Pond Landscaping Ideas

How To Landscape Your Backyard Pond Area

Landscaping around a pond helps to beautify the pond and blend it into the surrounding area.

Depending on the plants you choose, you can also attract birds, butterflies and wildlife to your backyard pond.

If you’re wondering what to plant around your pond, this guide will provide some great options for year round color and interest.

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pond landscaping


  • Before you start buying plants, take into account the amount of sun the pond area receives because most flowering plants will need at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight each day.
  • If you have lots of trees that are blocking the sun, you may need to trim back some of the branches.
  • Backyards with very hot afternoon sun may need a shade sail to protect the pond and plants from the scorching sun.
  • Sketch out a design on paper so you have a good idea of how many plants you’ll need.
  • Choose a mix of annuals and perennials that will bloom from spring until fall.
  • It’s not a good idea to plant large shrubs in front of the pond because they’ll block your view of the pond from the house as they grow.

Planting around the pond edge

The best type of plants for the pond’s edge are bog plants that thrive in muddy, swampy conditions.

Irises look great around the edge of the pond and they’ll grow in full sun or partial shade.

They begin blooming in early spring and can reach 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) in height.

Canna lilies are another beautiful bog plant with brightly colored flowers that can be orange, red or yellow.

Their foliage can be green, maroon or variegated, so they look good even when they’re not flowering.

canna lily

If you live in a warm, humid area you could also plant tropical pitcher plants around your pond.

They’re carnivorous plants that use a pouch of sticky sap to trap small insects like flies, mosquitoes and spiders.

As well as flowering plants, you can also naturalize the pond edge by planting some foliage plants in between the rocks to hide the pond liner.

RELATED: 10 Best Bog Plants For Ponds

Rocks for garden ponds


Planting shrubs around your pond provides a hiding place for birds, frogs and other wildlife that visit the pond.

Some attractive flowering shrubs include hydrangea, camellia or forsythia.

If you’re having problems with cats stalking your pond fish, you can plant a lavender or lemon thyme bush near the pond which is said to deter nuisance cats. [1]

Pond with plants

Shade loving plants

If your backyard is heavily shaded you can still have a beautifully landscaped pond area.

Bleeding Hearts are attractive perennial flowers that will brighten up a shady garden and azaleas are a good choice for backyards with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Ferns are a popular choice for shady areas of the garden and you can’t go past coleus, which has beautiful bright foliage that will provide some color when the flowering plants aren’t blooming.

Ground covers

Ground cover plants are ideal for bringing color to the pond area.

Some beautiful flowering ground cover plants include creeping phlox, which creates a carpet of flowers; sweet alyssum, with its masses of tiny white flowers or portulaca, which is an easy to grow annual that readily reseeds, so it will come back year after year.


Ornamental grasses like lomandra or reed grass are popular plants to include around the edge of a pond.

They’re low maintenance, drought tolerant and they provide a hiding space for frogs and other wildlife that visit the pond.

Plants around a pond

So there are some ideas for landscaping around your garden pond.

With the right plants, you can create a beautiful backyard oasis with your pond as the centerpiece.

Depending on the climate where you live, you may be able to have beautiful flowering shrubs and plants in bloom for most of the year.

plants around pond

Here’s a quick video that will give you some more plant ideas for in and around your pond.


Which plants do you like best for pond landscaping? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Garden Ponds and Pond Plants that you may find interesting.

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can come back to it when you’re ready to start your landscaping project.

landscaping for ponds
Backyard pond landscaping ideas

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