10 Most Popular Indoor Water Garden Plants for Your Indoor Pond

Building a garden for your yard is common. You can decide to build it indoors or outdoors. But, the case is different when you choose to have water garden plants indoors. Because the medium is definitely different. Generally, you need a potting mix, but now, you need a container with water and some elements that support indoor water garden plants.

Say no worry, because we covered recommended and popular indoor water plants. You can choose based on the categories that we provide too. Moreover, those water plants can be used not only as decorative items or freshen your rooms, but also fits for indoor ponds.

What Are Water Plants?

Just like the name, water plants or aquatic plants are the plants that are able to live in water. Although they need another medium to live (not only survive with water) they are identified as the water plants since they cannot live under the soil, like other plants. They tend to live in ponds, aquariums, or lakes.

Water Plants for Indoor Garden

Below are the water plant varieties that you can grow as indoor water garden plants. Mostly they are low maintenance requirements and need full sunlight or warm water. So, you can put the jar, container or vase above the table and beside the windowsill.

Floating Plants

Water plants are identical with floating plants. Yes, you can see the plants above the water and it is one of the reasons that people tend to choose floating plants in their house. It is pretty unique and can be a center point in your room decor as well.

1. Watershield (Brasenia Schreberi)

When you think that the floating plants are all the same, then you have to see their characteristics closer. Just like a watershield or brasenia schreberi. This floating aquatic plant is a perennial type. The leaves have an oval shape and it can reach its length up to 4 – 5 inches.

indoor water garden plants
Watershield (Brasenia Schreberi)

Some people find it difficult to distinguish between a watershield and a water lily. Then, before planting it as your indoor water garden plant, you can see that the watershield has thick leaves, the texture is like a jelly. If you pick this plant, you will identify that underwater, there is a reddish tinge that spreads through rhizomes. Also, you can find that this plant has flowers although it is not showy.

If you want to plant this plant as one of your indoor water garden plants, you can place it in a big container since it performs best in a 20 – 25 cm water that has mud in it. You can mimic its real habitat in the container and place it in an area where there is a full sun during morning and all day long. So, the best area is beside the windowsill. The good news about this plant is, the watershield rarely gets infected by pests or diseases.

2. Water Lilies (Nymphaea Spp.)

Another popular floating water plant that you can grow indoors. It is a water lily! Generally, nymphaea spp. or water lilies have large and round leaves. Its size usually reaches 8 – 16 inches. Its large and showy flowers have pretty colors such as white to pink to violet, and you can see the center of the flower with yellow color.

The great news is, you can have this flower indoors as the fresh room decor.

indoor water garden plants
Water Lilies (Nymphaea Spp.)

Growing water lilies indoors and making them bloom requires much sunlight. So, you have to find a spot where the sunlight can enter for at least 8 hours or you can have additional lighting for this plant. Growing light can be placed directly above water lilies and you can set the light to turn on for around 12 – 18 hours per day.

While for temperature, this plant loves 68°F indoors even for the winter. Moreover, try to use filtered water or if you want to use tap water, let it sit for at least one night to make the chlorine evaporate first.

3. Duckweed (Lemna Spp.)

To those who love small flowering plants that can float above the water, then Duckweed is the answer. Since the size is very tiny with the green color, you can have many and let them be carpet-like above the water. Lemna Spp. can be used as a protector of aquatic creatures as well. So, this plant is versatile for aquatic lovers.

indoor water garden plants
Duckweed (Lemna Spp.)

Interested to have this cutie indoors? Then you have to prepare the containers with pond water or non-chlorine water. You can place the containers in a warm area in your house, make sure they get enough sunlight directly every day.

Also, you have to measure the temperature on water is around 63°F – 79°F for optimal growth process of this plant. If you decide to plant it in an aquarium, make sure the filter tool doesn’t make the water move that rapidly.

4. Frogbit (Hydrocharis Morsus-ranae)

For the aquascape enthusiast, it is common to have frogbit in their aquascape. Some people feel confused to differentiate between frogbit and water lilies, but you can distinguish that frogbit has smaller heart-shaped leaves, it only reaches around 1 – 3 cm. This plant produces three white petals and a yellow color in the center.

indoor water garden plants
Frogbit (Hydrocharis Morsus-ranae)

Although you are not an aquascape enthusiast and want to grow this frogbit in your home, you can do it! Hydrocharis morsus-ranae or frogbit, will be happy if you grow them on the water with normal temperature, around 18°C – 26°C, because cooler water will make them grow slower.

For the lighting exposure, frogbit loves sunlight, but if you are struggling to find a warm spot, you can add the lighting above the plant and let them get the lights for around 12 hours per day. Also, to help them grow healthier and get enough nutrients, you can add liquid fertilizer for them.

Submerged Plants

Planning to root the plant in the substrate of your aquarium or in soil, you can choose these submerged plants. These kinds of plants grow fully underwater from its stems and leaves, although sometimes you see the leaves are floating. Submerged plants are versatile because through underwater, they have the important role as the ecosystem in aquatic space.

5. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)

People often know it as Coontail as well. This water plant is pretty popular among aquatic plants. So, no wonder that many people tend to choose this to be included in indoor water garden plants.

The green appearance with leaves that look like needles and grow in clusters creates a different vibe inside the pond or container as you plant. Generally, each needle has its size around one inch.

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)

If you plan to have this stunning green color inside your room, you can prepare the lighting to emphasize the amazing green color inside the container or aquarium (if you use it for aquascape). Make sure the container is large enough in order to let the plant grow properly.

