Water Plants for a Koi Pond

water plants in a koi pond

A koi pond can be an excellent addition to your backyard, especially when enhanced with pond plants. Water plants can not only add character to your koi pond but also provides benefits to the ecosystem.

The oxygen levels are increased by these plants, which helps to keep the pond adequately aerated. Water plants in koi ponds also keep the water temperature cool in summer and protect the koi against direct sunlight. Algae blooms may become a problem in spring and summer, so aquatic plants can help to stop their growth. To keep koi safe from predators, plants provide natural hiding places- by providing a place for females to attach eggs to breeding koi.

Although plants are not essential for a pond’s health, they can be a great addition to the ecosystem. These are some of the most popular pond plants that koi lovers love.

Types of Water Plants for Koi Ponds


The name implies that floating pond plants are atop the water’s surface. Many of these plants have free-floating roots while others anchor to the bottom. Floating plants make your koi pond more biologically filtered and are easy to maintain. They are easy to place in the water and easy to maintain.


The most common plant in koi ponds is the water lily. There are two types of water lilies: tropical and hardy. Both can be grown in almost any climate in the United States. Because they block sunlight and keep oxygen-hogging algae away, water lilies positively maintain good water quality.

Water lilies are hardy and can thrive in all weather conditions. They bloom from mid-to-late spring through early fall, then go dormant for the remainder of the year. The cold temperatures can cause tropicals to die. They are best suited for water temperatures above 80 degrees.

The leaves of hardy waterlilies have a circular shape with smooth edges. The leaves of tropical water lilies can be shaped in various ways, including toothed, fluted, and smooth. Their blooms are often larger than hardy water lilies and can reach impressive heights. Both varieties have the same color palette, which includes reds, oranges, and pinks, as well have the same color palette, which provides for reds, oranges, pinks, and asanas whites, or black. You can also find tropicals in blue or purple.

Most owners will take preventative measures, such as installing netting systems and planting other visually appealing but delicious plants near water lilies.


Despite its delicate appearance, the lotus is hardy and requires little maintenance. It thrives in moderate climates and can withstand water temperatures of 75 to 87 degrees. It needs plenty of sunlight, at least six hours per day, and low humidity. It’s not recommended for areas like the humid southeast and cloudy pacific northwest.

There are many sizes available for Lotuses. Some varieties can grow leaves up 16 inches high on stems up four feet long. Others can only form leaves a few inches wide, attached to branches of about 12 inches.


Because they are fast-growing and prolific, water hyacinths are a great addition to koi ponds. They also make delicious treats for the koi. Many enthusiasts add water hyacinth to their koi ponds to keep them satisfied and avoid the less prolific plants. This species is perennial in warmer climates and blooms every year in colder areas. Their roots are intertwined beneath them, and they bear blue or purple flowers. The water hyacinths are also powerful biological filters. They absorb excess nutrients from the water.


Water lettuce is a perennial, evergreen plant that grows in floating colonies. Although koi might eat it, it isn’t one of their favorite foods. It can be a little challenging to maintain, so it will need some care. Although water lettuce doesn’t have the same benefits as other floating plants, it is still a famous pond. Its bright green, spongy leaves, and bulbous shape, similar to a head of lettuce, make it an attractive addition to any pond. Water lettuce thrives in warmer climates such as the southwest and southeast.


The water poppy, an ornamental water plant for koi ponds, and grows deep green with heart-shaped leaves. It also produces three-petal yellow blossoms. Although the flowers last for 24 hours, the perennial will continue to develop new plants throughout the summer. This is the perfect plant to add to a pond’s shallower areas. It thrives when it is submerged in approximately six inches of water. If you live in an area room with frost, water poppies will survive in warm climates for up to a year. However, they must be brought indoors for winter.


In koi ponds with shallow areas around the edges, shallow water marsh plants are a great addition. They give the pond a natural appearance and improve its filtration. They require moist soil and some soil around their roots.


Water iris can do almost everything. It is versatile and adaptable. They can filter water, feed hungry Koi, and are versatile and hardy. Beautiful flowers are produced by water iris and come in many colors. There are many varieties that many varieties can be grown, and they can be found almost anywhere, from Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between. Water irises require assistance to succeed. They should be planted using a water-soluble fertilizer that is safe for the koi.

Copper, also known as the red flag, is a smaller version of the iris and can grow to approximately 12 inches. The slender leaves are slightly droopy at the tips, and the copper-colored flowers hang down. Copper iris can grow in either full or partial sunlight and often bloom in June. It prefers a water depth of at least three inches above its crown. Copper irises can withstand winter frosts in colder climates.

