Best Pond Plants For Algae Control

By Amod Khan

Updated on

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Algae might appear insignificant at first, but it can cause big problems for your pond. 

Algae blooms can make your pond look unattractive, covering the water surface with a slimy green or brown layer that’s tough to get rid of. 

These blooms also gobble up extra nutrients like phosphates and nitrates, which often come from fertilizers, animal waste, or other sources. 

This nutrient consumption can harm other plants and creatures living in the pond by creating a shortage of essential nutrients.

Plus, algae can use up oxygen in the water, which isn’t good for fish and other pond critters.

That’s why it’s super important to keep algae growth under control in your pond. Ponds are beautiful places that add a calming vibe to outdoor areas.

But keeping them looking nice can be tricky, especially when dealing with algae.

There are different ways to deal with algae, but adding the right water plants to your pond can be a natural and effective solution.

This article explores the best pond plants for algae control, as well as submerged plants for shelter and oxygenation. 

Additionally, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to add plants to your pond and offer tips for maintaining a natural water garden.

Why Should I Add Water Plants to My Pond

1. Controlling Algae

Algae can dirty your pond water and mess up the balance of the ecosystem. 

But some plants, like water hyacinth and lettuce, fight against algae by using the nutrients it needs to grow. This helps keep the water clear and clean.

2. Increasing Oxygen

Plants in the water add oxygen to it. They do this through photosynthesis, where they take in sunlight and release oxygen. 

This oxygen is important for fish and other creatures in the water to stay healthy. 

Some plants that grow underwater, like anacharis and hornwort, are especially good at making oxygen.

3. Cleaning the Water

Pond plants act like natural water purifiers, absorbing extra nutrients and contaminants from the water. 

This not only makes the water better but also reduces the chances of harmful algae outbreaks. This natural cleaning process keeps your pond’s ecosystem balanced.

4. Providing Habitat

Aquatic plants provide shelter, places to breed, and food for various water creatures like fish, frogs, and helpful bugs. 

When you add different types of plants to your pond, you’re creating a rich environment that supports a healthy ecosystem.

5. Preventing Soil Erosion

The roots of water plants help hold the soil together along the edge of the pond. 

This stops erosion caused by water flow and runoff, keeping the soil intact and your pond’s banks strong.

6. Adding Beauty

In addition to their ecological benefits, water plants add charm and beauty to your pond.

Whether it’s the colourful flowers of water lilies or the gentle movement of submerged plants, aquatic vegetation can make your pond a beautiful retreat.

7. Controlling Pests

Certain water plants, like specific types of floating plants, can naturally control mosquito numbers by providing breeding spots for mosquito predators such as dragonflies and frogs.

This natural pest control approach reduces the need for chemical treatments.

Adding water plants to your pond can make it a better home for your fish and other water creatures.

It helps make the water cleaner and nicer for them to live in. With fewer algae and more oxygen, your pond will become a happier and healthier place for all its inhabitants to enjoy.

List of Best Pond Plants For Algae Control

home pond

1. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)

This rapidly growing, delicate plant offers great shade and outcompetes other plants for nutrients in your pond. Plus, it’s easy to care for and can thrive in various water conditions.

2. Water Lilies (Nymphaea spp.)

These stunning flowering plants not only add beauty to your pond but also play a crucial role in shading the water, which helps prevent algae overgrowth.

With a wide range of colours and sizes available, there’s a perfect fit for every pond style.

3. Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

A fast-growing floater, water lettuce is excellent at soaking up excess nutrients from the water. 

Just be mindful of its potential to spread aggressively in some regions, so it’s wise to check local regulations before introducing it.

4. Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Like water lettuce, water hyacinth is a top-notch nutrient absorber, but its invasive tendencies have led to bans in many areas.

5. Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

With its charming heart-shaped leaves, pickerelweed thrives in shallow waters and helps filter your pond thanks to its extensive root system. It also offers fish shade and shelter.

6. Water Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

Adding a splash of color with its tall yellow flowers, the water iris not only looks gorgeous but also assists in nutrient absorption, adding visual interest to your pond.

7. Duckweed (Lemna spp.)

While duckweed can spread rapidly, it can be a useful tool in controlling algae growth by shading the water’s surface and soaking up extra nutrients.

8. Pickerel Weed

Sporting lovely blue flowers, this emergent plant competes effectively for nutrients, limiting algae growth, and providing hiding spots for fish.

9. Creeping Jenny

This adaptable plant can be used either as a marginal or submerged species. 

It contributes to shading the water and outcompeting algae for nutrients, offering versatility to your pond’s ecosystem.

Choosing the right plants for your pond depends on its size, how much sunlight it gets, and the kind of fish you have. 

It’s a good plan to talk to someone who knows a lot about ponds before you put any new plants in.

Submerged Plants for Shelter and Oxygenation of Water

1. Anacharis (Egeria densa)

Anacharis, also known as Brazilian waterweed, is a favoured choice for adding both shelter and oxygen to aquatic environments. 

Its long, slender stems adorned with vibrant green leaves grow rapidly, forming dense underwater habitats. 

Anacharis is easy to maintain and also helps in controlling algae growth.

2. Elodea (Elodea spp.)

Commonly called waterweed, Elodea is a flexible submerged plant known for its ability to oxygenate the water and provide refuge. 

Its dense growth helps clarify water by absorbing excess nutrients and offers a haven for fish and invertebrates seeking shelter.

3. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Hornwort is a fast-growing aquatic plant that can be anchored or left to float freely. 

With its delicate branching structure, it forms dense underwater ecosystems supporting aquatic life and enhancing oxygen levels by releasing oxygen into the water.

4. Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum spp.)

Water milfoil is another valuable submerged plant known for oxygenation and sheltering aquatic organisms. 

