Plants That Grow In Water (11 To Check Out)


Sometimes you just need to grow plants without soil.  Well, after reading this list of plants that grow in water, you can!

So, what are some plants that grow in water?  Plants that grow in water include: Bald Cypress, Cider Gum, Common Nardoo, Drummond’s Maple, Java Fern, Mosquito Plant, Pacific Willow, Seaside Alder, Tupelo Gum, Turtleweed, and White Texas Star Hibiscus.  Some of these plants have attractive foliage or flowers as well!

Of course, some of these plants prefer full sun, while others tolerate partial or full shade.

In this article, we’ll talk about 11 plants that grow in water.  We’ll also take a look at what they need for light, water, and other important growth factors.

Let’s get started.

11 Plants That Grow In Water

If you have a pond or lakefront property that needs some decorating, here are 11 plants that can grow in water:

  • Bald Cypress
  • Cider Gum
  • Common Nardoo
  • Drummond’s Maple
  • Java Fern
  • Mosquito Plant
  • Pacific Willow
  • Seaside Alder
  • Tupelo Gum
  • Turtleweed
  • White Texas Star Hibiscus

Let’s begin with Bald Cypress.

Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a perennial deciduous tree with needles that produces tiny (less than 1 inch) green flowers.

Bald Cypress
Bald Cypress is a perennial deciduous tree that can survive in water.

Bald Cypress needs wet moisture levels, and it can survive in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Bald Cypress needs full sun.  It prefers acidic soil (pH of 5.6 to 6.5).

Bald Cypress can tolerate severe cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 4a (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or –34 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of up to 100 feet, with a width of up to 35 feet.

You can propagate Bald Cypress by stem cuttings or by seeds from the cones.

You can learn more about Bald Cypress from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Bald Cypress from Wilson Bros Gardens.

Cider Gum

Cider Gum (Eucalyptus gunnii) is a perennial evergreen tree with fragrant leaves that produces small (1 to 2 inch) fragrant white flowers.

Cider Gum
Cider Gum is a perennial evergreen tree with fragrant leaves that can survive in water.
Image courtesy of user:
Peter Barr via:
Wikimedia Commons:
https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Eucalyptus_gunnii,_
(Cider_Gum)_,_
Inverewe_Gardens_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1526732.jpg

Cider Gum needs moderate to wet moisture levels, and it can survive in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Cider Gum prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade.  It prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH of 5.6 to 7.3).

Cider Gum can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 8a (as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit or –12 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of up to 80 feet, with a width of up to 50 feet.

You can propagate Cider Gum by stem cuttings or by seeds.

You can learn more about Cider Gum from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Cider Gum from Direct Gardening.

Common Nardoo

Common Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) is a perennial aquatic fern native to Australia that grows rhizomes and floats on the top of water.

Common Nardoo
Common Nardoo is a perennial aquatic fern native to Australia.
Image courtesy of user:
Casliber via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/
wiki/File:Marsilea_
drummondii_
cropped.jpg

Common Nardoo lives in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Common Nardoo prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade.  It prefers acidic to neutral water.

Common Nardoo cannot tolerate much cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 10a (as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit or –1 degree Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 6 inches, and it can spread out quite far in water.

You can propagate Common Nardoo by division.

You can learn more about Common Nardoo from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Common Nardoo from the Conservation Collective.

Drummond’s Maple

Drummond’s Maple or Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is a perennial deciduous tree with red leaves that produces tiny (less than 1 inch) red flowers in late winter or spring.

Red Maple
Drummond’s Maple or Red Maple is a perennial deciduous tree that can survive in water.

Drummond’s Maple tolerates a variety of moisture levels, and it can survive in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Drummond’s Maple prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade.  It prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.3).

Drummond’s Maple can tolerate severe cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 3a (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or –40 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 60 to 90 feet, with a width of up to 40 feet.

You can propagate Drummond’s Maple by stem cuttings or by seeds.

You can learn more about Drummond’s Maple from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Drummond’s Maple from Native Wildflowers Nursery.

Java Fern

Java Fern (Leptochilus pteropus) is a perennial evergreen fern with green leaves that produces rhizomes and tolerates humidity.  It is also epiphytic (meaning it grows on other trees or plants).

Java Fern
Java Fern is a perennial evergreen fern that can survive in water.

Java Fern tolerates moderate to wet moisture levels, and it can survive in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Java Fern prefers partial shade.  It prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.3).

Java Fern cannot tolerate cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 12 (as cold as 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet.

You can propagate Java Fern by division.

You can learn more about Java Fern from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Java Fern from Live Aquaria.

