Wetland plants can be a fine addition to a well-rounded garden. A yard that includes a small pond or has part of a larger pond within its property should be cultivated and designed just as carefully as any landlocked garden. Happily, many hardy wetland plants can add visual interest to any garden pond. Below are three popular plants that will flourish in wet conditions.
Cattails are an example of a classic wetland plant that is easy to care for. Cattails, or Typha latifolia, flourish in full sun and silty, nutritious soil, and are recommended in USDA zones 3-10.These plants generally reach a height of anywhere between 3-10 feet. Shorter varieties include the Graceful cattail and the miniature cattail. Distinguished by long, bright green leaves and a soft brown flowerhead, this versatile plant can weave mats and baskets and eat in specific native American recipes. While if neglected, they can quickly spread and take over a pond; planting them in submerged clay pots is one easy method to control overgrowth. If well-tended, it adds both visual interests and attracts desirable wildlife, such as fish and birds.
Another attractive wetland plant is the Pickerelweed or the Pontederia cordata. It is also recommended for zones 3-10 and is found natively all over the Americas. It is challenging and can flourish without much help. It reaches a height of about three feet and has dark green, heart-shaped leaves and delicate lavender, blue, or white flowers. The flowers of the Pickerelweed, which will be most abundant in late summer, are made up of tiny blooms and a more extended cluster and can attract bees and butterflies. Like cattails, it is edible and is a favorite for deer to munch. It prefers wet, sunny areas with rich, acidic, or clay soil. The best time to cultivate it is in the late winter or early spring, and one plant can easily be divided into many by simply ensuring each new piece has some root and leaf structure.
The Duck potato, also known as the Broadleaf arrowhead or the Typha latifolia, is another picturesque addition to a wetlands garden. The large, broad leaves, which can be up to two feet long, are somewhat reminiscent of shovels or the plant's arrowheads. It is hardy in USDA zones 3-10, and it prefers soil with a pH ranging from 5.0 - 6.5. The Duck potato can reach a height of 3-4 feet, just a bit taller than the Pickerelweed, and has delicate three-petaled white flowers with a soft yellow center. The flowers rise above the leaves on a long stalk, with multiple small flowers per stem. Seed clusters follow the flowers, which help to propagate the plant. They bloom in July through early September, and the seeds and tubers can feed waterfowl and even beavers.