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The Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Plants For Koi Ponds

Koi are a type of pond fish that can grow quite large, sometimes reaching over a foot in length. They are famous for pond owners because of their bright colours and interesting patterns. Koi come in various colours, including orange, yellow, white, black, and blue. They are also known for their long life spans; some Koi have been known to live for over 100 years.

If you’re thinking about adding a Koi pond to your backyard, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. First, you’ll need to ensure you have enough room for the pond; Koi can grow quite large. You’ll also need to provide someplace for the fish to hide from predators; Koi are not the strongest swimmers and can quickly become prey if they’re not protected. 

You’ll also need to choose the best pond plants and fish for your climate and landscape. Koi ponds need regular maintenance, including cleaning and adding fresh water. A koi pond isn’t easy to build, but it can be the perfect addition to your water garden if you do the work.

Pond Plants Overview (Submerged Plants, Floating Plants)

When most people think about adding plants to their ponds, they think about adding plants that will be seen above ground. However, many types of plants can be added to a pond that will improve the appearance of the water feature and also help improve the water quality.

Water Lily 

Water lilies are one of the most popular pond plants. They can be used as floating or submerged plants. Water lilies come in various colours, including pink, red, white, and yellow. They are also available in various sizes, from small to large.

When choosing a water lily for your pond, consider the size of the pond and the amount of sunlight it receives. Small water lilies are ideal for ponds with limited space. Larger water lilies require more sunlight and should be planted in ponds that receive at least six hours of direct sun each day.

Water lilies grow best in nutrient-rich water with a pH between 6 and 8.5. If your pond is not nutrient-rich, you can fertilise the water twice a month with aquatic plant fertiliser.

Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinths can be an excellent choice for a pond plant, as they are aquatic plants that do well in waterlogged soil. They also grow quickly, so they can help to keep your pond looking neat. Water hyacinths have beautiful flowers that add colour to your pond, and the leaves provide shade for fish and other aquatic creatures.

Water Clover

Water clover is an aquatic plant found mainly in a pond and other bodies of water. It has four leaflets that form a four-leaf clover shape, hence the name. Water clover is a popular choice for a koi pond because it’s a tremendous oxygenating plant that helps to oxygenate the water and provides a hiding place for the fish. It is also known to improve water clarity.

Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce is an aquatic plant used in a koi pond. It will grow floating on the water’s surface and provide a place for the fish to hide. The leaves are edible and can be used as food for fish. The plant also helps to oxygenate the water and can be used to help control algae growth.

Water Poppy

Water poppy (Nymphaea alba) is a flowering aquatic plant that can grow well in ponds and other water features. It has floating leaves and white flowers that open in the morning and close at night. This plant provides food and shelter for fish and other aquatic creatures and helps control algae growth. Water poppy can be easily grown from seeds and is hardy enough to survive in cold climates.

Water Iris

Water Iris is a popular plant for a koi pond. They are oxygenators, meaning they produce oxygen in the water and help control algae growth. Water Iris can be planted in pots or in the pond itself. They should be placed at the pond’s edge so the roots can reach into the water.

Cardinal Flower

The cardinal flower is a beautiful addition to any koi pond. This flowering plant is a fast grower and quickly fills any empty pond space. It also does a great job of competing with algae for available light, helping keep the pond clean and clear.


Lotus is a plant found in ponds and other shallow water areas. It has thick, green leaves that can grow up to 12 inches long. Lotus also has small, white flowers that bloom in the summer. This plant is a good choice for a pond because it helps to control algae growth.


Horsetail, a common pond plant, is often used to control algae growth in koi ponds. It can be easily identified by its long, thin stems and small, cone-like flowers. Horsetail thrives in wet environments and grows quickly, making it a perfect choice for ponds. It can be used alone or with other plants to create a healthy pond environment.

Water Smartweed

Water Smartweed is a pond plant used to help control algae. It is a fast-growing perennial that will reach a height of 3-6 feet. The leaves are 7-14 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. The flowers are small, white, and bloom from July to September.

Pond Maintenance Is Also Crucial

The average homeowner is responsible for the care and maintenance of their home’s exterior, including the landscaping and pond. A well-maintained pond can be a beautiful addition to any property, but it takes some work to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for keeping your pond healthy and looking great:

1. Keep the water level high enough so the pond pump can fully circulate the water.

2. Remove any debris collected in the pond, including leaves, branches, and dead animals.

3. The edges of a pond should be mowed regularly to keep them from becoming overgrown with weeds. Weeds can compete with the plants in the pond for sunlight and nutrients.

4. Avoid overpopulation by only adding a few fish at a time and monitoring their population closely. You should remove any excess fish regularly. This will help keep your pond healthy and thriving.


Adding pond plants to your Koi pond is a great way to improve the water quality and provide shelter and food for your fish. Not only do plants add beauty to the pond, but they also play an important role in maintaining the health of the aquatic environment.

Many types of plants can be added to a Koi pond, but it is essential to choose ones suitable for your area’s climate and conditions. Some good choices for ponds in temperate climates include water lilies, lotus plants, and submerged pond plants. These plants provide shade and shelter for the fish, help to control algae growth, and improve water quality by adding oxygen to the water.

In addition to these types of pond plants, you can add marginal plants that grow around the pond’s edge.


How Do You Use Salt for Koi Health?

Salt can be added to the water regularly when used as a preventative. For treatment, dissolve the proper amount of salt in water and add it to the pond. Be sure to only use salt intended for aquariums or koi ponds, as table salt can harm fish.

Will Koi Eat My Pond Plants?

The answer to this question depends on the type of plant in question. Generally speaking, koi are not known to be voracious plant eaters. However, they will consume some types of plants if they are available. The most common plants that koi will eat are water lilies and aquatic weeds. If you have any of these plants in your pond, the koi will likely eat them. 

Can you keep koi and goldfish in the same pond?

Since both Koi and goldfish are calm fish, they can coexist peacefully. Generally, Koi can coexist peacefully with any docile kind of fish. Feeder fish only eat bugs, so they frequently help reduce mosquito populations as well. If you don’t want goldfish or koi but still want a water feature without mosquitoes, this is a fantastic alternative.