What Do I Plant Around My Pond?

Apr 14, 2011
You've decided you want to add some color and definition around your pond. You also know that creating a vegetative buffer around your precious water resource is vital on many levels. Attracting a variety of waterfowl and other wildlife is desirable also. There are so many advantages to having vegetation, but the question is...What do you plant?

Selecting plants is a lot more difficult when a body of water is involved. There are additional considerations that have to be taken. Erosion control has to be of utmost importance.

Nutrient and pollutant filtering should also be of a high priority, considering it is one of the major causes of poor water quality and algae growth. Plants native to your area should always take precedence. Woody plants and shrubs too close to the bank can destabilize the compaction of the slope and speed up the erosion process; but, if they are planted far enough away from the slope, they can be highly beneficial. They can soak up a lot of the nutrients and filter contaminates before they ever reach the bank, and can also slow down the speed at which water runoff travels and suspends particles. Canopy interception of rainfall can also be helpful.

In the upland areas around the edge of a pond, you should select plants that can survive and adapt to occasional mild flooding during storm events. If the soil around the pond is particularly acidic, sandy, or of a compacted clay or rock, this might limit your options. Some suggestions of hardy plant types that fair well in a variety of applications that I've chosen are Red Maple, Bald Cypress, Black Willow, Elderberry, Black Cherry, Silky Dogwood, and Buttonbush. If you know for certain that the area never gets flooded, you can probably choose just about any tree or shrub that would typically thrive in that soil condition.

Apr 22, 2011
I'm looking to make some plants with as little attention as possible plants that return every spring and will not be great to block the view of the courtyard looking towards the pond. Nutrient and pollutant filtering should also be of a high priority, considering it is one of the main causes of poor water quality and algal growth.