$15 Flat Rate Shipping On All Orders

Do you own a small patio pond or backyard pond with limited space? Looking for the perfect pond plants to enhance your small pond for Australian conditions? Look no further! In this essential guide, we will introduce you to our top pond plants that are perfect for small sized ponds. These plants are not only beautiful, but they also thrive in smaller water bodies, providing a stunning focal point while maintaining a harmonious balance.

Whether you have a container pond, a mini water feature, or a small backyard pond, we have the ideal water plants for you. From delicate floating plants that create a tranquil atmosphere to charming marginal plants that add color and texture to the edges of your pond, we have curated a selection suitable for any small space.

Learn a few tricks to make your pond look bigger to maximises the potential of your small pond by choosing the right water plants. Our design ideas will help you create a well proportioned pond that will visually appear larger. Get ready to transform your small pond into a captivating water garden with our top recommendations!

Benefits of having water plants in small ponds

Water plants are not only visually appealing but also offer numerous benefits to small ponds. Firstly, they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem by oxygenating the water and reducing algae growth. The plants absorb excess nutrients, preventing them from causing imbalances in the water chemistry. This helps to keep the water clear and clean, providing a suitable habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.

In addition to their functional benefits, water plants also enhance the aesthetic appeal of small ponds. They add colour, texture, and visual interest to the water surface, creating a natural and soothing atmosphere. The presence of water plants can also attract beneficial wildlife, such as frogs, dragonflies and butterflies, further enriching the ecosystem of your small pond.

Factors to consider when choosing water plants for small ponds

Before selecting water plants for your small pond, it is important to consider a few factors. Firstly, assess the size of your pond and choose plants that are proportionate to the available space. Opt for plants that will not outgrow your pond and become invasive. Additionally, consider the sunlight exposure of your pond. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. Choose plants that are compatible with the lighting conditions in your pond to ensure their health and vitality.

Water depth is another crucial factor to consider. Different water plants have varying depth requirements. Some plants thrive in shallow water, while others prefer deeper areas. Make sure to choose plants that are suitable for the depth of your small pond to ensure their optimal growth. Lastly, consider the maintenance requirements of the plants. Some plants may require regular pruning or dividing to prevent overcrowding. Choose plants that align with the time and effort you are willing to invest in their care. 

Top water plants for small ponds - Floating pond plants

Floating pond plants are an excellent choice for small ponds as they provide instant impact and protection for fish. These plants float on the water surface, creating a stunning visual display while also offering shade and shelter for fish and other aquatic life. Here are our top recommendations for floating pond plants that thrive in small ponds:

  1. Water Hyssop(Bacopa caroliniana): This pond plant adds a delicate touchWater Hyssop (Bacopa caroliniana) with floating ring to small ponds, providing coverage on the water surface.  also helps to filter the water by absorbing excess nutrients. It is a great oxygenator when grown submerged and can be submerged to a depth of 20cm in your small pond.
  1. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia aurea): an excellent pond plant quickly spreading out and providing cover for fish, frogs and tadpoles. It grows well on the surface of the pond in the floating pond ring that is included with all of our plants but can also be planted on the edges of a pond to cover pond liners.
  1. Shield Pennywort(Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides):  This Australian native pond plant forms a dense mat with the appearance of little umbrellas. The leaves are  shiny and it flowers in spring. An excellent cover plant for our frogs!

Top water plants for small ponds - Submerged pond plants

Submerged pond plants, some of which can be grown as oxygenators, are essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem in small ponds. These plants grow entirely under the water surface and release oxygen, improving water quality and providing a habitat for aquatic creatures. Here are our top picks for submerged plants suitable for small Australian ponds:

  1. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri): Brahmi has small succulent like green leaves and produces a pale white flower. It can be grown submersed to a depth of 20cm where it will act as an oxygenator in the pond. It will also mat out over the top of the pond and provide cover and shelter for fish and tadpoles.
  1. Upright Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum crispatum): Water milfoil is a delicateUpright Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum crispatum) pot with floating ring submerged plant with feathery, fern-like leaves. It adds a touch of elegance to small ponds while also serving as an oxygenator. Water milfoil grows well in shallow water and is suitable for creating a natural-looking environment.
  1. Swamp Goodenia (Goodenia humilis): Swamp Goodenia or Goodenia humilis (humilis; meaning low growing) is a carpeting Australian native plant that thrives in continuously moist or boggy areas. Swamp Goodenia  consists of green soft hairy leaves and in warmer periods of the year beautiful clusters of bright yellow flowers flourish from the zig-zag stems bringing a gorgeous splash of yellow to any pond.A great pond plant to provide cover and protection for fish, tadpoles and frogs.

