10 Best Plants for Koi Pond

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There are a few greater pleasures than spending sunny spring days in the comfort of our own gardens. And one of the most beautiful gardens is certainly one which features a decorative pond, especially if it has some amazing fish species inside.

If you are a koi lover just as so many other people around our planet, then you certainly know how much beauty these creatures can add to any pond. In order to achieve an even nicer effect, but also to improve the life quality and lifespan of your precious fish, make sure to add some suitable plants.

Plants are not just beautiful, but they are also extremely beneficial and for multiple reasons. They offer great shade during hot days, a safe refuge from local predators, better oxygenation, as well as an ideal place for egg-laying.

In order to choose the appropriate plants and to get the maximum out of them, here comes our list of the 10 best plants for koi ponds.

Also Read: 10 Koi Fish Facts

1. Water Lettuce

To begin, this is one of the simplest yet nicest options available. Water lettuce really does resemble lettuce, as it is light green and formed into leaf clusters.

This is a floating plant, meaning that it provides great shade and hiding spots to koi fish. And they may also decide to play with it sometimes.

On top of that, floating plants are among the most beautiful natural decorations which one can ever add to a pond. Water lettuce thrives best under tropical environmental conditions.

2. Water Lily

Water Lily
Water Lily

Water lilies are one of those classic choices for garden ponds that will never go out of style. They are super-easy to grow and care about, they offer amazing sun protection thanks to their elegantly spread leaves, and their flowers look so elegantly nice.

You can leave some of them floating, while others can be easily potted towards the bottom of the pond- they are as adaptable as that.  

One of the greatest advantages of water lilies is certainly their ability to grow under any temperature or weather condition, which makes them a suitable choice non depending on the area where you live in. Plus, they grow and spread extremely fast.

This is good, because your koi fish may decide to nib on them occasionally. This does however require a bit of control in order to avoid overspreading of the plant.

3. Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth

Moving on with floating plants, water hyacinths are another popular choice among koi owners, and they are greatly beneficial to the water quality. Indeed, they improve oxygenation as well as offer lots of contribution in removing the excess nutrients. This means fewer algae growth.

Additionally, water hyacinths feature amazing little flowers and beautiful smaller-sized leaves. If you live in warmer areas of the world, you may be enjoying these beauties for a couple of years.

For those who have colder winter days, water hyacinths will be a seasonal pond decoration. They are quite easy to grow, and they tend to spread quickly.

4. Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri)

Moneywort is one of the most resistant yet decorative plants ever. They basically grow as carpets, and they are often used as foot-tolerant decorations within steppingstones.

When it comes to ponds, they can adapt perfectly both to the very bottom or above the surface. Therefore, you may use them both for improving water oxygenation and for providing shelter.

This amazing plant features tiny round leaves and cute little flowers, so they will certainly add a nice touch to any pond. And, on top of that, they last for a long time.

5. Blue Iris

Blue iris flowers present one of the most exotic-looking additions to any pond, and they certainly fit well with koi fish.

These spring-bloomers grow very tall so you can easily plant them along the edges of your pond and enjoy the view. Plus, they greatly help with removing toxins from the water.

6. Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flowers are another great example of beautifully decorative plants for pond margins. They too grow tall, and they bloom vibrantly red, tall flowers. Perfect for a koi pond!

They should be planted into pots and then submerged into water. If they acclimate well, they may last for several years and grow flowers every season. However, because of such tall flowers, they often tend to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators.

7. Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus)

The sweet flag is such a simple, yet such a nice and beneficial plant for any pond margin. It grows super tall and does not require special care. Also, it lasts all year long, although it tends to get dormant during cold days.

This type of plant grows with submerged roots and it has no flowers. Therefore, thin and tall sword-shaped leaves are their best feature. They greatly add some fresh greenery to your garden areas, and they will provide great sun and predator protection to your koi fish.  

8. Lemon Bacopa

As its name suggests itself, the lemon bacopa does feature a lemonish scent, which certainly makes this plant a greatly refreshing choice during hot summer days. Additionally, you may use it in the most different kinds of setting- from a submerged plant to floating heat protection, as well as a decorative addition to the margins of your koi pond.

Lemon bacopas also feature amazing little flowers which grow all summer long, and they do not require any special maintenance. When winter starts approaching, however, you should trim the plant to the roots, to avoid for it starting decaying and worsening the quality of water for your precious koi.

9. Cattail (Typha)

Cattails are another of those classic pond plants which look timeless, and they will always be an interesting yet super-helpful addition for koi ponds. Their foliage resembles a lot to those of the sweet flag, but they also grow a very distinctive brownish flower which really does remind us of a cat’s tail.

Thanks to their shape and construction, these plants do an excellent job both at removing toxins from the water as well as at stealing nutrients from unwanted algae.

They are greatly durable and resistant plants that are extremely easy to care for. They tend to grow very quickly, so ensure to keep them in submerged pots in case you have a smaller pond. Also, their specific flowers may attract all kinds of pollinators.

10. Pickerel Pond Plant

Last but not least, pickerel plants are another fairly decorative choice for your koi pond, and they are quite easy to grow. All you need to be careful about is not allowing for them to spread too fast, which can be easily obtained by submerging their roots into a pot.

On the water surface, pickerel plants will form beautiful and dense foliage that can provide great sun and predator protection. Around the summer end, they will bloom amazing tall and spikey flowers to add to their beauty. They will grow healthy both under direct sun and in partial shade.

Wrapping Up

Plants are the lungs of our planet. And, as beneficial as they are on earth, the same goes for the aquatic world. They improve oxygenation for fish and other living creatures, they remove the presence of harmful toxins, they deprive not-so-nice algae of their nutrients, and they provide great shelter for fish.

Without them, your koi fish would simply not feel comfortable around their pond and would not know how to act. And, on top of that, they look simply amazing!

Pond plants are especially beautiful thanks to their ability to float on the water surface or to grow quite tall and proud. And luckily, there are so many options for you to choose from. Purely green choices which will be highly beneficial or those with ornamental flowers- or perhaps both.

Koi Carp

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