Aquatic Plants & Marginal Plants

Aquatic Plants & Marginal Plants

Aquatic and marginal plants play a vital role in water features by offering shade, oxygen, and food. They can transform a still pond into a flourishing ecosystem and enhance the natural appeal of any garden.

Not only do they add beauty to our outdoor spaces, but they also provide a home for wildlife. Whether your garden or water feature is man-made or natural, these plants are a crucial element.

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants offer essential contributions to aquatic ecosystems. They enhance water oxygenation, provide a habitat for fish, and decompose organic matter, resulting in reduced pollutants. Moreover, these plants stabilize soil beds and prevent erosion along shorelines while being aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to their contributions to aquatic ecosystems, there are many other benefits to aquatic plants that are worth noting.

Here are a few:

  • Aquatic plants can serve as a natural filtration system, helping to purify water by removing pollutants and excess nutrients. This can be especially important in areas where water quality is poor, such as in agricultural regions or near urban centres.
  • Some species of aquatic plants are edible and can be used as a food source for humans or animals. For example, water chestnuts are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, while some species of duckweed are eaten by waterfowl.
  • Aquatic plants can also be used for medicinal purposes. Many traditional medicines, especially in Asian cultures, use extracts from aquatic plants to treat a variety of ailments such as inflammation, fever, and pain.
  • Finally, the presence of aquatic plants can have a positive impact on human mental health. Research has shown that spending time near water, specifically around aquatic plants, can reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve overall well-being.

Overall, the benefits of aquatic plants are numerous and wide-ranging, making them an important part of the natural world and a valuable resource for humans.

Submerged Plants

Submerged plants are crucial to aquatic ecosystems in freshwater bodies like lakes, ponds, and rivers. They grow entirely underwater and play a vital role in maintaining overall water health.

These plants filter and purify water by taking up nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which helps prevent excessive algae growth and provides a habitat for aquatic wildlife. However, human activities such as pollution and development threaten many submerged plant species.

Emergent Plants

Emergent plants are aquatic plants that grow tall stems above the water in shallow areas. They play a vital role in maintaining the health of freshwater ecosystems by filtering pollutants through their roots. They also provide a habitat for fish, birds, and insects, which is crucial for the survival of many species.

In addition to their ecological benefits, emergent plants also have cultural significance. Many indigenous communities around the world use these plants for medicinal purposes, as they contain compounds that can be used to treat various illnesses.

Furthermore, emergent plants are also important for recreation. They provide scenic views and opportunities for activities such as fishing, birdwatching, and kayaking. Many parks and nature reserves around the world have incorporated these plants into their design to enhance the visitor experience.

Floating Plants

Floating plants are a beautiful and unique addition to any aquatic environment. They don’t need soil or a substrate, as they float on the water’s surface. They can absorb excess nutrients from the water, preventing algae growth, and providing shade and shelter for fish, reducing stress and improving their health.

They’re also very easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners or those with busy schedules. Just add them to the water and let them do their thing!

Marginal Plants

Marginal plants grow at the edges of water bodies and play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance. They absorb nutrients and pollutants from water, acting as a natural filtration system and preventing algae growth. These plants come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and are popular for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of landscape design.

Marginal plants also provide habitat for wildlife that rely on wetlands for survival.

Advantages of Aquatic & Marginal Plants

Aquatic and marginal plants are a valuable addition to any garden as they enhance the appearance of water features and offer a natural habitat for wildlife. They come in striking colours that add depth and character to ponds or water gardens.

These plants filter out pollutants and absorb excess nutrients, which helps maintain clear water and promotes fish health. Some aquatic plants also produce oxygen during photosynthesis, which regulates the amount of dissolved oxygen in the pond.

They also serve as shelter for fish and food sources for insects like dragonflies and damselflies, creating a natural ecosystem.


Aquatic plants and marginal plants offer many benefits to water garden enthusiasts. They come in a range of colours, shapes, and textures, making them a beautiful addition to any pond or container water garden. Choosing the right varieties for sun or shade will add visual interest and help maintain water cleanliness.

With proper care, these plants can create an inviting oasis for wildlife viewing and pond enjoyment. In short, they are a great addition to any water garden.

Tony Augustine

About the author

In 2012, I helped establish KJA & Sons and have been deeply engaged in many swimming pool initiatives ever since. My expertise lies in designing filters for chlorine-free swimming pools, as well as living water gardens, koi fish ponds etc.