Top 5 Tropical Marginals for Pond Filtration

Top 5 Tropical Marginals for Pond Filtration

Posted on Jun 1st 2021
Author: Bill Hoffman

Filtration plays an important role in the health of your pond water. Did you know that certain pond plants can help naturally filter the water? Follow along as we cover the top 5 tropical marginal pond plants that will help with your pond filtration.



1. Canna Lily is a tall and stately plant reaching heights of 4 feet or more. It grows quickly and spreads though rhizomes underground - or in this case, under water. Set these potted beauties in the waterfall box and watch them go. Just be aware that their roots will grow into your filter media which may require a little extra help to get out in the fall.

Cannas can be taken into the house and overwintered like house plants, or store the roots in a dry place buried in peat moss. Find them in red, orange, yellow and pink, with green or colorfully variegated leaves.


2. Papyrus, also known as Egyptian Papyrus, Nile Grass or Paper Reed, is an interesting plant native to Africa. It is a tall aquatic plant, sometimes reaching up to 8 feet! It belongs to the sedge family and is a relative of the umbrella palm. Papyrus plants have been used throughout history for making paper, woven goods, food and fragrance. It is considered an invasive plant in the most southern parts of the U.S, proving its effectiveness as a great filter plant.


3. Sweet Potato Vine is often found mixed in with annuals, but is widely becoming a favorite in water gardening as well. They are great for planting in floating islands, trailing over water falls or tucked-in along the edges of the stream. It is a relatively low growing plant (6-8 inches) and spreads rapidly like a ground cover. Can easily be pinched off and set in new areas of the pond to help increase filtration.


4. Umbrella Palm is a tall growing reed known for its umbrella-like leaf pattern formed at the top of sturdy stalks, that can reach nearly 6 feet tall. Shorter, or dwarf varieties are available that only grow to 2 feet. This plant is native to Madagascar, an island of the western Indian Ocean.

Although it is a tropical (annual) plant in NE Ohio, it is hardy to Zone 7. Which makes it the hardiest of these plants listed. Umbrella palms have been known to survive abnormally mild winters if the roots are buried in deeper waters of 10-12 inches deep.


5. Water Cress is a rapidly growing aquatic plant that thoroughly enjoys moving water. When planted in a stream, this edible leaf vegetable, native to Europe and Asia, will produce matted sheets of roots that gladly filter the water. Grows best in water that is slightly alkaline, to heights of 30-48 inches, if left unharvested. Although it bears the Latin name “Nasturtium”, water cress is not very closely related to the popular flowering annual.


Hoffman’s Water X Scapes offers the largest selection of aquatic pond plants in North East Ohio. Visit us in Uniontown Ohio and walk through our beautiful green house to see them all. You can check out our Pond Plants online – but keep in mind we have more available at our Garden Center store front.