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Marginal Pond Plants

What are marginal pond plants

As their name suggests, marginal pond plants grow in the shallow edges of your pond, often in aquatic planting baskets. Not only do marginal plants bring shape to the ponds water edge, they also provide splashes of colour throughout the growing season. 

Benefits of marginal pond plants 

Many species of marginal plants also work to maintain the health and vitality of your pond and its inhabitants. Veronica Becca bunga is one of the best marginal pond plants for shade as it will raft across the water surface, providing protection for fish, reducing sunlight and help to hinder algae growth. Marginal pond plants such as grasses are especially useful for removing excess nutrients from the water while native marginal pond plants such as Mimulus are fast surface spreaders, creating shade as well as contrast with taller plants.

How to plant?

In most cases aquatic pond plants are planted into aquatic baskets lined with a hessian liner topped with gravel to stop the soil escaping. However it is also possible to design integral planting areas in your pond which can look more natural and especially good for wildlife ponds. Check out our step by step planting guides or our design pages for guides on building a integral pond planting area.

Rough Guide to the number of marginal plants recommended to establish a new water garden
Pond Surface Area 2m2  4m2  6m2  8m2 10m2  12m2
Deep Marginal 1 2 2 5 6 8
Marginal Plants 8 14 18 24 30 36

Looking after marginal pond plants

All plant varieties will vary slightly, please follow individual advise for plants, however as a general rule you want to remove any foliage as it dies back in the autumn. This avoids any dead plant matter breaking down in the pond potentiality impacting water quality and affecting fish health. If plants only needs cutting back or reducing we recommend doing this is the spring. This will give the pond the benefit of the plants over winter and offer protection to its inhabitants.

Composting pond plant waste

It is illegal to dump pond plant matter in the wild as it can introduce invasive species damaging our water ways and ecosystem. Any plant waste should be disposed of with care by following the linked compost guide.

Where to buy?

All of our stores stock a large range of pond plants and lilies from early spring to late autumn. Alternatively buy online for home delivery direct from our UK growers.

Other Pond Plants

Pond Plant Collections  |  Water Lilies  |  Deep Water Plants  |  Bog or Marsh Plants  |  Marginal Plants  |  Oxygenating Plants  |  Floating Plants  |  Pond Molluscs (Pond Snails & Mussels)



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  • Ceratophyllum demersum - Hornwort - Bunched Pack of 5

    Pond Plants UK

    Ceratophyllum demersum - Hornwort - Bunched Pack of 5

    5 x Ceratophyllum demersum - Hornwort Oxygenator Pond Plants Dark green with rigid, branching stems densely clothed with foliage Flowers: May to July Growth Rate: Medium Depth: 30 - 150cm Max Height: Grows to the surface of the water Native...

    Now: £9.99
  • Myosotis scorpioides - Water forget me not

    Pond Plants UK

    Myosotis scorpioides - Water forget me not

    Myosotis scorpioides - Water forget me not  This delicate little native plant has numerous clusters of long flowering, small blue flowers which attract abundant pollinators throughout the summer. This plant can be trimmed as required at any time...

    From £7.99 £7.99
  • Caltha palustris

    Pond Plants UK

    Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold, Kingcup

    Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold, Kingcup, Early Flowering Pond Plant Once established it produces a mass of bright yellow flowers very early in the spring, almost a ball of yellow After flowering in March and April most foliage will die back. Remove...

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  • Equisetum hyemale

    Pond Plants UK

    Equisetum hyemale - Dutch rush

    Equisetum hyemale - Dutch rush  The Dutch rush is a marginal evergreen aquatic plant that is native to the British isles and a focal point of the garden pond all year round. Its Thick bamboo type stems, with stunning black stripes can grow up to 1...

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  • Iris pseudacorus

    Pond Plants UK

    Iris pseudacorus - Yellow Flag

    Iris pseudacorus - Yellow Flag The only native aquatic iris, it can be vigorous in boggy soil. It is the original of the famous Royal French emblem, Fleur-de-lys. After foliage has died back in Autumn cut back to just above the water surface. If...

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  • Hippuris vulgaris

    Pond Plants UK

    Hippuris vulgaris - Mare's tail

    Hippuris vulgaris - Mare's tail - Oxygenator Plants  Low growing vertical bottle brush type stems Flowers: June - Aug Growth Rate: Slow Depth: 2 - 15cm Max Height: 25 - 30cm Native to British Isles: Yes Perfect For Pollinators:...

