Choosing The Best Plants For Your Shaded Pond

a shaded pond

Creating a serene and thriving pond in a shaded area can be a uniquely rewarding gardening experience. Shaded ponds, often nestled under the canopy of trees or in the cooler parts of a garden, require special consideration when it comes to plant selection. The right plants not only enhance the beauty of such ponds but also contribute to a balanced aquatic ecosystem. In this article, we will explore the best plants for shaded ponds, focusing on species that flourish in low-light conditions. These plants are not only aesthetically pleasing but also vital for maintaining the health and clarity of the water.


Choosing plants for a shaded pond is different from selecting those for sunnier water gardens. The key lies in understanding the specific needs and growth patterns of shade-tolerant aquatic plants. From floating beauties to submerged oxygenators, there is a diverse range of flora that can thrive in shaded ponds, creating a lush, verdant haven that is both peaceful and vibrant. Keep reading to discover the ideal plants for your shaded pond, ones that will transform it into a thriving, tranquil retreat in the quieter, cooler parts of your garden.

1. Monkey Flower (Mimulus ringens)

The Monkey Flower, with its scientific name Mimulus ringens, is an excellent choice for shaded ponds. Adorned with blue, pink, or lavender blooms that are about 1 inch in width, it flowers from June to September. The tubular shape of its flowers is not only visually appealing but also perfect for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Reaching a height of 12 to 36 inches and spreading up to 12 inches, this plant is ideal for adding vertical interest to your pond’s edge.


Monkey Flower thrives in part shade, making it well-suited for shaded ponds where direct sunlight is limited. It prefers shallow water, about 2 inches deep, and grows well in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8. Its moderate growth habit and vibrant flowers make it a charming addition to any shaded aquatic garden. With its adaptability to varying degrees of light and water conditions, it’s a versatile and low-maintenance choice for pond enthusiasts.


Related Link: How To Plant & Grow Water Lilies Like a Pro

2. Native Lizard’s Tail (Saururus cernuus)

The Native Lizard’s Tail, or Saururus cernuus, is another great plant for shaded ponds. Its distinctive white blooms appear from June to September, adding a touch of elegance to the water garden. The plant grows to a height and spread of 1 to 3 feet, creating a lush, bushy appearance that’s ideal for filling in spaces around the pond.


This plant is exceptionally shade-tolerant, thriving in conditions from part sun to full shade. It can grow in water depths of 2 to 6 inches, making it versatile for different areas of the pond. Perennial in USDA zones 3 to 9, Lizard’s Tail is a resilient plant that can adapt to various climates. Its preference for shaded conditions and beautiful, arching blooms make it a top choice for creating a tranquil and picturesque pond setting.


Transform your shaded water garden into a spectacle of nature with Chalily’s ‘Shade Tolerant Plants‘ bundle. This collection is tailor-made for those less sunny spots in your garden. Add diversity and beauty with plants that thrive in the shade and watch as your garden comes alive. Click here to order and start your journey towards a serene and enchanting shaded pond that defies the usual norms of gardening.

a shaded pond with fish

3. Teacup Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Teacup Taro, known botanically as Colocasia esculenta, is renowned not for its blooms but for its stunning foliage. Its dark green leaves with purple stems provide a striking contrast against the water’s surface. This plant typically reaches a height of 4 to 6 feet and spreads 2 to 3 feet, making a bold statement in any water garden.


Ideal for part sun to part shade, Teacup Taro is a perfect fit for shaded ponds. It can be planted in water up to 6 inches deep and is perennial in USDA zones 7 to 10. This plant’s large, cup-shaped leaves not only add a tropical flair to your pond but also provide shelter for aquatic wildlife. Its robust size and unique foliage make it a focal point in any shaded aquatic setting.


Related Link: How To Create The Perfect Fish Habitat For Ponds

4. Giant Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)

Giant Papyrus, or Cyperus papyrus, brings an exotic and dramatic look to shaded ponds. It features greenish-brown blooms in the summer and can grow impressively tall, between 5 to 12 feet, with a spread of 2 to 5 feet. This towering plant adds height and texture, creating a stunning backdrop for other aquatic plants.


Thriving in full to part sun, Giant Papyrus is adaptable to various light conditions found in shaded ponds. It prefers water depths up to 6 inches and is perennial in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12. This plant’s feathery, umbrella-like tops are not only visually captivating but also provide habitat and shade for pond life. Its grand stature and unique form make it a popular choice for adding architectural interest to shaded water gardens.


Don’t let shaded areas dampen your garden’s spirit! Order Chalily’s ‘Shade Tolerant Plants‘ bundle now and bring vibrancy to those cooler, shaded parts of your garden. From the unique blooms of the Monkey Flower to the majestic Giant Papyrus, these plants are perfect for creating a lush oasis. Grab your bundle today and prepare to witness the transformation of your shaded pond into a flourishing paradise.

5. Joey Tomocik Water Lily (Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’)

The Joey Tomocik Water Lily, Nymphaea ‘Joey Tomocik’, is a vibrant addition to shaded ponds. Its bright yellow flowers, measuring 4 to 6 inches across, bloom in spring and summer. With a plant spread of 4 to 5 feet, it creates a stunning display on the water’s surface.


This water lily is versatile in its light requirements, thriving in full sun to part shade. It can be planted in water depths of 6 to 24 inches, making it suitable for a variety of pond settings. Perennial in USDA zones 3 to 11, the Joey Tomocik is a resilient and adaptable plant. Its floating leaves provide shade and shelter for aquatic creatures, while its vivid flowers attract pollinators and add a splash of color to shaded ponds.

Chalily’s “Shade Tolerant Plants” Bundle – Order Now

Embrace the charm of a shaded water garden with Chalily’s “Shade Tolerant Plants” bundle, available for order. This collection is specially curated for those shaded nooks and crannies of your garden where the sun seldom reaches. Featuring a variety of plants like the enchanting Monkey Flower, with its snapdragon-shaped blooms and dark foliage, and the Native Lizard’s Tail, known for its glossy leaves and unique white blooms, this bundle is perfect for adding life to shaded water features. The whimsical Teacup Taro, with its cup-shaped leaves that collect and spill water, brings a touch of magic, while the Giant Papyrus offers a dramatic, firework-like display with its triangular stems. And not to forget the Joey Tomocik Water Lily, a shade-tolerant lily that produces sunshine yellow blooms with just a few hours of sunlight. These plants are delivered as bare root plants, boasting mature, growing root structures for immediate planting. Chalily also recommends their Lily and Lotus Fertilizer for optimal flowering. Order now and transform your shaded pond into a lush, thriving sanctuary that celebrates the quieter, cooler parts of your garden.

Finding Plants For Your Shaded Pond


a shaded pond in a greenhouse

Choosing the right plants for a shaded pond can transform it into a lush, tranquil retreat. Each of these five plants – Monkey Flower, Native Lizard’s Tail, Teacup Taro, Giant Papyrus, and Joey Tomocik Water Lily – offers unique characteristics that make them ideal for shaded environments. From the vertical interest of Monkey Flower and Lizard’s Tail to the striking foliage of Teacup Taro and Giant Papyrus, and the vibrant blooms of Joey Tomocik Water Lily, these plants ensure aesthetic appeal and a thriving aquatic ecosystem. By incorporating these species, you can create a diverse, healthy, and visually stunning pond even in the shadier parts of your garden.


Related Link: Water Garden Tips For Beginners