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Sun-loving pond plants are a perfect choice for many gardeners that want to grow something that can thrive under the scorching Australian sun. Our selection of pond plants in this article are suitable for growing in full sun. In fact, we recommend having different margins or stories of plants in your pond to provide shade to other  pond plants as protection from the sun, especially the afternoon sun in Australia. 

Benefits of Sun-Tolerant Pond Plants

Sun-tolerant pond plants offer several benefits that make them an excellent choice for Australian gardens. Firstly, their ability to withstand direct sunlight means they can be placed in areas that receive ample sunlight without worrying about scorching or withering. This makes them ideal for ponds located in open spaces without much shade.

It is important to have a mix of plants growing in full sun ponds as they will attract  birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Not only will they look great in your pond,  they also contribute to the overall ecosystem by providing shelter and food for aquatic organisms.

Furthermore, sun-tolerant pond plants help maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and reducing the growth of algae. Some of the plants listed in this article will act as natural filters, improving the clarity of the water and creating a healthier habitat for fish and other aquatic life when submerged to their required depth. By cultivating these plants, you can achieve a balanced and self-sustaining ecosystem within your pond.

Common Sun-Tolerant Pond Plants in Australia

Australia is home to a diverse range of sun-tolerant pond plants that are well-suited for its climate. Let's explore some of the most popular ones:

Water Iris (Lake Ouachita): Characteristics and Cultivation Tips

This Louisiana water iris, is a stunning sun-loving plant that thrives in moist soil and shallow water. With its sword-like leaves and vibrant blooms in hues pale blue, this particular water iris makes a stunning addition to the margins of any pond.

To grow water iris in Australia, choose a location in your pond that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Ensure that the water depth is suitable for the plant, as water iris prefers shallow areas with a depth of about 10cm. Plant the rhizomes in well-drained soil or containers, making sure the crown is above the water level.

Water iris also acts as a natural filter, improving water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. When planted into the margins of your pond or water garden, water iris will multiple each year. Water iris should be fed during the growing season to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.

Brahmi: Features and Care Instructions


Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), is a sun-tolerant pond plant that offers both beauty and medicinal properties. Its small, succulent-like leaves and delicate white flowers make it an attractive addition to any pond. Brahmi is well known for its potential cognitive and medicinal benefits.

To grow brahmi, choose a location with full sun to partial shade, as it can tolerate both.  When grown submerged to a depth no more than 20cm, it  is one of the best oxygenating pond plants and this can also help reduce algae growth in ponds that receive a lot of sunlight. This plant is easy to care for and can survive in a variety of water conditions.

Brahmi can be left in pots and allowed to float around ponds (with our floating pond plant ring) of any depth or planted directly in the soil of your pond. It will quickly spread to cover the surface of the water, providing ample oxygen for your aquatic ecosystem.

Water Hyssop: Growing and Maintenance Guidelines

Water Hyssop (Bacopa caroliniana) with floating ringWater hyssop (Bacopa caroliniana) is another sun-tolerant pond plant that offers a splash of colour to your aquatic garden. With its small, bright green leaves and delicate blue or purple flowers, water hyssop is a visually appealing choice for any pond.

To grow water hyssop, choose a location in your pond that receives full sun, it will also grow in partial shade. This plant prefers shallow water with a depth of around 20cm. We recommend growing it in the pot and floating pond ring that it comes with to control its growth and prevent it from spreading too quickly. Pruning is recommended to maintain its shape and encourage denser foliage. If growing submersed in the pond water, this pond plant will act as an oxygenator for your pond! Water hyssop will provide cover from the sun for fish, tadpoles and other aquatic life in your pond.

Water lilies: Growing and Maintenance Guidelines

Hardy Pink Coloured Water Lily AustraliaWater lilies  thrive in full sun and perform best when they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. Avoid growing them in areas that are shaded or receive only partial sunlight, as this can hinder the growth and flowering of the water lilies. 

Another factor to consider when selecting the location is the depth of the water. Water lilies require a minimum depth of 30cm to grow and spread their leaves on the surface. Water lilies don't like having strong flowing water features near by, this creates splashing that impacts the leaves. Make sure you position them well away from any water feature in your pond. If you are using a shallow container, you can place it on a raised platform or use bricks to elevate it in a larger basin of water.

Learn more about our water lilies here: Dive into the World of Australian Hardy Water Lilies: Stunning Blooms for every Pond Enthusiast

General care for a garden pond in full sun

Harden up some plants - If you notice a plant that you have just added to the pond looking stressed, we recommend hardening them up so they can acclimatise to your ponds conditions. This may involve providing some shade to the plant and gradually reducing the number of hours it is shaded over a few weeks. Alternatively, you can place the plant in a large container of pond water and place in the shade. These transitional steps can help the plant adjust.

Feed every season - Some water plants may benefit from occasional feeding (especially fast growers!) to promote healthy growth. Use a slow-release fertiliser specifically designed for aquatic plants and follow the recommended application guidelines.

API Pond Algaefix 480mlRegular Maintenance - Monitor the plants regularly for any signs of stress, disease, or overgrowth. Remove any dead or decaying plant matter to prevent nutrient buildup and maintain water quality. Prune or thin out plants as needed to control their growth and ensure a balanced ecosystem.

Keep Algae in check -Algae requires sunlight for photosynthesis, so ponds that receive excessive sunlight are more prone to algae growth. Shade-providing plants, such as water lilies or floating plants will help reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the water's surface. Nutrient is also a contributing factor to algae. The use of pond plants will help by filtering the water and feeding on some of the nutrient. Use a treatment if necessary to gain control of the algae, for more information about algae, read our  article: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Controlling Different Types of Algae in Ponds.


While there is a wide range of pond plants that will grow in full sun, every region of Australia is different and we recommend that you observe your plant as it settles in. Recognising the variety of stunning pond plants that are well suited to full sun is key to maintaining an eco system that can mitigate algae growth, filter and oxygenate the pond and attract diverse aquatic life!

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