6 Plants That Will Thrive Near A Water Feature 

A pond, waterfall, or even small stream can be a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they present special challenges when trying to coordinate plants that will grow well in or near them. As you plan your water feature area, keep in mind that you will need to use plants that thrive in moist environments. Here are a few of the best plants for growing near a water feature.

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris love wet feet. They can grow up to three feet tall and produce a purple flower that can measure up to 12 inches. They are planted as bulbs and love heavy, acidic soil. These pretty plants will produce attractive, delicate color near a water feature.


Tropicanna canna

Colorful cannas grow quickly in humid environments.

Cannas are a large leaved plants with very showy flowers. There are numerous varieties and the leaves range in color from simple green to maroon to almost black. Some Cannas have variegation while others are solid colored. The flowers come in red, orange, cream, salmon, pink, apricot, and everything in between. These large, tropical plants love heat, sun, and moisture. Cannas will tolerate shade, but will not produce as many flowers as plants grown in full sun. They will love the humidity that a water feature provides.

Elephant Ears

Elephant ears have huge heart shaped leaves. They are known for their foliage and come in a variety of colors from dark maroon to chartreuse. They are planted as tubers and are perennial in mild climates. If you live where the ground freezes, you can dig up the tubers each year, store them somewhere cool and dark and replant them in the spring. These plants can multiply quickly, so plant them in containers if you are concerned about spreading.

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed is a perennial that produces clusters of pink flowers in late summer. The plant likes full sun and plenty of wet soil. Milkweed also attracts monarch butterflies and is an important host plant for monarch caterpillars. Swamp milkweed is native to marshy areas and requires very little attention to thrive.

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny is a bright ground cover that loves moist soil. It will trail aggressively and can become invasive when not well attended to. Creeping Jenny prefers full sun, but will also tolerate partial shade. It is an attractive plant that can be tucked into rocks borders, stone pathways and along water feature edges.



Nasturtiums boast bright, sunny flowers.

Nasturtiums grow vigorously and produces an abundance of brightly colored red, orange, and yellow flowers. Depending on the species, Nasturtiums can grown in plump mounds or trail. These annual plants grow quickly from seed. They prefer full sun and do not require any fertilizer. In fact, too much nitrogen in the soil can inhibit flowering. Nasturtiums also do well in damp soils making them ideal for close proximity to a water feature. As a bonus, Nasturtiums are edible. Their flowers have a peppery taste and are an attractive addition to salads.

Your Suggestions

All of these plants prefer damp soils and the extra humidity that a water feature would provide. These plants can be potted directly into the soil or grown in containers placed near water features. There are many more plants that can thrive both in and out of the water.

What are your suggestions for plants that are easy to grow near water features?


“Japanese Iris” Fine Gardening. <http://www.finegardening.com/japanese-iris-iris-ensata>
“Elephant’s Ear Plant Care.” Southern Living. <http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/elephant-ear-plant-care>
“Asclepias incarnata” Missouri Botanical Garden. <http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=g410>
“Edible of the Month: Nasturtium.” National Garden Association. <http://www.garden.org/ediblelandscaping/?page=august_edible>
“Lysimachia-Creeping Jenny” Gardeners HQ. <http://www.gardenershq.com/Lysimachia-Creeping-Jenny.php>
Image: Japanese Iris by Kate Ter Haar.
Image: Tropicann Canna by L Church.
Image: Capucines by isamiga76

Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at Bromeliads.info and OrchidPlantCare.info. Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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