You also can measure the water temperature because the ideal temperature is around 60°F – 85°F. If the temperature is lower or higher than this one, it is hard for Coontail or Hornwort to grow and will lead the leaves to turn dark brown. Last but not least, since you already prepare for the light, it is not only to emphasize the color of the plant, but also to give proper light for at least 10 hours per day.

6. Elodea

This one is also a popular living creature underwater. But when the plant produces white flower in blooming time, the flower will go to the surface of the water. In the wild area, Elodea is considered an invasive plant, but it is important for aquatic animals, such as young fish.


If you plan to include Elodea as your indoor garden water plant or for your aquarium, you can prepare for the lighting since this plant needs 10 to 12 hours of light every day. This submerged plant actually can float in water, but this plant can grow better if you root them in a substrate. That’s the reason that Elodea is suitable for your aquarium specimen.

7. Bladderwort (Utricularia)

This water plant is unique, not because of its shape but its characteristics. Bladderwort is rootless plant and there are no leaf stems on the plant. If you are looking for the flower from Bladderwort, you can see bright yellow to purple during summer.

It is named “bladder” because it has underwater leaves that are similar to rubber bladders due to tiny hairs on leaves.

Bladderwort (Utricularia)

Interested in planting this indoors as your tropical houseplants? Then you need a container filled with mineral free water. Add one part of perlite and one part of peat. As for the lights, Bladderwort needs bright sunlight for four hours and you can add another four hours of filtered lights daily.

Emergent Plants

Usually, stiff or firm stems are the main characteristic of emergent plants. Because they have to stand above the water. It may be attractive if you can have them in your indoor garden plant. The flowers that bloom on the surface of water, you can have indoor water plants where its blossom is still enjoyable. Take a look here!

8. Cattails (Typha)

You may see this common water plant when you pass by a pond or lake. Cattails have leaves shaped like swords and brown inflorescences. Therefore people call it cat tails since it is similar to the tail of a cat. Cattails have brown inflorescence rich in nutrients that are good for birds. Also, the plant can filter the water from toxins, and anti bacteria in their roots.

indoor water garden plants
Cattails (Typha)

To make an indoor water plant garden, you can choose a dwarf variety of cattails, so you can see its height is suitable for the container. Each cattail fits one gallon container, so if you have some, make sure you have more containers as well. Add a little soil inside the water, and you can place it where the light is bright beside the windowsill.

9. Arrowhead (Syngonium Podophyllum)

At a glance, you will think that an arrowhead is a common houseplant. In fact, it is one of the water plants that you can grow as an indoor garden. Its shape creates a fresh vibe for your indoor interior.

Arrowhead has several colors and when you decide to plant it indoors this plant requires medium to low light since the leaves will burn if you set the light brighter. Guess it is suitable as the houseplant.

Arrowhead (Syngonium Podophyllum)

For planting it indoors you need moist soil instead of water only to grow this plant. You also can water it when necessary and make sure the soil is really dry before watering it. Warm water is good for Arrowhead.

10. Smartweed (Polygonum Amphibium)

This emergent plant that is native to Asia, Europe, North America and Africa has stunning flowers that emerge on water. Having this water plant in your house is possible although the original habitat of Smartweed is in streams and rivers, because they can thrive in still water as well.

indoor water garden plants
Smartweed (Polygonum Amphibium)

Smartweed or polygonum amphibium, loves full sunlight or light shade, although it is a water plant, you can give deep soil such as sand, clay or loam for planting this one. Make sure the landscape is flat or if you want to make it slope, it is no more than 20% of slant.

How do you take care of indoor water plants?

Taking care of indoor water plants, basically, is not that difficult. After you select some plants to grow indoors in water, you can monitor their growth progress one by one.

  • First, you have to check the water. Once the water is darker, you have to immediately change it or the fungus will come.
  • Then, make sure the lighting and humidity level meet the requirement. Over exposure from the sun will cause the leaf to burn or turn yellow. Some of them will curl also or the growth progress will face an issue. So, if you find the color change of the leaves, you have to check the lighting that comes to the plants.
  • Checking the cleanliness of the roots is important as well. Sometimes, dirty or smelly roots will lead the bacteria and diseases to come.
  • Feeding the plants with liquid fertilizer is the key to help the plants grow healthy with enough nutrients since they just have water and lighting indoors.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are water plants difficult to care for?

Basically water plants are easy to care for. As long as you follow the steps and check the progress of the plants regularly, although they need a minimum requirement to maintain, you can get the best result of water plants after you monitor the growth progress. Cleanliness, proper lighting, and enough nutrients are the basic key for growing indoor water garden plants.

What is the most popular water plant?

Lotus is the most popular water plant. When you think about water plants, especially flowers that can grow in water, most people will think about lotus instantly. Also, the amazing colors of lotus make people love this water plant as well.

Can aquatic plants grow in just water?

Yes, some aquatic plants can grow in just water. But you have to know that although it is just in water, the medium should be in a pond, aquarium, or the method is using hydroponics. So, they can get complete nutrients to establish too.

Can plants survive in water without soil?

Plants can survive in water without soil. As the water plants and semi-aquatic plants do. But, you have to maintain the nutrients and other needs for the plants. Just because they can survive in water, doesn’t mean the water and lighting only are enough for them to grow.

How long can plants live in water?

Usually, a plant can live in water for around a few months if they live in water only, or years if you add any soil since it can add the nutrients and rich organic for the plants. That’s why propagating the plants in water is always a good idea because most plants can survive in water for months.

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