10 Bog Plants To Help Filter Your Garden Pond

Garden ponds can bring unique beauty to your garden and provide you with a place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Adding plants to your pond can increase its beauty, and bog plants can help filter the water to keep it clear and more attractive to fish and other creatures that may live there. Here are 10 bog plants you can add to your garden pond.

1 pond
This garden pond features a variety of bog plants which not only add beauty and depth but also help filter it and keep it clear.


Irises can be planted on the border or added to water characteristics such as waterfalls and bog filters. Their tall stems and vibrant petals make them a lovely addiction to any pond.

Irises get their name from the Greek rainbow goddess, Iris. They come in a variety of different colors and are sometimes called flags. Irises are the largest genus in the Iridaceae family and there are over 300 different species. Most are grown in traditional gardens, but some can be grown as bog plants.

Irises are beautiful bog plants that not only add beauty to your garden pond, but also help filter the water to prevent algae from growing there. Irises can grow tall and full while tolerating full sun, making them perfect for planting around the edges of a pond or around areas that need shade. They grow in mounds and in early summer can produce blue, purple or yellow flowers. Their thick root system also gives fish and other aquatic creatures a place to hide and breed.

Cardinal Flower

3 cardinal flowers
Cardinal flowers have a bright red bloom which attracts insects and birds to the pond and creates a beautiful border.

Cardinal flowers thrive in humid environments and are native to North and South America. These flowers were introduced to Europe in the 1600s and got their name from the word for the red robes of Roman Catholic cardinals.

Cardinal blossoms are incredibly gorgeous and are perfect for growing on the outer edges of a pond or in the corners for thick color accents. They are easily reseeded and each plant can live up to four years. They spread slowly and are easy to maintain. They have bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds and a variety of insects. They grow tall and can provide shade for fish or other plants that cannot tolerate a lot of sun. They prefer partial shade but are tolerant of full sun.


4 Cattails
Cattails have a distinct and interesting appearance. They provide shade for other plants and animals living in the pond, and they have a deep root system that filters water well.

Cattails grow quickly and are usually one of the first plants to grow naturally in a new wetland or around newly established ponds. There are over 30 species of these plants and many of them are edible. They grow from rhizomes and are perennial.

Cattails often grow around lakes and large ponds. They grow in rows and clusters and their roots are great for filtering water. They look great in ponds and grow tall and slender. They have reseeded and can grow from rhizomes that appear underground. They can spread quickly but are easy to reduce and manage. Many animals and insects feed on them or use their thick stems and full leaves to lay eggs or hide from larger predators.


5 Pennywort
Water pennywort has many uses and it grows full and thick in a variety of environments. It not only filters water, it provides food and shade for fish and turtles.

There are many different species of hydrocotyl, but all of them look the same and have little growing space. Some species are edible. Water hydrocotyl is sometimes referred to as Indian hydrocotyl, weed dollar, or swamp penny. Fossil records show that this plant has existed since the Middle Miocene.

Flowering hydrocotyl is a popular plant that is added to ponds and even aquariums. It can grow well in full aquatic environments or as a bog plant. It spreads quickly and has disc shaped leaves which create a unique look. It can grow in shady areas but also does well in full sun. They don’t grow tall, so they look great when added to borders with taller plants or thin sections that need to be filled in. Turtles love to eat hydrocotyls, and many fish and frogs love to lay their eggs there.

Plant pitcher

6 Plant pitcher
Pitcher plants not only enhance the beauty of a pond, but they also help reduce the amount of pests that linger nearby and help filter the water.

Pitcher plans are eye-catching plants that help filter pond water and can reduce insect pests as well. The large flowers are shaped like pitchers and their bright colors attract insects that get stuck inside. They help add nutrients to the pond to grow good bacteria that help feed the fish and the microorganisms that live there.

These bacteria also adhere to their roots and help filter water. Pitcher plants create a unique look to any garden pond and they tolerate saturated soils well. They look best when grown in clusters, and they do well in low humidity areas that stay warm and dry.

Canna Lily

7 Canna Lily
Canna lilies are gorgeous and have broad, dark leaves and bright, vivid flowers. They add a splash of color to your garden and can expand every year under the right conditions.

Canna lilies are members of the Cannaceae family and are the only members of this family to flower. They are native to the tropics but were developed to survive temperate climates.

Canna lilies are perennials that come back every year. They have beautiful thick red, yellow, orange and green and burgundy foliage. They are versatile and can grow well in full sun. They also tolerate cooler conditions well. Their root systems collect particles and algae that might otherwise appear in your pond and make it cloudy or green.

Pike plant

8 walleye plant
Pike plants grow in large, thick bundles. They have long root systems which create an ideal filter for ponds of all sizes.

Pike plants grow tall and have eye-catching spiked flowers that last a long time to provide lots of color and texture throughout spring and summer. They can be added to the edge of ponds but can also be planted in pots and submerged in the pond.

They can thrive in standing water, making them versatile and easy to place almost anywhere in a pond. They feature purple spiked flowers when in bloom and attract a variety of insects.


9 watercress
Watercress spreads quickly and stays low on the surface of the water. It can cover a lot of ground and provide a wide filtering area to keep dirt from flowing into the pond.

Watercress is a plant rich in nutrients and can be eaten by fish and other pond creatures as well as by humans. They have leafy foliage that is thick and grows low to the ground.

Besides being a great place for insects and fish to find shade and food, the roots are frilly and collect algae and other dirt that can pollute the pond or make it cloudy. The plants can be harvested for salads or can be propagated by cuttings or seeds.


10 Taros
Taro leaves are large and provide plenty of shade to help keep the sun from causing rapid algae growth and can also provide shelter for fish and insects

Taro plants are easy to grow and are the perfect way to add depth to a pond. They grow tall and have large leaves that provide shade for fish and other aquatic animals as well as plants that cannot stand full sun.

Taro can be used as a border plant, but the large leaves can also block the view of the pond. They look great when planted behind other plants and can grow in saturated soil, in bodies of water, or with the bulbs fully submerged. The leaves should stay above the water level. They are eye-catching and add a tropical vibe to any body of water or bog.

Taro is edible and is considered one of the first plants to be cultivated. In Asia and Africa it is considered a staple food and the bulbs, leaves and petioles are all edible parts of plants.


11 horsetail reed
The horsetail reed has long, thick stems that provide shade and form an interesting border. It pairs well with other plants and the stems help filter the water to keep the pond clear.

Horsetail is a type of reed that grows in the form of tubes and can create a strong barrier or border. They look great grown in straight lines or in round clusters. They attract a variety of insects to the pond, and their roots and bulbs filter water well.

Horsetail can grow and spread very quickly, so it may need to be pruned every now and then to prevent it from overtaking a pond and stealing nutrients from other plants. They can also be grown in pots to help control them or create specific patterns. They do not flower but the stems are attractive and sturdy.

If you have a garden pond and are looking for a way to help keep the water clear and free of algae, consider adding bog plants. You can add them directly to your pond or create a bog filter that filters the water that drains through the roots of the plants. The above bog plants are just 10 options to consider adding in or around your garden pond.

bog plants