Water Plants for Small Ponds. Most water plants are not susceptible to insects and or diseases. Placing KOI, Goldfish, and Carp will help keep most insects away. Fish poop will also help provide fertilizer for your pond plants. You can get these fish at your local pet store.
Here are a list and photos of water plants that will do well in the southwest.
The Water Lily
Water Lillies are great for a small backyard pond they are hardy in and around the southwest. They need at least 6 hrs. of full sun in order for them to bloom. The flowers range from dark purple to solid white and are considered perennials (come back following year). However, the water must not freeze the full depth of the pond.
Make sure you use a pot with numerous holes at bottom and sides. Fill with clay soil and place your water lily root system into this pot. Like most store bought water plant you should place gravel or rocks into the pot to keep it from floating upwards.
Do not use regular potting soil for your water lilies or any type of water plant.
Water Lotus Plants
This water plant looks very much like the Water Lily however, there are differences.
The leaves of lotus are emergent, meaning that they rise above the water level whereas the leaves of water-lily are found floating on the water surface. Same is true for their respective flowers; lotus flowers are emergent and water-lily flowers are floating.” Read more here.
The water lily flower and lily pad will float at water level. Water Lotus plants can and will shoot out above the water. See the red circle on the image below.
Horsetail and Broadleaf Arrowhead
The horsetail plant (Equisetum hyemale) lives in and around the ditch and river banks throughout the Southwest. It is also called puzzlegrass and should be planted with clay soil adding gravel or small rocks to keep the plant from floating away. This water plant can survive in full sun or partial shade and is toxic to cattle and horses. It will not produce any type of flower.
Broadleaf Arrowhead Plant – (Sagittaria latifolia). Produces a small white flower and love shallow water ponds. It needs full sun in order for it to produce the flower.
The water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is considered a nuisance plant in tropical and wetland areas as they will multiply in no time at all. It is a floating type of water plant and will produce a nice light lavender colored bloom that will last about 1 day.
Also called Pistia. Another top water floating plant for any type of pond. They can tolerate full sun or partial shade and propagate themselves quickly. It resembles a head of lettuce thus its common name. The root system is long and extensive perfect for fish and other aquatic wildlife. It is a perennial in warmer climates where temperatures do not get below 32° Fahrenheit during the winter seasons.
Hornwort Water Plant
(Ceratophyllum demersum) Are free-floating water plants and they do well in small and larger ponds.
They grow in lakes, ponds, and quiet streams with summer water temperatures of 15-30 °C. Read more here at Wikipedia. They can also be completely submerged in aquariums or water tanks.
More Water Plants for your Pond
Also called kings cup plant and the botanical name is Caltha palustris. These plants grow in woodlands, ponds and in areas where there is ample rainfall. It is difficult to find this water plant in local southwest nursery stores.
Pickerel Weed Water Plant
This great looking water plant produces a nice dark blue spiky flower. Also called Pickerel rush plant it is very easy to care for. You can also cut the plant in half or in quarters and place them elsewhere in your pond. They like full sun or partial shade but cannot tolerate full shade.
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