Koi Pond designers add plants to their pond designs to improve the overall look of the pond. Plants can also help your koi live better lives but owners should make the right choices when picking the aquatic plants that will co-exist with your beloved pets. Plant placement should also be done the right way to make sure that they won’t just be eaten by your koi. We all know that oxygen levels are vital in a pond system. Aquatic plants automatically increase oxygen production in the water, they serve as natural aerators in your pond.

They can also give added shade for your koi during the warmer summer months. During the breeding season, plants play a vital role as they act as a place where female koi attach their fertilized eggs. If you want to keep your algae from spreading out of control, the shade that plants provide controls the incoming light into your pond. This results in lower photosynthesis of algae.

Here are some of the best choices for koi fish pond plants that you can introduce to your pond system.

Water Lilies

Water Lily Bundle - 4 Pre-Grown Hardy Lilies Rhizomes in Purple, Red, Yellow, Orange from AquaLeaf Aquatics
  • Drop and Grow - All lilies are pre-grown, just plant in a container and watch them grow!
  • You get 4 pre-grown rhizomes in Purple, Red, Yellow and Orange
  • Guaranteed to arrive alive and healthy. Helps create a natural bio-filter - Aquatic plants will produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide to enhance water quality in your pond or patio garden
  • Your perennial hardy water lily is meant to last for years to come. After growing has stopped in the fall, simply cut back foliage and keep your water lily at the bottom of your water garden during the winter months
  • Our water plants are grown using the latest technology and facility with a digital controlled nursery to ensure that our plants are diseases pest snail and algae free

One of the most popular choices for floating plants that have roots. A great addition if you live in any region in North America. You can pot them and leave at the bottom of your pond or have them on the surface to give koi that added protection from the sun. Koi will feed on their leaves and roots. If you don’t mind the regular maintenance then water lilies are a great choice for your pond. Take note that these plants can grow at an excessive rate

Water Lettuce

3 Water Lettuce - Easy Live Floating Pond Plants
  • IMPORTANT: Please note that during times of extreme weather, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures are expected to go below 20F at the lowest point during the day. During summer, avoid ordering plants when temperatures are above 100F.
  • You get 3 plants of about 3-5 inches in diameter. These are grown plants, ready to reproduce.
  • They serve as natural biofilters to your pond, helping clear the water naturally. Controls algae by absorbing nutrients from the water
  • Please note this plant ships with trimmed roots as sometimes they tend to fall off during transit due to heat. In case roots fall off upon receiving them, just place them in your pond and give them couple of weeks so they can re-establish themselves. If you live in areas experiencing above 90 temperatures, please make sure these plants are retrieved as soon as possible as extreme heat could kill these plants while in a box. Lastly, this plant can not ship to: AL, FL, SC, TX, WI, LA
  • Grown pesticide free in our California nursery

A perfect choice for ponds located in warm and tropical climates. These free-floating plants form a dense top cover for your koi. They help protect your fish from predators and gives shade during the warmer summer months. Just a few of these plants can cover an area up to 3 feet. It can adapt to any condition and needs minimal effort to maintain.

Water Hyacinth 

Water Hyacinths Floating Water Garden Plants (5 live plants)
  • Eichhornia crassipes - Floating Pond Plant
  • Height: 3-5", Width: 3-5", Depth: 3-5"
  • This plant CANNOT SHIP to: AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, LA, MN, MS, NE, PR, SC, TX, City of Chicago, WI

Another popular floating plant among koi owners which give added color due to their purple/blue flowers. They do an excellent job in filtering the water of excess nutrients. They can grow in shallow water or water that is several meters deep. A low maintenance plant that produces purple and blue flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds.

As with other floating plants, growth can get out of control so expect to implement regular maintenance procedures.


"Beautiful Dancer" (Pink) Oriental Lotus Live Aquatic Plant Grown in Licensed Florida Aquatics Plants Nursery
  • Live Pink Oriental Lotus Live Aquatic Plant
  • "Beautiful Dancer" Lotus Live Water Garden and Pond Plant
  • Lotus Koi Water Garden Live Plant
  • Lotus Live Plant Tubers - Annuals
  • Chinese "Zen" like Lotus Pond Plants

One of the oldest plants to add to your koi pond, these aquatic plants have leaves that can grow up to 18 inches across. This gives shade to your koi in the summer. The lotus flower is a stunner and smells great as well. They grow fast and are ideal for larger koi ponds. They need little to no maintenance but take note that they require lots of sun and low humidity to thrive.

Water Poppy

POND PLANT, WATER POPPY. (3 live plants)
  • Hydrocleys nymphoides
  • Water Poppy
  • Floating Pond Plant
  • Height: , Width: , Depth: Bare Root, 3 STEM BUNCH CUTTINGS

Add a nice touch of yellow to your pond by choosing water poppies. They flourish in the summertime and can help filter your water. They are great to look at when placed at the edges of your pond. Take note that they succumb to frosts.