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  • Eleocharis

    Pond Plants UK

    Eleocharis acicularis - Needle spike - Rush

    Eleocharis acicularis - Needle spike - Rush  Slender little tufted plant with needle-like stems, each terminating in a brown spikelet Flowers: Aug- Sept Growth Rate: Medium Depth: 15 - 60cm Max Height: 15 - 40cm Native to British Isles:...

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  • Mentha aquatica

    Pond Plants UK

    Mentha aquatica - Water mint

    Mentha aquatica - Water mint  A strong mint scented herb, covered with pinkish lilac flower heads. It used to be grown for it's essential oils. This plant can be trimmed as required at any time during the growing season. Flowers: July -...

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  • Butomus umbellatus - Flowering rush

    Pond Plants UK

    Butomus umbellatus - Flowering rush

    Butomus umbellatus - Flowering rush Marginal Aquatic Pond Plants Triangular leaves turning from red to dark green. Pink flowers in umbels Flowers: June - Aug Growth Rate: Fast Depth: 3 - 25cm Max Height: 60 - 100cm Native to British...

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  • Scirpus cernuus

    Pond Plants UK

    Scirpus cernuus - Fibre optic plant

    Scirpus cernuus  - Fibre optic plant Attractive evergreen has an apt common name. The glassy threadlike leaves have minute white spikes on the tips of each leaf. Trim in early spring Flowers: July - September Growth Rate: Slow Depth: 0- 10cm...

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  • Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife

    Pond Plants UK

    Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife

    Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife  A stunning plant for a medium to large pond or lake. The tall pink blooms can be seen from some distance,  it is free flowering over a long period in summer.   Flowers: June - Sept Growth...

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  • Marginal Plant Collection for Colour COLORN

    Pond Plants UK

    Marginal Plant Collection for Colour

    Marginal Plant Collection for Colour  Time to spruce up your pond with some cheerful marginal plants? Let our expert nursery staff choose from hundreds of varieties to bring you the very best available at this time of the year. The collection will...

    From £24.99 £24.99
  • Marginal Plant Collection for Wildlife

    Pond Plants UK

    Marginal Plant Collection for Wildlife

    Marginal Plant Collection for Wildlife   Some marginal plants are particularly good for attracting wildlife, not only helping hide small critters underwater, or allowing insects to emerge when they turn from larval stages to adults, but also...

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  • Anagallis tenella - Bog pimpernel

    Pond Plants UK

    Anagallis tenella - Bog pimpernel

    Anagallis tenella - Bog pimpernel   Forms a dense carpet of tiny leaves, mixed with numerous rosy-pink flowers. Ideal in a bog garden or very shallow water. Trim foliage to tidy if required.   Flowers: June - September Growth Rate:...

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  • Lysimachia nummularia - Creeping jenny

    Pond Plants UK

    Lysimachia nummularia - Creeping jenny

    Lysimachia nummularia - Creeping jenny Marginal Aquatic Pond Plants Creeping plant with glossy round leaves. Bright golden cup-shaped flowers Flowers: June - August Growth Rate: Medium Depth: 0 - 20cm Max Height: 10 - 15cm Native to British...

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  • Hydrocotyle nova zealand

    Pond Plants UK

    Hydrocotyle nova zealand - Miniature pennywort

    Hydrocotyle nova zealand - Miniature pennywort - Oxygenator Plants  Minute round leaves – spreading habit Flowers: April - June Growth Rate: Medium Depth: 0 - 25cm Max Height: 10 - 15cm Native to British Isles: Yes Perfect For...

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  • Typha angustifolia - Lesser bulrush - reedmace - narrowleaf cattail

    Pond Plants UK

    Typha angustifolia - Lesser bulrush - reedmace - narrowleaf cattail

    Typha angustifolia - Lesser bulrush - Reedmace - Narrowleaf cattail Smaller than Typha latifolia but still a large typha with dark chocolate coloured seed heads. It is reported that the roots have been used in Asia to combat dysentery. The attractive...

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  • Iris versicolor - Blue flag - Poison flag

    Pond Plants UK

    Iris versicolor - Blue flag - Poison flag

    Iris versicolor - Blue flag - Poison flag Narrow, erect foliage and branched stems bearing several bluish-purple flower with spotted yellow throat. After foliage has died back in Autumn cut back to just above the water surface. If trimming left until...