    Top water plants for small ponds - Marginal pond plants

    Marginal pond plants are perfect for adding color and texture to the edges of small ponds. These plants thrive in shallow water or damp soil near the pond's edge and provide a transition between the water and the surrounding landscape. Here are our top recommendations for marginal plants that will elevate the beauty of your petite pond:

    1. Water Iris (Lake Ouachita): Water iris is a stunning marginal plant with blue flowers. It adds a pop of colour to the edges of small ponds and attracts pollinators. Water iris prefers moist soil and can tolerate shallow water, making it an excellent choice for patio ponds or small container water features.
    1. Golden Sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ogon): A stunning colour selection to consider adding when short on space. This striking gold pond plant will grow to 60cm and looks spectacular grown as a feature pond plant in a small pond or when planted on mass in larger garden ponds.
    1. Running Marsh Flower (Villarsia reniformis): An Australian native marginalRunning Marsh Native Pond Plant plant with shiny leaves and yellow flowers. It prefers wet soil and shallow water, making it an ideal choice for small ponds. It can be grown submerged to a depth of 5cm or grown happily in the pond plant floating ring.

    Maintenance tips for water plants in small ponds

    Proper maintenance is crucial for the health and longevity of water plants in small ponds. Here are some essential tips to ensure your plants thrive:

    1. Regularly remove any dead foliage or debris from the water surface to prevent it from accumulating and affecting water quality.
    1. Monitor the growth of floating and submerged plants to prevent them from becoming invasive. Remove excess plants as needed to maintain a balanced ecosystem.
    1. Prune marginal plants to control their size and prevent overcrowding. Divide plants that have outgrown their space to maintain a harmonious balance in your small pond.
    1. Feed water plants as necessary to provide them with the nutrients they need for optimal growth. Use a slow-release fertiliser specifically formulated for aquatic plants.
    1. Monitor the water quality of your small pond regularly. Test the pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels to ensure they are within the appropriate range for your water plants and aquatic life.

    Common issues and troubleshooting for water plants in small ponds

    Despite your best efforts, you may encounter some common issues with your water plants in small ponds. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

    1. Algae blooms: If you notice excessive algae growth, check the nutrient levels in your pond. Reduce feeding and consider adding more submerged plants to compete for nutrients.
    1. Yellowing leaves: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of nutrient deficiency or improper lighting.  Ensure that the plants are receiving the appropriate amount of sunlight or shade and apply a fertiliser tablet that has been formulated for pond plants.
    1. Overcrowding: If your plants are overcrowded and not thriving, consider dividing or removing some plants to create more space. This will allow the remaining plants to grow and flourish.
    1. Pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids or snails, which can damage your water plants. Use organic pest control methods or introduce natural predators to keep the pests in check. If you notice signs of diseases, promptly remove affected plants to prevent the spread and treat in a separate bucket of water.

    Design  Ideas for Small Ponds

    In addition to selecting the right water plants, incorporating design elements can further enhance the beauty of your small pond. Here are some design ideas to consider:

    • Create a focal point: Choose a standout water plant, such as a tall marginal plant or a unique floating plant, and position it strategically to create a focal point in your small pond. This will draw attention and add interest to the overall design and give the impression that your pond is larger!
    • Choose pond plants with small leaves and flowers: This is a great trick to use when selecting pond plants for a smaller pond. This will create a visual affect of more space as the small plants will give the illusion of large proportions!
    • Add rocks and pebbles: Arrange rocks and pebbles along the edges of your pond or in shallow areas to create a natural-looking environment. This will provide additional texture and visual interest.
    • Install a mini waterfall or fountain: If space allows, consider adding a mini waterfall or fountain to your small pond. The sound of flowing water will create a soothing ambiance and add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space. Choose from our solar pond pumps here.
    • Incorporate lighting: Install underwater or landscape lighting to highlight the beauty of your water plants, especially in the evening. This will create a magical atmosphere and allow you to enjoy your small pond even after sunset.


    Aquatic plants play a vital role in enhancing the beauty and functionality of small ponds. By carefully selecting the right plants and providing proper maintenance, you can create a captivating water garden that maximises the potential of your small pond or patio water garden. Consider the size, lighting, and depth requirements of the plants, and choose a combination of floating, submerged, and marginal plants to create a harmonious ecosystem.

    Remember to regularly maintain your water plants, monitor water quality, and troubleshoot any issues promptly. By following these guidelines and incorporating design ideas, you can transform your small pond into a stunning oasis that brings joy and tranquility to your outdoor space. So, go ahead and start exploring the world of water plants to unlock the full potential of your small pond!


    © weknowwatergardens 2024