breaking off into two separate plants.
Waterbirds, ducks, koi, and goldfish all feed on duckweed; it’s a great protein source. Duckweed is a part of the natural ecosystem throughout most of the country.
Duckweed also provides cover to keep your fish safe, acts as a natural water filter, and can grow anywhere.
Ideal for shady ponds in lower light conditions, duckweed is an iconic floating pond plant that adds a stunning pop of bright green color to any water feature.
3. Water Hyacinth
Water hyacinths are popular floating pond plants with their thick, glossy green leaves and colorful lavender flowers. These plants reproduce extremely fast and can help reduce excess nutrients from your pond just as quickly.
While they’re native to South America, you can find water hyacinths almost anywhere with a warm enough climate.
These floating pond plants are perfect for beginners — toss them in your pond, and they will grow. And with their floating green leaves and gorgeous lilac blooms, they’re a sight to see.
Water hyacinths provide plenty of cover and shade for your fish with their thick foliage, making them a safe spawning spot and a nutritious snack.
Be warned; water hyacinths will propagate and spread quickly. However, we call that a bonus; with how beautiful they look in any pond, sometimes more is better.
Related: How To Prepare Your Pond for Autumn
Frogbit has beautiful leaves and looks like miniature water lilies with flat, green leaves that float atop the water. It’s one of the best floating plants for ponds.
It grows and propagates quickly, and while the leaves typically float on the surfaces, some will pop out of the water as the plants become more densely packed.
Frogbit is easy to maintain, and the leaves are super nutritious for turtles, and fish and waterfowl will gobble up the seeds!
As a bonus, there are two ways you can use frogbit in your pond. You can toss it in and watch it grow on top of the water or plant it upright in soil to form small water lilies.
Either way, no pond can go wrong with frogbit. Get yours here.
5. Water Lettuce
Water lettuce is common in almost every subtropical and tropical region around the world. Its beautiful leaves offer shade for your pond and work as a natural filtration system for the water.
The plant’s velvety green air-filled leaves look like a head of lettuce floating on the water — a unique look that no other floating pond plant can match. They are soft to the touch with a gorgeous blue-green color not found in many aquatic plants.
The water lettuce leaves provide shade and shelter for your fishies, and the floating roots oxygenate the water to help keep your ecosystem in shape.
Water lettuce spreads prolifically and grows wonderfully in full sun, full shade, or anything in between.
Why Should You Get Floating Plants for Your Pond?
Floating plants come with so many benefits for your pond and fish that we’d go as far as to say that they are necessities!
- Aesthetics: Floating pond plants make any pond look amazing with their varying sizes, colors, and textures.
- Shade: They also provide shade to your pond, protecting its inhabitants from predators and keeping the water temperature cooler in the summer.
- Oxygenation: Floating plants produce oxygen the same as any other plant. They release it into the water, which fish need to breathe and thrive.
- Algae: Floating pond plants can also help control algae by competing with it for nutrients and blocking it from sunlight.
- Filtration: By absorbing nutrients from the water, floating pond plants act as a natural filter to keep your pond’s water clear and healthy.
- Protection: In addition, floating plants provide a habitat for wildlife and offer protection from overhead predators, like herons, owls, and hawks.
- Mosquitos: Some floating pond plants (like the water hyacinth) can help repel mosquitoes naturally by releasing compounds that deter them from laying eggs.
- Maintenance: Finally, floating plants don’t require much maintenance. The only thing you have to do is remove or trim them if they start to reproduce too quickly.
So, what are you waiting for? Try one (or all) of these floating pond plants to keep your pond and fish happy and healthy.
Ready to stock your pond with the best floating pond plants to keep your water healthy and fish happy? Come see us at Chalily!
Related: How To Acclimate Fish To Your Pond