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  • Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides variegata

    Pond Plants UK

    Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides variegata - Crystal confetti

    Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides variegata - Crystal confetti - Oxygenator Plants  Forms a carpet of miniature round leaves edged with cream Flowers: April - June Growth Rate: Medium Depth: 0 - 25cm Max Height: 10 - 15cm Native to British...

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  • Lychnis flos-cuculi - Ragged Robin

    Pond Plants UK

    Lychnis flos-cuculi - Ragged Robin

    Lychnis flos-cuculi -  Ragged robin  Branched stems bear opposite, lance-shaped leaves. Clusters of star-shaped deep rose-pink flowers, each petal deeply cut into 4 narrow segments, appear in late spring and early summer. Little maintenance...

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  • Rorripa nasturtium aquaticum  - Water Cress

    Pond Plants UK

    Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum - Water Cress

    Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum  - Water Cress Dark green foliage with small white flowers. Commonly called watercress it is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables. It should only be eaten if grown in a known clean water source. This plant will...

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  • Carex acuta

    Pond Plants UK

    Carex acuta - slender-tufted sedge

    Carex acuta - slender-tufted sedge A tall slender tufted sedge that grows in rivers, streams and lakes throughout the British Isles. Little maintenance is required. Trim just above the water surface after foliage has died back in Autumn to tidy...

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  • Orontium

    Pond Plants UK

    Orontium aquaticum - Golden Club

    Orontium aquaticum - Golden Club This unusual plant has attractive yellow flower spikes on white stems. It has numerous flowers prior to the leaves growing large ensuring they stand out clearly. Do not remove the pot as damaging the roots will...

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  • Stachys palustris

    Pond Plants UK

    Stachys palustris - Marsh woundwort

    Stachys palustris - Marsh woundwort Aquatic Ponds Plants Branched hairy plant with spikes of bright purple flowers Flowers: June - September Growth Rate: Fast Depth: 1 - 15cm Max Height: 60 - 120cm Native to British Isles: Yes Perfect...

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  • Veronica beccabunga - Brooklime

    Pond Plants UK

    Veronica beccabunga - Brooklime

    Phalaris arundinacea var picta - Gardeners garters  Very prolific succulent plant, smooth ovate leaves, clusters of blue flowers Flowers: May - Sept Growth Rate: Fast Depth: 0 - 15cm Max Height: 20 - 30cm Native to British Isles:...

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  • Phragmites australis

    Pond Plants UK

    Phragmites australis - Norfolk or common reed

    Phragmites australis - Norfolk or common reed (Phragmites communis) Strong growing grass with broad glossy leaves that turn brown in autumn and purple or violet flowers. This plant is frequently used in sewage treatment beds and it is still used for...

    From £7.99 £7.99
  • Iris louisiana 'Black Gamecock'

    Pond Plants UK

    Iris louisiana 'Black Gamecock'

    Iris louisiana 'Black Gamecock' Stunning, giant, deep purple, near-black blooms adorn this beautiful Iris. As with all louisiana iris it is ideal for the pond as it loves plenty of moisture. After foliage has died back in Autumn cut back to just above...

    From £7.99 £7.99
  • Juncus effusus

    Pond Plants UK

    Juncus effusus - Soft rush - Smooth rush

    Juncus effusus var spiralis - Corkscrew rush  Very erect, dark green stems and brown seed heads. Clumps will spread by creeping rhizomes. Can self seed. It was used to be make into mats and was probably the rush strewn over the floor in many of...

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  • Persicaria bistorta - Adderwort

    Pond Plants UK

    Persicaria bistorta - Adderwort

    Persicaria bistorta - Adderwort, Bistort, Red legs or Snakeweed Attractive prominently veined, ovate leaves up to 30cm long have poker shaped bottle brush like mauve-pink flowers rise above them. Little maintenance is required. Trim just above the...

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  • Myriophyllum brasiliensis red stem - Red stemmed parrots feather

    Pond Plants UK

    Myriophyllum brasiliensis red stem - Red stemmed parrots feather

    Myriophyllum brasiliensis red stem - Red stemmed parrots feather  Bright green feathery foliage with red stems Flowers: June - July Growth Rate: Fast Depth: 0 - 25cm Max Height: 15 - 25cm Native to British Isles: No Perfect For...

    From £7.99 £7.99

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