One of the most beautiful ways to add interest to your outdoor space is to surround a water feature or fountain with lush plants. A fountain creates a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and pairs wonderfully with vegetation that has equally calming qualities. There are several types of fountains and water features, but no matter their form, various plants can be added around them to create a sense of beauty and balance.
The best plants for incorporating into the aesthetics of a fountain or water feature depend largely on one’s preferences. Grasses are popular options as they lend an earthy feel and look great when paired with ferns that provide texture and come in shades from deep green to light silver-blue. The selection is endless: succulents, reeds, palms, hostas, daylilies, and astilbes.
Each plant will bring its own unique attributes and particularities to enhance your garden experience. No matter which type of foliage you opt for to accompany your wonderful fountain or water feature, it’ll become your garden oasis’s spectacular centerpiece. Read on and learn more about it.
Table of Contents
Here are 10 Best Plants to Put Around a Water Feature
1. Ragwort plant
The ragwort plant, scientifically known as Ligularia spp., is an attractive ornamental perennial that makes a stunning and eye-catching addition to any garden. Its large blossoms resemble daisies, creating a bright and colorful appeal. Its foliage is also very attractive, with deep bronze, green, and purple hues providing contrasting visuals for the overall arrangement.
These plants thrive in shaded areas and are highly popular when placed alongside fountains or ponds. When grown in mass numbers, this genus of plants can really steal the show with its tall stems and beautiful flowers – adding a touch of mysticism to the surrounding environment.
Providing just enough visual appeal to demand the attention it deserves without detracting from other aspects of landscaping, this is an ideal choice for anyone looking to add life to their water feature area.
2. Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
Hemerocallis, commonly known as daylilies, is a popular plant choice for accenting water features. Daylilies come in various colors and sizes, so you can easily find one that suits your landscape’s design. They bloom throughout the summer and offer a unique and beautiful addition to the garden.
Daylilies require very little maintenance, making them ideal for those who don’t have much time to spend on gardening. They also prefer moist soils, making them an excellent choice for landscaping near fountains or ponds. Planting in well-drained soil and receiving enough sunshine, they will flourish and provide years of enjoyment.
Hostas are a popular choice for adding foliage to gardens with water features. These plants come in various varieties, each boasting unique leaf colorings and shapes. The best part about hostas is that they don’t require much maintenance, making them ideal for novice gardeners or those with limited time.
Hostas are best planted in moist, well-drained soil and prefer areas with partial shade or dappled sunlight. They thrive when surrounded by fountains or ponds and can provide a stunning backdrop for those looking to add a touch of beauty to their outdoor space.
Sedges are an excellent choice for anyone looking to create a natural, woodsy look to their water feature. These plants have thin, grass-like foliage and come in various colors, such as red, green, and yellow.
Sedges prefer moist soils and thrive when planted alongside fountains or ponds. They are also very tolerant of different climates and can easily be maintained with minimal effort. These plants make an excellent choice for anyone looking to add texture and color to their water feature area.
Reeds are a popular choice when adding foliage to a water feature. These plants have tall, slender stems that can be used to create natural borders or as an accent piece in the garden. Reeds prefer moist soils and can easily be maintained with minimal effort.
Reeds come in wide varieties, each boasting unique colors and textures. They are perfect for creating a lush, natural look to the garden and can be used to create an eye-catching visual appeal. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to accent your water feature, reeds are definitely worth considering.
6. Water Lilies
Water lilies are a classic addition to any water feature and can instantly transform it into an oasis. These beautiful floating plants come in wide varieties, each boasting unique colors and sizes. Not only do they add a touch of beauty to the garden, but they also help keep the water clean by providing shade and reducing algae growth.
Water lilies need nutrient-rich soil and plenty of sunlight in order to thrive. Depending on the variety, they can also tolerate partial shade, making them an ideal choice for those with shaded water features. These plants require minimal maintenance and are perfect for adding a touch of tranquility to any outdoor space.
7. Marginal Aquatic Plants
Marginal aquatic plants are ideal for creating a natural, wild look in their garden. These plants grow naturally along the edges of ponds and other water features and come in various colors and sizes. These plants’ long, thin stems can be used to create a beautiful cascading effect as they reach the water’s surface.
Marginal aquatic plants require moist soils and plenty of sunshine in order to thrive. They are also very low maintenance and can easily be maintained with minimal effort.
So if you’re looking for a way to add a touch of natural beauty to your water feature, marginal aquatic plants are definitely worth considering.
Ferns are an excellent choice for anyone looking to add a touch of natural beauty to their water feature. These plants come in various shapes and sizes, each boasting unique colors and textures. Ferns prefer moist soils and can easily be maintained with minimal effort.
They look especially stunning when planted near ponds or fountains, as the delicate fronds can be used to create an eye-catching visual appeal. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to accent your water feature, ferns are definitely worth considering.
