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The Best Tropical Plants for Around Your Pond
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The Best Tropical Plants for Around Your Pond

Your backyard pond is a tranquil escape, a place to unwind and reconnect with nature. A beautiful pond deserves an equally beautiful setting. The right landscaping plants not only enhance the visual appeal of your water feature, but also play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for your pond's residents. You can create a tropical paradise in your backyard with the right plants.

Embrace the Tropics: Lush Options for Any Pond

Here are some stunning plant picks to create a vibrant, tropical atmosphere around your pond, regardless of your specific climate zone (be sure to check local regulations for invasive plants before choosing):

    • Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta): Make a bold statement with these dramatic plants. Their large, heart-shaped leaves come in various colors and sizes, adding a touch of the exotic. In colder zones, the tubers can be stored for winter and planted again in the spring.

    • Canna Lily (Canna x generalis): Not just for the water's edge! Plant cannas with vibrant blooms in shades of red, yellow, and orange further back from the pond to add a splash of color in moist soil. These too can be dug up and stored until spring in colder climates.

    • Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis): Towering spikes of red blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies, adding a burst of color from summer to fall. Thrives in moist soil and survives in most zones.

    • Golden Variegated Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus 'Ogon'): This eye-catching plant features green and gold striped foliage, brightening shady areas near the pond. Thrives in zone 5 and beyond.

    • Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris): This ornamental grass thrives in moist soil and creates a soft, textural effect with its airy pink flower plumes in late summer. It can survive winters up to zone 5.

Beyond the Basics: Adding Unique Touches

    • Rice Paddy Grass (Oryza sativa): This ornamental grass adds a unique textural element and can be grown in plant baskets placed at the water's edge.

    • Water Bamboo (Equisetum fluviatile): (Note: Water bamboo can be mildly invasive, so be sure to plant it in a container.) This prehistoric-looking plant thrives in moist soil and adds a touch of whimsy to your pond.

Classic Pond Plants for All Climates

    • Cattail (Typha latifolia): These classic pond plants provide shelter and food for wildlife, while also helping filter runoff. 

    • Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata): A popular emergent plant with attractive purple-blue flowers in summer, growing up to three feet tall. Attracts mosquito-eating dragonflies, making it a great choice for all ponds.

Creating a Thriving Ecosystem

When choosing plants, consider their mature size and spacing requirements. Opt for native plants whenever possible, but with careful planning and plant selection you can transform your backyard pond into a true tropical paradise, a vibrant escape that will bring you closer to nature.



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