Aquatic Wetland Plants

Posted by Tammy Sons on 19th Jul 2018

Water Plants

Water gardening can be a constant source of delight for the senses. From the still waters of ponds to the babbling rills of brooks, there are as many ways to waterscape as there are water plants.

In quiet waters, the water lily and lotus are kings. These lovely and serene blossoms come in every color and are easy to plant along the shoreline where they can spread outward. Keep in mind that water lily tubers are a favorite snack for some species of aquatic wildlife, so protect them with weighted pots to protect them from nibblers! Be sure to select varieties that are hardy for your area, and you will have a growing profusion of beautiful lilies and lotus in season.

Siberian iris  are an excellent choice for both marsh-like environments and areas where water is moving. Slender stems and reed-like leaves set off purple, yellow, white and blue blossom varieties in summer, and stay vibrant well into the fall.

Siberian Iris

Add a splash of red a little further up on the bank where the soil is wet but not soggy, with the tall spikes of cardinal flower and canna lily, which can be pulled and overwintered indoors in cold climates.

Lobelia Cardinalis can be made into a herb and used to treat epilepsy, stomach aches, worms and also cramps.  It can also be created into ointments and used on wounds and sores that appear on the skin.  The foliage of this plant can be crushed and made into a paste, and when applied to the head it helps with headaches.

Foliage without flowers can also can great visual interest in a water garden. The bloody dock doesn't flower but has spidery red veins in its leaves. Arrow arum doesn't bloom but has arrow-shaped leaves in a fresh, pale green.

Any well-rounded group of water plants must include the wondrous cattail! Cattails add height to the waterscape with their familiar brown tops that turn to fluff as their seeds ripen and disperse.

cattail typha latifolia  are water loving plants. They thrive when planted in moist soils.

In deeper waters, submerged species like Anacharis, hornwort and the fern-like elodea are both decorative and help the environment by competing with algae and oxygenating stagnant water.