The Best Plants For Koi Ponds – A Guide To Aquatic Pond Plants

Using the Best Plants for Koi Ponds has various benefits as it enhances the look of any landscape. Each pond needs a variety of the following shade and shelter-giving plants as part of their maintenance and upkeep. The addition of certain plants for filtration and oxygenation is also highly recommended.

This is because these beneficial additions will help the pond’s ecology. You can also stop algae growth by covering half of the pond’s surface with floating leafy plants. However, before deciding which ones best suits your display, it is advisable to look into the ones that koi won’t eat. The eye-catching umbrella plant, the large-leaved lotus plant, the water poppy with yellow flowers, and the floating water lettuce are some great suggestions.

However, an overpopulation of aquatic plants can stress a pond’s environment and perhaps harm the fish. Plants create oxygen throughout the day and raise the pH of the water but they also respire, taking oxygen and adding carbon dioxide, which lowers this level. Therefore choosing the best one for your pond is vital. Let us help you make the best choices with our suggestions below!

Koi Pond Lily Pads – What Are They?

Beautiful plants like lily pads have the capacity to give your koi pond an enhanced look. Fish and other water animals can also find shade and shelter from them especially if they are floating in abundance. They are amongst the best plants for koi ponds and effectively cultivating them would be quite beneficial.

 aquatic plants for koi pond

The floating leaves of aquatic plants in the genus Nymphaea are known as lily pads. In countries in the UK, they are often referred to as water lilies. They have brilliantly colored undersides that draw a variety of insects, which the plant subsequently catches and eats. From less than an inch to more than a foot in diameter, these beautiful plants are available in a variety of sizes.

Some varieties also have aromatic blossoms that can be used to produce potpourri and perfumes. They can be found in still or slowly moving bodies of water, and are vital to the survival of many ecosystems. This is because they aid in oxygenating the water and offer shelter for fish and tadpoles in addition to serving as food for insects and other creatures.

Plants Around Koi Pond – Our Recommendations

The best plants for koi ponds may provide a burst of color to any water feature and are rather simple to grow. White, pink, and yellow are just a few of the colors that these plants come in. While some plants around a koi pond can be grown from bulbs, you also have the option of buying fully developed ones from your local nursery or garden center.

If you choose to grow lilies around the pond, you would have to simply put the bulbs in a container with water and place it in a sunny area to produce them. You ought to notice the emergence of new leaves in a few weeks. You can transplant the leaves into your pond once they have grown a few inches long. Keep in mind that they enjoy still or slowly moving water. Koi ponds benefit greatly from the addition of plants, which offer a variety of advantages to both the pond and the koi that occupy it.

 best plants for koi ponds

It’s simple to select mediocre plants, but for the sake of your fish’s happiness and the health of your ponds, choosing the greatest plants is recommended. Making a choice from the many aquatic varieties can get a bit intimidating especially if you are undecided. Watercress, smartweed, water lotus, iris, dwarf papyrus, water lilies, fiber-optic turf, duckweed, and eelgrass are amongst our favorites.

Aquatic Plants for Koi Pond – Best Picks

Aquatic plants can enhance a koi pond’s aesthetic appeal and environmental quality. The nitrogen that fish make from their diet is used by plants to produce oxygen for the water. These beneficial plants also shield the fish from predators and offer an abundance of shade. While floating plants for koi pond are highly recommended, there are others that you should also consider.

Consider the options below before adding any to your water feature.

1. Koi Pond Floating Plants

Due to the fact that they only sit on a pond’s surface, these plants are frequently referred to as floating plants. Although they can dominate a pond if not controlled, they offer shade to the fish and aid in keeping the water cool in the summer.

However, keep in mind that a koi pond shouldn’t have more than a third of its surface covered because a higher plant density could deplete the oxygen. Examples of surface plants that thrive in this instance include water clover, water fern, and water shield varieties.

 floating plants for koi pond

2. Koi Pond Emergent Plants

Emergent plants float or stand above the water’s surface with strongly rooted stems below. They are commonly found in bogs and should be potted in containers and covered in pebbles because koi like to eat the roots of these plants.

Even though the fish will continue to consume some of the leaves, this should not harm this species of plant as long as a third of it is still above the water’s surface. The American lotus, cattails, and water lily are amongst the most commonly used for this purpose.

3. Koi Pond Submerged Plants

The term submerged plants refers to any plant that grows entirely underwater. Through their leaves, they take up the nutrients they require to thrive. Submerged vegetation filters the water while simultaneously supplying it with oxygen.

As a result of their competition with algae for nutrients, the growth of the latter is regulated. The varieties that fall under this category include water smartweed and the commonly known waterweed amongst others.

Koi Pond Care

The easiest technique to add plants to a pond is by using several types at once. Koi pond care is vital if you want to keep it in proper shape because you would find that some owners are unsure about whether or not they ought to have vegetation. For this curious fish species, new plants are novelties and are immediately consumed or knocked down.

 koi pond lily pads

This is less of an issue when introducing koi to an existing pond that already has a lot of plants in it, but it might be difficult when adding plants to an established koi pond that has few plants. Giving the pond an attractive appearance would require a little maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep your water feature looking its best!


Make sure the aquatic fertilizer is safe for fish before adding it.
The addition of salt to the water is a typical treatment for sick koi. Your plants will perish if you do this. Instead, remove the sick fish and isolate them before returning them to the pond as it is the safest way.
Emergent and surface plants compete with the algae for nutrients, which helps to keep its advancement under control.
To give the koi shade and keep the water cold enough in the summer around 70% of its surface should be covered by plants.
Larger ponds require fewer plants since the depth of the water keeps the koi cooler and offers shade.

Here’s a video with more information on pond care. 


Koi and plants can coexist if a few basic safety measures are taken. Put a lot of plants in the pond to spread out the fish’s curiosity, and cover roots and tubers with pebbles to protect them. Additionally, you should be prepared to occasionally replace one or two plants that are likely to get damaged. This is because fish are curious and will eat aquatic vegetation as a snack.

For this reason, ensure that you do not add any dangerous plants to your pond. Water gardens are not suitable for all plants. Avoid invasive species including water hyacinth, giant reed, hydrilla, and Eurasian watermilfoil among others. These plants have the potential to spread into surrounding areas, posing serious issues.

Because ornamental ponds are becoming more and more popular it is important to know what are the best plants for koi ponds and their benefits. By understanding the characteristics of pond vegetation, keeping your water feature in the best shape will be quite easy. Classifying the various plant species available for this purpose is a great way to start. Here’s more information about a garden koi pond with a biofiltration system.