Surprisingly easy to build and maintain, water gardens can provide a
welcome, cooling, soothing addition to the Texas garden. Aquatic plants
may be grown in any container that will hold water. Size and shape are not
important. Pre-formed liners, plastic-lined half-barrels, or natural ponds
all make great homes for Water Lilies and other aquatic plants. The water
garden should be located where it receives at least six hours of sun daily.
Consider a location where there is room for a garden bench to sit and
enjoy the plants’ beauty and the water’s cooling effect.
Plants should be potted in a heavy clay loam in a container that is wider
than deep. Take care not to cover the growing tip or crown of the plant
with soil. Place one to two inches of pea gravel on top of the soil before
submerging in the pond.
Fertilization, removing spent flowers and yellowed foliage is about the
extent of maintenance during the growing season. Consult your Certified
Professional for tips on over-wintering aquatic plants in your area.
For a more interesting water garden, plant a variety of plants from the
Tropical Water Lilies
Tropical Water Lilies are some more exotic plants to add to the
garden. Large leaves and spectacular blooms in a wide range of colors add
dramatic interest to the water garden. Depending on the variety, the bloom
color ranges from white to purple to yellow. Large fragrant blooms last
up to one month. These frost-tender plants should be treated as annuals.
Frost-tolerant plants in a wide range of colors provide spectacular blooms
in summer. These floating plants help stabilize the water temperature by
reflecting heat during the day and holding it in at night. They also help
shade the pool, which helps to control algae. Beautiful blooms last up to
These are plants that grow at the edge of the water garden. They can be
grown in water but do not need to be fully submerged. They add depth,
shape, and color to the garden. Popular marginals include Louisiana Iris,
Marsh Marigold, Chameleon Plant, and Cardinal Flower.
Reeds and Rushes
These tall specimen plants are for the larger water garden. They make
wonderful spring background plants and add height for vertical interest.
Many varieties are available with a wide range of foliage colors and sizes.
Other Floating Plants
These beautiful and beneficial plants provide shade for the pond to help
keep algae under control and provide good cover for any fish in
the pond. In addition to the lilies, floating plants include Water Mint,
Primrose Creeper and Hornwort.
These delightful beauties are just the right size for a water garden as small
as a half barrel but may also be added to the larger garden. Water
Poppy, Miniature Cattail, and White Snowflake are examples of miniature