The rabbit ear-iris is characterized by its upright, rounded petals upright; rounded petals depict the rabbit ear-iris. It can grow to approximately three feet in height and measures about twelve inches in length. The flowers are typically three to four inches wide and can appear white, royal, or reddish purplereddishpurple reddish-purple reddish purple. The crown is preferred to be at least six inches above the water level. The rabbit ear is more tolerant of cooler temperatures and won’t thrive in arid climates. This makes it a poor choice for areas like the desert southwest.

The Cube-seed Iris produces Early-summer flowers. They come in white, light, dark, and pink. Cube-seed Iris can grow to 12 inches in height. The blooms are one to two inches wide and come in various stunning colors, including pink, light blue, dark, purple, and white. Cube-seed Iris must be planted in the lowest area of the pond. It should not be submerged. This variety is able can thrive almost anywhere in the United States.

The bright yellow flag iris is well-known for its colorful, early-spring flowers. The yellow flag has naturalized North America and can now grow in either full or partial sunlight. It can survive in deeper water than other iris varieties and withstand seasonal flooding. It can also withstand droughts during summer. Yellow flags can grow to a height of three to four feet and spread to a maximum of 24 to 30 inches. The blooms are usually three inches in width.

Blue flag iris flowers bloom mid-spring. It can grow up to 3 feet tall with a spread of 12 inches. Blue flag iris can grow in water three to six inches above its crown. The leaves are short and slash-shaped. It can be found in swamps, streams banks, and forested wetlands. It is, however, hardy in all climates in a koi pond.

Louisiana irises are a mix of many iris varieties. They can grow in ponds up to 6 inches deep but tolerate moderate seasonal flooding. They can reach three feet in height, with flowers ranging from three to seven inches in length. The Louisiana iris can survive in warm to moderate climates, but it can withstand freezing temperatures if its roots are covered in mulch.


Umbrella plants are large, ribbon-shaped umbrella plants with leaves up to 3 feet in length. They can also grow from stock heights of 5 feet or more. They can survive in any climate, but they thrive in tropical regions. When water temperatures drop below 70 degrees, the plants should be brought inside and placed in a well-lit area. These umbrella plants are great additions to koi ponds. They provide shade and shelter from the sun. It is straightforward to maintain and obtains its nutrients from the water in the pond. It can spread quickly but can be managed by placing it in containers within your pond.


Horsetail plants have a long, slender stem that is green and fast-growing. It is considered a living fossil by botanists because it predates dinosaurs. It can be eaten by koi (and humans) as it has a celery-like flavor and various medicinal properties. Its enormous stalks can grow up to four feet in height. Horsetail can quickly spread, so you need to keep an eye on it. It increases by extending its roots rather than seeds. It can be rooted in a pond to prevent it from overgrowing. It can withstand colder temperatures and is an excellent choice for ponds located in the northern states.


You can place submerged plants in pots on the bottom of your pond. These plants are functional and not ornamental because they grow underwater. These plants can remove toxins and excess nutrients from water while also providing oxygen. Submerged plants are a favorite food of koi, so make sure to limit their access.


Fanwort is an oxygenator that proliferates. These plants can grow up to 1 inch per day, and cuttings can propagate them. Fanwort requires a lot of suns and will not thrive in the shade. This leafy-green, leafy plant is used mainly for its functionality. It adds oxygen to the water and increases the level of dissolved organic. This allows the pond to support more diverse ecosystems. It is also an excellent attachment plant for koi eggs during the breeding season. Although it doesn’t make a great addition to the pond, its leaves can grow underwater and form dense mats on the water surface. Sometimes, small oval floating leaves may be found at the surface. They can sometimes produce white or cream flowers that measure about half an inch in width between May and September. Fanwort can also have pink or purple flowers. This versatile plant can be grown in warm and cold environments and under different water conditions.


American waterweed (or elodea) is an aquatic leafy green plant that produces small white flowers. These flowers will then sprout at the surface. It can dissolve carbon dioxide in water and limit the growth of algae. It is also a good snack for koi. It can grow to 4 feet in height if given enough space. And, because it is a weed, it spreads quickly, so there will always be plenty of it. In the wild, it is considered an invasive species. It can tolerate milder climates and will remain green throughout the year.


Ludwigia, a water purslane, is a submerged species that can float on the water’s surface. There are many varieties, and it often produces small flowers. The most common type is red ludwigia for koi-ponds. It is fast-growing, so it is accessible to over-snack. Additionally, it helps reduce algae blooms and oxygenates the water. Water purslane requires plenty of sunlight, especially planted below the water.

Although it is considered a weed, it can help stabilize your pond’s ecosystem and filter out toxins. There are many types of this plant, so you’re sure to find the right one for you.