Umbrella Plants

Umbrella Palm Plant - Rooted (not seeds) - Cyperus Alternifolius, Papyrus
  • Please note: If you live a cold area below 40 F, please choose priority shipping which will include a free heat pack with your plant so it won't freeze during shipping.

As their name implies, they feature umbrella-shaped leaves at the edge of long stalks. They perform well in tropical conditions and shallow water. Bring them in during the winter season as part of your maintenance routine. Ideal for ponds with a depth of 6 inches or less.

Water Iris

Lousiana Iris Plant - Red Velvet Elvis - 3 Mature Size Fans - Blooms 1st Year
  • 3 Fully Mature Iris Fans - 24 to 30 Inches Tall NOW - Will Bloom 1st Year
  • Hardy in Zones 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
  • Full Sun to Partial Sun - Accepts wide range of soils and water availability from moderate watering to pond / bog plant
  • Winner of the "Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal" in 2007 - the Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal is the highest award bestowed by the Society of Louisiana Irises
  • No shipments to ARIZONA

Another favorite among koi pond hobbyists, this plant comes in several different species. They are known for their long and sharp leaves and produce flowers that are either blue, yellow or white. You can plant them in pots and proceed to submerge them. They flourish in partial shade or full sun conditions. They are a welcome addition as they not only form a good cover for koi but also filters toxins from pond water.

You should only guard them against pests as part of your maintenance.


10 x Horsetail Plants for Koi Pond Bamboo Looking Exot
  • Horsetails are among the oldest of all plants; they once grew to tree heights in prehistoric days. It has unusual reed-like hollow jointed stems with a very high silica content, making it useful as an abrasive similar to that of a fine emery cloth.
  • Collect the leafless stems, dry briefly in the sun and tie them in bundles. Used to shine metal pans or give wood a final sanding. Also used as excellent fungicide for both plants and people suffering from athletics' foot and jock itch. Leaves are very unique, similar to twigs and are a unique touch in dried flower arrangements. Likes to be planted in boggy wet places, but will do well in any type of soil.
  • Due to varying conditions regarding germination like moisture and temperature or soil contamination also buyers experience and knowledge of seed germination with these factors I cannot guarantee germination rates. I do guarantee all seeds are fresh and germination tested to make sure seeds are good and viable.

A fast-growing plant that is great to add on the sides of your pond for shading purposes. This plant has been around for a long time and there is only one left of its kind. Koi will use them for shade but will rarely eat them. A good water filter for your pond but growth can get out of control if you don’t keep an eye on them.


Pond Oxygenating Hornwort Bunch Plants
  • IMPORTANT: Please note that during times of extreme weather, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures are expected to go below 20F at the lowest point during the day. During summer, avoid ordering plants when temperatures are above 100F.
  • This natural pond plant improves water quality by oxygenating and removing excess nutrients from pond water. Helps neutralize algae. Please be mindful that aquatic plants will always carry a risk of snails so do not order if they are a concern
  • Can be untied and left to float or can be placed at the bottom of the pond with the attached lead strip. Small fish and invertebrates can hide in its foliage from predators
  • Resilient to cold weather and very easy to grow. Please keep in mind Hornwort plants DO NOT root. Instead, they absorb nutrients through its stems unlike most aquatic plants.
  • One bunch per square foot of pond area is recommended. Grown and shipped directly from our California Nursery. SHIPS ONLY THROUGH USPS. DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO BE DROPPED BY UPS AT THE DOOR. PLEASE CHECK YOUR MAILBOX.

A submerged plant that helps increase oxygen levels in your pond. These plants can grow up to an inch per day so you better do the regular cutting. They are perfect for koi eggs during breeding but they need plenty of sunlight to survive.


200 Live Duckweed Plants (LEMNA Minor)
  • High in Protein
  • Koi love it
  • Duck Weed is a hardy free floating plant that is found around the planet, with low to moderate lighting requirements

A floating plant that features small green flowers that bloom on the surface. A big help to pond owners as they use up the dissolved CO2 in the water. They also give good cover for smaller koi, they are also great place for koi eggs to attach. 

Water Purslane

  • Ludwigia sedioides
  • Mosaic Plant
  • Floating Pond Plant
  • Height: 6-8", Width: 1-2", Depth: 1-2" Single Cutting

Pond owners choose the Red Ludwigia for their pond because they grow quickly and are good oxygenators. They can either be floated or submerged close to direct sunlight.

Selecting Plants for Your Pond

Now that you know the benefits of adding pond plants to your system you can now choose what’s best for your set up. Plants are great for adding valuable oxygen to your water and provide shelter and food for your koi. Other plant species soak up excess nutrients like fertilizers and harmful nitrates in the water. They can also act as natural temperature regulators as they provide shade during warmer conditions.  Serious breeders also need plants that serve as a secure place where koi eggs attach.  Before you buy a plant you need to figure out which type will work best for your fish and pond design. You can also spend less on feeding as koi love to munch on the roots of water lilies, water lettuce, and water hyacinth. Your koi also helps in controlling the plant growth on your pond

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