The summer issue of Utah Style & Design is on newsstands now. With stories like Outsider Information and Dive Right In, the focus is on landscapes and outdoor living. But when you get that amazing water feature in your yard, what do you plant in it? And where can you find these plants?

Your two best options to purchase water plants are Desert Water Gardens (which has biologists, botanists, horticulturalists, urban planners, landscape architects, and engineers on staff) and Wasatch Shadows Nursery.

There are several things to consider when deciding which plants to put in your pond. The first thing to know is that pond plants can be divided into three main categories: floating plants, shallow-water marsh plants, and submerged plants.

Floating Plants

This type of plant floats on the surface while its roots hang down into the water. The foliage helps provide shade (reflecting and absorbing direct sunlight which buffers the water temperature) and the roots provide filteration to the pond, reducing algae growth. They are reletively easy to care for although they do require harvesting. Mosquito problems can develop if not regularly harvested. They often grow/multiply extremely fast. 

Duck Weed - Can live under any water condition and are an ideal way to export excess nutrients. If allowed, it can provide shade for the life below, although in excess can deplete oxygyn. 

Lotus- The lotus is one of the oldest cultivated aquatic plants and makes a great addition to any koi pond.  Their leaves are typically very large, and provide great shade. The lotus flower is very fragerent. With such a large growth rate, they are best planted in larger koi ponds.

White Snowflake- This plant produces an abundance of small white flowers. It has bronze and green mottled lily pad-like leaves. Should be planted in about 12 inches of water.

Shallow Water Marsh Plants

These plants are live with only their roots under water but the rest of the plant above the surface. They are typically planted on the edge of your pond because they do best in the shallow water. They are very lush and full plants.

Pickerelweed- These plants often grow 3-4 feet tall. They are recognized by the beautiful large clusters of violet flowers. The nectar of Pickerelweed attracts bees and butterflies.

Golden Variegated Sweet Flag- These plants arch gracefully across a stream or waterfall and can help to soften the edges of cool, hard rocks. You can enjoy this plant in the landscape, too!

Horsetail- This plant needs to be viewed up close to truly appreciate the delicate details of this plant. Use Horsetail to add architecture to the expanse of your pond.

Submerged Plants

These types of plants typically live completely under water. Sometimes the leaves or flowers will grow to the surface. They are typically planted 1-2 feet below the surface, and can create oxygen for the fish that live in the pond. 

Fanwort- This plant is a great oxygenator but requires a lot of light. These plants can grow up to an inch per day and can be propagated using cuttings.

Water Lily- This flower makes a statement. The vibrant flower pops against the large lily pad. It will add the perfect touch of pretty to your pond. You can see why Monet and many other artist, writer and photographer has been inspired since.

This post was originally published on utahstyleanddesign.com.