9. Aquatic Grasses
Aquatic grasses are a great choice for adding texture, movement, and color to your water feature. These plants have thin, grass-like leaves in various colors like green, yellow, and blue. Aquatic grasses thrive when planted alongside fountains or ponds, but they can also be used to create natural borders or as an accent piece in the garden.
These plants require moist soils and plenty of sunlight in order to thrive. They are also very low maintenance and can easily be maintained with minimal effort. So if you’re looking for a way to add a touch of vibrancy to your water feature, aquatic grasses are definitely worth considering.
10. Water forget-me-not
The water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) is a perennial plant that adds beauty to any small fountain, pool or pond. It reaches a 6 – 10 inches in height and blooms with delicate flowers throughout the spring and summer. The flower’s petals are mesmerizing; they open to a light blue with yellow centers, like the perfect reflection of a summer sky on the surface of still water.
This exquisite little plant requires very little maintenance, staying evergreen even during uneven winter temperatures. An occasional late frost may cause part of the foliage to brown, but this will soon be replaced with new growth when the weather warms up again.
Planting in sandy or loamy soils helps it thrive and ensures it gets enough moisture and nutrients from your garden. With its low-growing habit and vibrant flower colors, this forget-me-not’s mildews and rusts are another eye-catching addition to your garden.
Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing Plants for Water Features
Wind can be very damaging to small fountains if precautions are not taken. If the fountain is not anchored properly, it may succumb to strong winds and topple over. Additionally, deciduous trees should be avoided when setting up a fountain as they will shed leaves in autumn, creating a mess around the area.
A protective barrier is the best way to shield your fountain from the wind. Good choices include latticework covered with vines or shrubs such as juniper or evergreens, which create dense foliage that can help reduce the force of the wind in your area.
However, ensure that there is still some airflow through because if you completely block off the wind, you may end up with a devastating whirlwind focused on one spot – your fountain. Be sure to measure carefully and cover any gaps to keep your fountain safe from intense winds.
It is common for gardeners and homeowners to be eager to dedicate their outdoor landscapes to the centerpiece of a fountain. However, it is important not to rush into removing established trees in order to achieve this look. Trees that grow 50-75 feet tall can outlive their welcome, and their deep roots can create an imbalance with any fountains.
Leyland cypresses should also be avoided due to their fast-growing tendencies; they will overshadow the fountain quickly and won’t last long.
Willows are other trees that should be kept away as well since they tend to have deeper roots than other trees and require more water than others. Leaves, twigs, fruit, acorns, and petals from these various trees can create an accumulation inside a fountain or pool of water – which can affect recirculation pumps or change the color of the water alone – so avoiding these types of trees is important for fountain longevity.
Too often, people forget to consider the safety risks associated with certain plants when setting up their backyard fountains. Yews, hollies, azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels can all be toxic to humans and animals if their leaves enter your fountain’s water supply. If these plants are planted too close to a fountain, the leaves can accumulate in the water, making them poisonous.
Not only is this unhealthy for people or pets who might take a sip from the diseased water supply, but toxins can also harm birds and butterflies nearby. To minimize risk, keep your fountain landscaping project as simple as possible – especially if you’re new to fountains – and keep plants at bay from the water source. This will help eliminate any concerns about toxicity and ensure everyone remains safe while enjoying the beauty of your backyard feature.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1. What plants grow best on wetlands?
When selecting plants for a water feature or pond, choosing plants that thrive in wet conditions is important. Wetland plant species are adapted to living in constantly saturated soils and standing water. These plants can absorb oxygen directly from the air through their leaves and stem, making them highly suitable for aquatic environments.
2. Do any plants like wet feet?
Yes, there are a variety of plants that do well with consistently wet feet. These plants thrive in areas where their roots can remain moist and include water-loving varieties such as reeds, cattails, irises, horsetails, sedges, rushes, and papyrus. Ferns also tend to thrive in wetter environments and can be a great way to add texture and color to your water feature.
3. Which plants like a shower?
There are some tropical house plants that thrive in humid environments, such as Monsteras, Rhaphidophoras, Philodendrons, and Alocasias, which are often found in humid environments thanks to a good shower.
4. Does aloe vera need sunlight?
To ensure your aloe receives adequate sunlight, place it in a window that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. You will lose your succulent’s attractive, compact shape if you do not provide extended, direct light. As the stem becomes weak, it may fall over.
5. Are there any zero light plants?
There are spider plants, ferns, dracenas, snake plants, fittonias, nephytis butterflies, pothos, and ZZ plants. In our loft bathroom, we placed all eight plants. As a result of the frequent showers, there is no light in the room.
When selecting plants for a water feature, choosing plants that thrive in wet conditions and can absorb oxygen directly from the air is important. Additionally, some tropical house plants such as Monsteras, Rhaphidophoras, Philodendrons and Alocasias do well with extra humidity from showers. Plant those and make your own little forest in no time.