Top 39 Best Bog Plants For Ponds In 2024 | Hardy, Shade & Flowering – BackYard Alpha

Looking for the best gardening essentials online? Look no further than Backyard Alpha! We’ve got everything you need to create a beautiful, healthy pond in your backyard. Our selection of bog plants is perfect for adding a touch of greenery to your water feature. 

Not sure where to start? No problem! We also offer excellent gardening tips online to help you choose the right plants for your pond and keep them thriving. Plus, our online resource is full of the best gardening ideas to help you create a stunning outdoor space. So why wait? Start shopping for your gardening essentials today and transform your backyard into a peaceful oasis.

Visit our website now and learn everything there is for creating a stunning garden and backyard!

You’ll find some great options that are great for all your needs such as Shade, Flowering, Hardy, Small, and even plants that are great for beginners who just want to get their feet wet.

We also wanted to help you find the best plants out there, below are our favorite plants to buy in 2021:

  1. Best Hardy Bog Plants Great For Beginners: Arrowhead Sagittaria
  2. Best Bog Plants Good For Shade: Water hawthorn
  3. Best Submerged Bog Plants: Water Mimosa

Let’s go.

What Are Bog Plants?

A bog is essentially a wetland where peat accumulates. Acidic and low-nutrient water is present at the surface of bogs, due to which plant growth and breakdown of organic materials is relatively gradual.

Bog plants are semi-aquatic species that grow in places where the soil is damp but not fully underwater. One of the most well-known types of bog plants is carnivorous plants. However, some attractive flowering plants also grow in bogs, such as orchids.

Bog plants do not naturally require nutrients from the soil and can withstand acidity and a surplus of moisture. This explains why carnivorous plants thrive there, as they derive their nutrients from insects.

The Most Common Bog Plants List

If you have a soggy portion of land, you can create a bog garden to add a splash of color to our backyard. Here is a list of the most common types of bog plants:

Gunnera manicata

Gunner Manicata, also known as ‘giant rhubarb,’ features large and thick green leaves. It typically requires a large amount of space and can be grown quickly in a bog garden.

Calla Lily

These are a favorite when it comes to bogs. Calla Lily can thrive in up to 1 foot of water and tend to rise to 2-3 feet. Here are a few more lilies you can use in your pond.


Ligularia are unique plants with serrated leaves and a deep red underside. The tall flower spikes can provide a beautiful border for your bog garden.

‘Mars Madness’ Hibiscus

These red flowers bloom from midsummer to the beginning of fall. They are 6-8 inches wide with copper-toned leaves. This variety of hibiscus grows up to shrub size, that is, 4-4.5 feet tall.

Iris pseudacorus ‘Variegata’

They have straight leaves shaped like swords and decorated with white stripes. Around May, you can witness bright yellow flowers sprouting from these plants.

Rodgersia pinnata

These are pink-white and have a frothy appearance. The leaves o Rodgersia pinnata are large and chestnut-nut-like and can survive well, even in poor drainage.

Sugar Shack Buttonbush

The Sugar Shack Buttonbush feature a pleasant fragrance, beautiful flowers, and red fruit. The flowers usually bloom in the summertime and appeal to different types of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Tropical Pitcher Plants

They grow well in swampy and moist areas, making them perfect bog plants. Pitcher plants are carnivorous in nature and trap insects, worms, lizards, and spiders using a pouch of sticky sap.


Astilbe requires substantial moisture to grow through late spring to summer. As a result, their height can range from 6 inches to as much as 5 feet.

Cardinal Flower

This a red flower that grows in shady areas and appeals to hummingbirds. The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall, and the flowers can rise to 8 inches.

What Kind of Plants Grow In A Bog?

There are a variety of different plants that can flourish in your bog garden. If you like greenery, go for plants with large leaves, such as the gunnera. On the other hand, if you love flowers, try snowy-white zantedeschia that blooms all summer.