Mosquito Plant

Mosquito Plant (Azolla caroliniana) is an annual green fern that looks like duckweed or moss.

Mosquito Plant
Mosquito Plant is an annual green fern that looks like duckweed or moss and can survive in water.
Image courtesy of user:
JDM90 via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Azolla_caroliniana_
15-09-2012.JPG

Mosquito Plant tolerates grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Mosquito Plant can tolerate full sun or partial shade.  It can tolerate a range of acid or alkaline media (pH of 4.5 to 9.1).

Mosquito Plant can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 7b (as cold as 5 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of less than 6 inches.

You can propagate Mosquito Plant by spores.

You can learn more about Mosquito Plant from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Mosquito Plant from Pond Megastore.

Pacific Willow

Pacific Willow (Salix lucida) is a perennial deciduous tree that produces showy small (1 to 2 inch) yellow flowers in spring.

Pacific Willow
Pacific Willow is a perennial deciduous tree that can survive in water.

Pacific Willow tolerates wet conditions and grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Pacific Willow can tolerate full sun or partial shade.  It can tolerate a range of acid or alkaline media (pH of 6.1 to 7.8).

Pacific Willow can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 5a (as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or -29 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 30 to 40 feet.

You can propagate Pacific Willow by cuttings.

You can learn more about Pacific Willow from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Pacific Willow from Plants of the Wild.

Seaside Alder

Seaside Alder (Alnus maritima) is a perennial deciduous shrub that produces yellow flowers in fall.

Seaside Alder
Seaside Alder is a perennial deciduous shrub that can survive in water.

Seaside Alder tolerates moderate to wet moisture conditions and grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Seaside Alder can tolerate full sun or partial shade.  It can tolerate a range of acid or alkaline media (pH of 6.1 to 7.8).

Seaside Alder can tolerate severe cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 4a (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 10 to 30 feet, with a width of 10 to 30 feet.

You can propagate Seaside Alder by softwood cuttings.

You can learn more about Seaside Alder from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

Tupelo Gum

Tupelo Gum (Nyssa aquatica) is a perennial deciduous tree that produces white flowers in late spring or early summer.

Tupelo Gum
Tupelo Gum is a perennial deciduous tree that produces white flowers and can survive in water.
Image courtesy of user:
Paul Bolstad, University of Minnesota via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nyssa_
aquatica_tree.jpg

Tupelo Gum tolerates wet conditions and grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Tupelo Gum needs full sun.  It can tolerate acidic media (pH of 5.5 to 6.5).

Tupelo Gum can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 6a (as cold as -10 degrees Fahrenheit or -23 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 60 to 100 feet.

You can propagate Tupelo Gum by cuttings or seeds.

You can learn more about Tupelo Gum from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Tupelo Gum from Arbor Day Foundation.

Turtleweed

Turtleweed (Batis maritima) is a perennial succulent shrub that produces showy tiny (less than 1 inch) white flowers in summer.

Turtleweed
Turtleweed is a perennial succulent shrub that can survive in water.

Turtleweed tolerates wet conditions and grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

Turtleweed can tolerate full sun or partial shade.  It can tolerate acidic media (pH of 5.1 to 6.5).

Turtleweed can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 7a (as cold as 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet, with a width of 2 to 6 feet.

You can propagate Turtleweed by division, layering, or stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Turtleweed from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

White Texas Star Hibiscus

White Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is a perennial evergreen shrub that produces showy white flowers in spring, summer, or fall.

White Texas Star Hibiscus
White Texas Star Hibiscus is a perennial evergreen shrub that can survive in water.
Image courtesy of user:
Jim Evans via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_Texas_
Star_hibiscus_–_Hibiscus_coccineus.jpg

White Texas Star Hibiscus tolerates moderate to wet conditions and grows in water, making it suitable for pondscaping or lakefront property.

White Texas Star Hibiscus prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade.  It prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH of 5.6 to 7.8).

White Texas Star Hibiscus can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 6a (as cold as -10 degrees Fahrenheit or –23 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 6 to 10 feet, with a width of 6 feet.

You can propagate White Texas Star Hibiscus by stem cuttings, tip cuttings, or cane cuttings.

You can learn more about White Texas Star Hibiscus from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find White Texas Star Hibiscus from Wilson Bros Gardens.

Conclusion

Now you know about 11 plants that grow in water and how to take care of them.  They might provide inspiration to help you to improve your landscape.

For more interesting plants, check out my article on 10 epiphytic plants (these ones climb on top of other plants or trees as the grow!)

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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