Garden Pond

Caring for Pond Plants


Pond plants are a huge benefit to any pond. They take away nutrients from nuisance algae growth, provide cover and shelter for your pond fish, and simply provide a beautiful aesthetic for you to enjoy throughout the summer! This blog post contains pointers on placement of pond plants in your pond, and seasonal care tips. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to call, email or ask an Aquatics Unlimited associate.



Lilies should be placed in an area of your pond where the water is calm. Lilies should be submerged, but only to a depth of where the leaves are a few inches from the surface of the water. Placing lilies deeper than this makes it more difficult for the leaves to capture sunlight. As these leaves grow more toward the light and closer to the surface, you can move your lily to a deeper spot in the pond (up to a depth of 24’’). 


Marginal and bog plants should be placed in a depth of no greater than 5”, which generally submerges the pot of the plant, along with its roots and crown. While this depth varies depending on the plant size, a good rule of measure is to make sure that the foliage of the plant (leaves) are never submerged. Given their name, marginals are found at the margins, or edges, of ponds.



Should be fertilized again later in the season; approximately 2-3 months after you potted it.  Often blooms June – September (weather dependent) and will go dormant as it gets colder.

Hardy lilies can winter in your pond IF your pond doesn’t completely freeze over AND if you place the pot at a depth of no less than 3 ft. To winter your lily outdoors, trim off all of its leaves.

If your pond is not deep enough, you can winter your hardy lily in your home. Trim off all of its leaves and place the pot in a box or bag in a cool area (cannot drop below freezing; 0 Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit) and make sure the pot remains moist. If you overwintered a hardy lily, check it for new growth late March – early April, as it will need to be repotted and then placed in your pond (if you wintered it indoors). Hardy lilies can withstand periods of freezing temperatures that sometimes occur in late spring/early summer in Northern states. The foliage may show damage, but these can be trimmed away, and new growth will appear in no time! 


Should be fertilized again later in the season; approximately 2-3 months after you potted it. Often blooms in summer – early fall (weather dependent). Cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. Should not be put into a water temperature that is below 70 Fahrenheit.

Overwintering tropical lilies is very challenging, and they are often treated more as annuals.


Unfortunately, floating plants such as water lettuce & water hyacinth are now illegal to sell in Wisconsin. We carry a number of other floating type plants:

– Narrowleaf Anacharis

– Hornwort

– Red Root Floater

– Frogbit

These types of plants cannot tolerate a freeze.

Please see our POTTING POND PLANTS blog post, for more information to help you succeed this pond season!

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