Hardy Bog Plants Great For Beginners

If you are a novice when it comes to bog gardening, here are some hardy bog plant varieties to help you begin:

Pickerel Rush

Like many other bog plants, the pickerel rush has “wet feet” and is best grown in the shallow parts of your bog garden. They have spear-shaped leaves and spikes of light blue flowers.

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny features small, round leaves and can grow in moist soil or inch-deep water. It covers the ground with trailing stems and yellow cup-shaped flowers. The plant tends to flourish under sunshine as well as partial shade.


The Arrowhead Sagittaria is large-leafed and simple-looking. White flowers blossom during the summer. The plant is typically about 8 inches deep and 18 inches tall.

Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce is a floating plant that looks like floating open lettuce. It has thick and light green leaves which hairy and grooved. They multiply during the summer and can easily be shared with others.


These are tall plants that would add an excellent height to your bog garden. They feature slender blades topped with long brown punks. Cattails can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Bog Plants Good For Shade

If you want a beautiful, shady bog garden, make sure you choose to grow the correct type of plants. Here are some popular bog plants suitable for shade:

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold is a perennial herb belonging to the buttercup family. It thrives in wet areas such as bogs, swamps, marshes, ditches, wet woods, and fens.


Bogbean, scientifically known as Menyanthes trifoliate, can flourish in rather wet soil. It features a robust stem with feathery-white flowers on top.

Water Hawthorn

The water hawthorn grows in cool water and emerges from a small bulb. Its white flowers are spotted with pollen and emit a strong vanilla scent.

Lizard’s Tail

Lizard’s Tail is a hardy plant with heart-shaped green leaves. It features 4-6 inch-long white flowers shaped like spikes. They blossom from June to September and emit a citrus-like fragrance.

Golden Club

Golden Club can quickly grow in the shallow edges of your bog garden. It derives its name from its yellow, pencil-shaped flowers. Its blue-green oval foliage can grow around 12 inches from the water surface.

Beautiful Flowering Bog Plants

Having a bog garden in your backyard is a great way to beautify it, considering the large variety of flowering bog plants available. Let’s take a look at some of the most stunning types:

Lady’s Tresses

These are white bog orchids that are easy to grow. The flowers grow in spirals on tall stems. They are densely arranged and give off a jasmine-like fragrance.


They are also known as monkeyflowers, as the flowers look similar to a monkey’s face. Their height can range between 6 inches and 3 feet. They feature purple flowers around 1.5 inches in size.


The candelabra primulas feature whorls of eye-catching flowers on sturdy stems. They tend to bloom from late spring to midsummer and are generally up to 1-3 feet tall.


The turtlehead grows in wet and shady areas with moist soil. The flowers are pink or purple atop rounded stems—turtlehead blossoms for four weeks during August or September.


These are also known as bee balm or wild bergamot. They have different colored varieties, including pink, red, purple, and white. The bee balm flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, while their seed heads draw the interest of birds during fall and winter.

Small Bog Plants

You can grow a bog garden in your backyard even if you lack a large amount of space. There are several types of small bog plants you can choose from.

Spatulate-Leaved Sundew

Spatulate-Leaved Sundew is a low-lying bog plant with spoon-shaped leaves. It features tentacles that grow on the rounded edge of each leaf. Small pink flowers emerge from these plants all summer.

Variegated Burnet

This plant is popular in Japan but relatively new to the west. Oval, red flowers blossom during mid-to-late summer. These plants do well in moist soil and feature white-edged green leaves.

Bog Rosemary

This plant derives its name from the fact that it looks similar to culinary rosemary. However, there is no link between the two. Instead, it is a small, green shrub with bunches of pink or white flowers.


These grow in wetlands from April to November. Cranberries require a fresh water supply of acid peat soil to survive. You can choose to consume them yourself or leave them for birds or rodents to munch on.

Zephyr Lily

Zephyr Lily is a small plant that rises to 12 inches. They have ribbon-like leaves and beautiful white flowers. The blossoms are 1-3 inches wide and tend to grow from late summer to fall.