Its feather-like foliage provides hiding spots for small fish while aiding in nutrient absorption, thus contributing to maintaining water quality.

5. Cabomba caroliniana (Fanwort)

With elegant, feathery green leaves, Cabomba caroliniana, or Fanwort, serves as both a shelter and oxygenator in aquatic settings. 

Available in various hues such as green, red, and bronze, it adds sophistication to aquariums and ponds while providing refuge for aquatic life.

6. Vallisneria (Vallisneria spp.)

Also known as eelgrass or tape grass, Vallisneria is a favoured option for oxygenation and providing shelter in aquatic environments. 

Its elongated, ribbon-like leaves offer coverage for fish and other aquatic creatures, releasing oxygen throughout the day to maintain optimal water conditions.

How to Add Plants to Your Pond: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Choose the Right Plants

When choosing plants for your pond, aim for a diverse mix of submerged, floating, and marginal varieties. 

Consider factors like your pond’s size, sunlight exposure, and water depth to ensure you pick plants that will thrive in your specific pond environment.

2. Get everything ready

Gather all the necessary materials before you start planting. You’ll need pond baskets, special aquatic planting material (not regular soil), gravel or pebbles for anchoring, and scissors or pruning shears to trim the plants.

3. Pick the right containers

Opt for aquatic planting baskets or pots that have holes in them to let water flow through.

Make sure the containers you choose are suitable for the size of the plants you’re putting in them. This will provide a good environment for your plants to grow and thrive.

4. Time to plant the submerged ones

These plants are great for adding oxygen to the water and creating homes for fish and other aquatic critters. 

Put them in planting baskets filled with special aquatic soil and make sure those baskets are firmly anchored to keep them from floating up to the surface.

5. Introduce Floating Plants

Floating plants offer shade, control algae growth, and provide refuge for fish. Simply place them on the water’s surface, allowing them to float freely.

6. Time to plant the marginal ones

These plants love growing in shallow water right at the edges of the pond. Put them in areas where the water is shallow or in planting baskets placed at the water’s edge. 

Make sure the top part of the plant is above the waterline while the roots are submerged.

7. If needed, consider fertilizing

Certain aquatic plants might do better with fertilizer tablets designed specifically for pond plants. 

Just make sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer regarding how and how much to apply.

8. Keep up with plant care

Make sure to clean out any dead or rotting plant bits to stop them from building up in the pond. 

Trim back any plants that are growing too much to keep the ecosystem balanced and prevent things from getting too crowded. 

Also, keep an eye on the water quality by checking the pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels regularly to make sure they’re right for the plants to thrive.

9. Monitor Growth and Adjust 

Keep an eye on plant growth and make changes as necessary: Watch how your plants are growing and adjust where they’re placed or how many you have accordingly. 

Some plants might spread quickly and need thinning to prevent them from overwhelming the pond.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively introduce plants to your pond and establish a flourishing aquatic habitat. 

Tips for Maintaining A Natural Water Garden


1. Regular Clean-Ups: Spend some time each week tidying up your pond. Remove any debris, dead leaves, or excess plant material from both the surface and bottom of the pond. 

This prevents the buildup of nutrients and keeps your water clear.

2. Trim and Thin Plants: Keep your water plants in check by trimming them when they start getting too big and crowded. This ensures proper water flow and oxygenation.

3. Water Quality Check: Test your pond water regularly for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to maintain its health. 

Early detection of issues allows for quick fixes, keeping your fish and plants happy.

4. Care for Your Fish: If you have fish in your pond, give them proper attention. 

Feed them appropriately, monitor their health, and keep the water clean. Avoid overfeeding to prevent water problems and algae growth.

5. Use Beneficial Bacteria: Add beneficial bacteria supplements to break down waste and reduce nutrient levels, promoting a balanced ecosystem and preventing algae overgrowth.

6. Adjust for Seasons: Adapt your maintenance and plant care routine according to seasonal changes. 

Boost plants with fertilizer in spring and prepare for winter by trimming and protecting them from frost in fall.

7. Support Wildlife: Create habitats for wildlife like frogs, turtles, and birds with features like floating logs or rocks. Avoid using pesticides or herbicides near your pond to protect aquatic life.

8. Keep Learning: Stay updated on the latest water gardening techniques by reading books, attending workshops, and seeking advice from experienced gardeners.

Continuous learning helps you improve and tackle any challenges that arise.

By putting these tips into practice and actively maintaining your water garden, you’ll be able to delight in a lovely and thriving pond that enriches the natural allure of your outdoor environment for many years ahead.


By adding the right kinds of water plants to your pond, you can make a healthy environment where algae don’t grow too much. 

These plants, whether they live underwater or float on top, help keep the water clean and make a nice home for animals like fish and frogs. 

By picking the right plants and taking good care of them, your pond can be a beautiful place where nature thrives for a long time.


What is the fastest way to get rid of algae in a pond?

The quickest way to get rid of algae in a pond is by using an algaecide, which is a chemical that kills algae.
However, it’s important to use it carefully and follow the instructions to avoid harming other plants and animals in the pond.

Which fish eat algae in a pond?

Several types of fish can help control algae in a pond by eating it.
Common algae-eating fish include certain species of catfish, koi, goldfish, and some types of carp.

Do floating plants prevent algae?

Yes, floating plants can help prevent algae growth in a pond by shading the water and reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the algae.
Additionally, floating plants compete with algae for nutrients, which can further inhibit its growth.

Does baking soda clear pond water?

Baking soda can be used to raise the pH level of pond water, which may help to clarify it temporarily.
However, it’s not a long-term solution for clearing pond water, especially if the cloudiness is caused by other factors like excess nutrients or algae blooms.
It’s essential to address the underlying issues causing water clarity problems for a more effective solution.

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