10 Best Bog Plants For Ponds

Bog plants thrive in muddy, swampy areas, so they’re ideal for planting around the exterior of your pond.

From cattails and rushes to water irises and pitcher plants, there are a variety of bog plants to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.

In this article I’ll explore 10 of the best bog plants for ponds and explain how they can help you create a thriving and stunning water garden.

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Best bog plants

What’s the difference between bog plants and marginal plants?

Bog plants grow best in soil that is constantly wet, but they prefer not to have water above the soil level.

Marginal plants can grow in water that is up to 6 inches (15 cm) above the crown of the plant, so they can be planted in shallow areas of the pond or in a pot that is placed on the bottom of the pond.

irises growing in a pond


1. Iris (Iris germanica)

Irises are hardy perennials with beautiful flowers in shades of purple and blue.

They grow well in full sun to partial shade and bloom from early spring.

As well as beautifying the pond, they also help to stabilize the bank and cycle nutrients to keep your pond healthy.

Irises are frost tolerant and can reach 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) in height.

They can be divided after flowering by discarding the middle section and replanting the outer sections.

Iris flower

2. Canna Lily (Canna indica)

Canna lilies are low maintenance perennial plants that grow from underground rhizomes.

The brightly colored flowers can be red, yellow or orange and the foliage ranges in color from green to maroon and there are even some variegated varieties.

Cannas grow well in full sun or partial shade and in cool climates they can be grown as annuals.

Canna lily pond plant

3. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flowers are stunning bog plants to grow around the edges of your pond.

They usually live for only 3 to 4 years but they re-seed readily so you’ll have plenty of new plants popping up in your garden.

Cardinal flowers can grow 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm) high and they’re suited to partial shade or full sun.

Cardinal flower

4. Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes species)

Pitcher plants thrive in moist, swampy areas so they’re ideal bog plants for ponds.

They’re carnivorous plants and use a pouch of sticky sap to trap insects, small lizards, worms and spiders.

Pitcher plants are commonly found in areas with nitrogen-poor soil and get their nitrogen from the insects and other creatures once they are digested.

They grow best in warm, humid areas but in areas with low humidity they can be misted regularly.

Pitcher plants

5. Pickerel Plant (Pontederia cordata)

Pickerel plant, also known as Pickerel weed, is another good bog plant for ponds.

It will grow in moisture saturated soil and can also tolerate standing water.

Pickerel plants have long lasting spiky flowers that can be blue, pink or white.

Bog plants for ponds

6. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Watercress is a nutritious water plant that can be grown at the edge of a pond or in a pot submerged in the water.

It’s a perennial plant that grows best in warm weather and it will die down a bit during cold weather. 

Watercress plants can be propagated from cuttings or seed.


7. Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Taro is a water plant traditionally grown in swampy areas in Southeast Asia, so it’s an ideal bog plant.

You can plant Taro at the edge of a pond or water feature but the leaves need to be above the water level.

Taro is best suited to warm, tropical climates but it can be grown in cooler climates if it’s overwintered indoors.

Taro plants

8. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Horsetail grows from underground rhizomes and reproduces from spores.

The reeds grow well around the edge of a pond but they can spread quickly and take over the pond.

If you have a small pond it’s best to grow Horsetail in pots so that it doesn’t get out of hand, otherwise you can cut it back in fall to stop it from spreading.

Horsetail pond plant

9. Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Cattail is a handy bog plant that helps to filter pond water, provides food and nesting materials for birds and prevents soil erosion.

It spreads easily by underground rhizomes as well as seed, so it’s a good idea to cut off the seed heads before fall.

Cattail plant

10. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Gotu Kola, also known as Indian Pennywort, is a perennial plant that grows best in warm, tropical climates.

It’s hardy bog plant that can be grown at the edge of a pond or an area with waterlogged soil.

Gotu Kola will grow in full sun, but in hot climates it will benefit from some afternoon shade. [1]

Bog plant near pond

So there are ten bog plants that will happily grow around the edges of your backyard pond.

Just remember to choose plants that have similar moisture and temperature requirements and you’ll have happy bog plants growing for years to come.


Do you have any of these plants growing around your pond? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest?  I have boards dedicated to Garden Ponds and Water Garden Plants that you may enjoy.

plants growing around the edge of a garden pond
bog plants for ponds

Also, check out the Must-Have Pond Products page where I list the essential pond products to make life as a pond owner much easier!

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener with a special interest in ponds and water gardens. For over a decade, I've been designing and creating beautiful gardens that feature stunning water features, from small garden ponds to large water gardens. Read more