Submerged Bog Plants

Certain aquatic plants thrive with their roots submerged in water. Some of the popular varieties include:

Water Mimosa

Water Mimosa is a tropical plant that floats above the water and blooms with small, yellow flowers. Its stems effectively eliminate algae as they thrive on similar nutrients.

Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth is a favorite with bog gardeners due to its beauty and the capability to take in excess nutrients from the bog. It features shiny leaves and great lavender to pink blossoms.

Botswana Wonder

Botswana Wonder is an unusual yet striking plant that grows rather speedily during the summer. The leaves are spaced out along the stems with delicate, yellow flowers atop them that thrive under sunlight.


The frogbit is a free-floating plant that is weekly connected with the bed. It grows quickly and keeps algae in check by limiting sunlight penetration. It also feeds on nutrients that algae would otherwise absorb.

Lemon Bacopa

Lemon Bacopa is a low-growing plant best for decorating the edges of your bog garden. Its leaves emit the fragrance of crushed lemons and can be used for seasoning. Vibrant blue flowers blossom throughout summer.

Bog Plants For Koi Ponds

Koi, or Nishikigoi, is a type of fish kept for aesthetic appeal in outdoor koi ponds. A koi pond features straight downward sides to deter predators from attacking the koi. Here are the top bog plants that you can grow in koi ponds:

Water Iris

Water Iris is a partially aquatic bog plant that can grow well in shallow water, provided that it is enough to cover the crown throughout the year.

Water Smartweed

These plants thrive in waterlogged soil or when submerged in the water itself. It has leathery, oval-shaped leaves with sharp-pointed tips. Spiked pink flowers bloom on sturdy, naked stems.


Watershield is a perennial herb with floating leaves. The undersides are coated with jelly-like slime, and the leaf blades are 1-4.5 inches long. Its flowers usually have four petals and are a little longer and thinner than the sepals.

How to Plant Bog Plants in Your Pond

There are different types of bog plants available in the market. Some float on the surface of the water while others are submerged deep. When it comes to planting bog plants, the first step is to take out the plant from the plastic pod you bought.

Next, prepare a plant basket and fill it with soil and the relevant fertilizer tablets. Position the plant in the pot and add some more media. If you are raising koi or other fish in the pond, place rocks over the soil to prevent them from eating the plant roots.

Fill a tub with water and monitor its temperature according to the type of bog plant you are planting. By submerging the plant into the tub every day for a few hours, the loose soil will settle. Before you transfer the plant into the pond, calculate the proper depth. Bog plants are generally planted with the soil surface, around 1-6 inches underwater, while aquatics are typically planted 1-3 feet deep.

Video: Making a Carnivorous Plant Bog Garden

How to Build a Bog Garden Next to Your Pond?

You can build a bog garden on a currently soggy area or at the edge of an existing pond. You can either make your bog garden wet or permanently wet. First, dig out a couple of feet of soil and cover the hole with lining material such as builder’s damp proof membrane.

Put 3 inches of gravel to the base to allow drainage and then pierce the membrane with a fork. Decide which plants you wish to plant before penetrating the pond liner. The number of punctures will determine how wet or damp the soil will stay. For most plants, make more holes.

In a moist area, add topsoil and humus-rich garden compost. In case of a wet area, add aquatic compost or a combination of clay and loam. Finally, cut off the liner at the surface of the hole to make the area look natural.

Place rocks and logs to hide the edges of the liner for a natural look. Your bog garden would look like it meets the pond beside it, but water from the pond would not travel to the garden as they would be enclosed separately.

How Deep Should Your Bog Garden Be?

Ideally, your bog garden should be at least 2.5 feet deep.  If you do not dig deep enough, your bog garden may dry out quickly. Deeper soil is better for housing the roots of mature plants. While digging, make sure you keep the walls sloped slightly outwards to prevent them from caving in.


Jack Dempsey