Pond Plants and Fish

A small pool complete with pond plants and fish make an interesting and beautiful corner of the garden. Choosing the right pond plants and fish will ensure that your garden pond has a long healthy life.

When combining pond plants and fish, it is worthwhile to think of how the fish will interact with the plants. For instance, the large popular Koi fish have a tendency to dig in potted plants. Plants can be protected somewhat by placing netting over the soil in the pots. When compared to standard goldfish, koi need more depth and larger ponds. They are also more expensive and less hardy than goldfish.


Goldfish are easy to care for, inexpensive, don't need much room, and get along well with other pond plants and fish. You can keep them easily in a smaller garden pond. There are some other varieties of suitable fish, but like goldfish, most are in the carp family.

The shubunkin is a tricolored carp that grows to about ten inches. The Sarasa fan is a fantailed fish that is usually red and white in color. A small fish that works well in small ponds is the rainbow dace. They eat mosquito larvae but leave pond plants alone.

Pond Plants

A discussion of pond plants and fish is incomplete without talking about water lilies and lotuses. Water lilies come in tropical varieties and hardy varieties. The hardy plants are better to use in cool climates and are easy to care for.

The tropical water lilies need a warm climate and will not survive a cold winter. In a temperate climate, the two types can be used together for the longest possible blooming season. Lotus plants have to be ordered and require special soil for best results.

Potted annuals, such as impatiens, can be submerged in their pots. In a pool with pond plants and fish, it's important to cover the soil with netting to keep digging fish, such as koi, out of the soil. There are also some underwater plants, such as Elodea, Camboda, and Anachris that can be purchased for fish ponds.

When caring for pond plants and fish, you have to trim the plants back in the late fall. This is so they don't die and fall into the pool. The decaying plant matter can spoil your pond and make the fish sick.