Common water plants that we are used to seeing in our living rooms and in spring gardens make excellent aquatic plants. Many of these plants thrive in areas where water lilies and iris fail and can be ideal of shade ponds.
White Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopia) – Known for its large white flower and used in bouquets, it is a very attractive plant. Having huge arrow-shaped leaves, it can grow quite large in a season. The calla lily makes a wonderful addition to a water garden. The calla prefers to be shaded from the hot afternoon sun and submerged just so the water level barely covers the top of the pot. Colorado’s cool water temperatures allow this plant to continue to bloom throughout this summer, where otherwise it would be dormant through the summer months.
Lobelia (Cerinus) – A summer annual, this plant is most known for its intense blue color, but is also available in white, red, and light blue. Lobelia works wonderfully in water gardens. We recommend growing it in at least a 4-inch pot and submerging it just to the top of the pot. It has a ground cover habit.
Lobelia (Cardinalis) – A perennial, it is a summer blooming plant that grows between 2 – 4 feet tall with bright red blooms about 2 inches in size. This plant requires sun, constant moisture and can be submerged directly into the water.
Monkey Flower (Mimulus hybridus) – Grown as a shade annual in most areas, this plant takes very well to water. It should be planted and submerged the same as lobelia (Cerinus). Mimulus has a wonderful range of colors from ivory, yellow, orange, rose, scarlet, brown and usually have heavy spotting. It blooms from spring to summer and has a ground cover habit.
Carnivorous plants also work very well in aquatic gardens – these plants are most known for their insect traps but many also produce attractive flowers. These plants are marshy and can be grown on or by the pond. Some of the most common are the Venus Fly Trap (Diana muscipula), Sundew (Drosera), Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia).