Water Plants

Water Gardening...A Little Piece of Serenity

Water gardening can be as simple as filling a decorative container with water, adding a pump and placing a selection of water plants within it. On the other end of the spectrum is a full blown pond. Whichever type of water gardener you are, we've got outdoor plants for you during the growing season. The start of our water plant availability is weather dependent but typically we offer water plants from Mid-May through Summer.

TIP! Keeping it Clean: A water garden should not be as clear as a swimming pool but instead, should be clear enough to see the bottom. In the beginning, expect the water to change from green to clear, but have some green slime on the sides. This is string algae which provides 60% of the oxygen in the water. It may take an entire season for a water garden to become balanced. In the meantime, foam on the surface with a sulfur smell is natural. In the cool weather of spring and fall, the garden may have an algae bloom making it look like pea soup. This can be resolved by adding bacteria that eats excessive nutrients that cause algae bloom. For seasonal maintenance tips click here.

Note: Water gardens of any size, though beautiful, can breed mosquitoes. We recommend you periodically treat your water with Mosquito Bits/Dunks as mosquitoes in Colorado can carry West Nile Virus.

Submerged Plants

These are deep water plants with the growing point and roots below the surface.
Leaves remain on the surface and flowers, on or above the surface.

Hardy Water Lilies (Nymphaea)

The floating foliage of lilies helps reduce the abundance of algae. When resting at the bottom of the pond, they will survive harsh winters under a foot of ice as long as their roots do not freeze.


Floating Plants

These plants simply float on the water's surface, roots submerged with no soil content needed. These types of plants tend to be lush and prolific helping to provide surface cover, which helps reduce algae. They also help keep the water temperature cool which helps the water retain oxygen.

Types Of Floating Plants We Offer
  • Frogbit (Hydrocharis)
  • Water Hyacinth (Eichornia)
  • Water Lettuce (Pistia)

Marginal Plants

These types of plants border a water garden's inner perimeter, creating a natural border. Roots are submerged but leaves and flowers are clearly above the surface. Marginals assist the garden's balance by absorbing heavy metals and other pollutants. They also absorb nutrients from the water, thereby preventing algae growth. Most will only tolerate being submerged 1"-2" below the surface.

Types of Marginal Plants We Offer
  • Arrowhead (Sagittaria)
  • Cattail (Typha)
  • Dwarf and Variegated
  • Chameleon (Houttuynia)
  • Corkscrew Rush (Juncus)
  • Dwarf Bamboo (Dulichium)
  • Dwarf Papyrus (Papyrus)
  • Iris –Red, White, Yellow (Iris)
  • Lizard's Tail (Sauruus)
  • Marsh Marigold (Caltha)
  • Miniature Spearwort (Rannunculus)
  • Pennywort (Hydrocotyle)
  • Primrose Creeper (Ludwigia)
  • Purple Pickerel Rush (Pontederia)
  • Spike Rush (Eleocharis)
  • Sweetflag (Acorus)
  • Taro (Colocasia)
  • Underwater Grass (Glyceria)
  • Watercress (Nasturtium)
  • Water Clover (Marsilea)
  • Water Plantains (Alisma)
  • Water Poppy (Hydrocleys)
  • Variegated Water Celery (Oenanthe)
  • Zebra Rush (Scirpus)
Map of Colorado Springs with Phelan Gardens location marked

Visit Our Central Colorado Springs Location

We are open all year round and always offer the seasons most popular varieties for gardeners and plant lovers alike!

Phelan Gardens
4955 Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918

(719) 574-8058

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A photograph of various signs that point to sections of Phelan Gardens such as Perennials, Vines, Grasses and more
Phelan Gardens Perennials section of their store