Aquatic Plants

5 different varieties of water/aquatic plants.

Relax & Enjoy a Water Garden

In water gardens, aquatic plants play different roles based on the type of plant and where it is positioned within the water feature. These plants include marginal plants, oxygenators and surface plants—like water lilies.

NOW AVAILABLE: Your local SummerWinds Nursery has a beautiful selection of aquatic plants to ensure your water feature is beautiful, well-balanced and designed for success!

Aquatic plants available seasonally, while supplies last. Please contact your local SummerWinds Nursery for avaiability.

Marginal Plants

Bright yellow March Marigold marginal water plant.Marginal plants grow around the margins of the pond where the water is shallow. They play a crucial role in filtering the water by absorbing nutrients and providing a buffer zone that traps sediments. Emergent plants are a type of marginal plant that are characterized specifically by having their leaves and flowers growing above the water surface. Their roots are anchored in the pond's bottom, but their foliage emerges out of the water. This category includes plants like lotuses and some taller plants like cattails.

Marginal Plants Listed by Height

Grows Approximately 4-22 Inches Tall:Blue Water Iris

  • Blue Water Iris - Iris vericolor blooms in late winter through spring and grows to a height of 18-36 inches tall. It thrives in full sun to partial shade. We recommend providing some shade during the hottest part of the day to help keep the foliage from burning. It is excellent for adding a splash of color to edges of ponds, water features or wetland gardens, with its striking blue to purple flowers and attractive, sword-like foliage.
  • Canna 'Happy Isabel' - Canna Cannasol Happy Isabel blooms late spring to fall and grows to a height of 18-22 inches tall. Features vibrant bright yellow flowers that have a delicate orange to red speckling and lush green foliage, adding a cheerful tropical flair to gardens and landscapes.
  • Canna ' Happy Emily' - Canna Cannasol Happy Emily blooms late spring to fall and grows to a height of 18-22 inches tall. Showcases a more compact growth habit with bold red flowers and tall, upright growth, creating a striking focal point in gardens and containers.
  • Marsh Marigold - Caltha Palustris typically blooms in spring and grows to a height of 12-15 inches. A perennial plant with glossy, heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow, buttercup-like flowers.
  • Pink Rain Lily Marginal Water Plant.Pink Rain Lily - Zephyranthes robustus blooms mid-to-late summer through fall and grows to a height of 6-10 inches tall. A bulbous perennial known for its delicate, trumpet-shaped pink flowers that bloom prolifically after rain showers, adding bursts of color to the garden with its sporadic blooming.
  • Yerba Mansa marginal water plant.Yerba Mansa - Anemopsis Caifornica blooms late-spring to early summer and grows to a height of 4-8 inches. A aromatic herbaceous perennial native to wetlands and marshy areas, featuring distinctive waxy white or pale pink flowers with yellow centers and broad, lance-shaped leaves, prized for its medicinal properties and ornamental value.

Grows Approximately 24-36 Inches Tall:

  • Dwarf Hardy Hibiscus 'Disco Belle Mixture' - Hibiscus moscheutos Disco Belle Mixture blooms from late spring through summer and grows to a height of 24-36 inches. It features a mix of large, showy flowers in shades of pink, red, and white. This plant's compact size makes it ideal for smaller garden spaces or as a bold container plant.
  • Marginal Plant: Disco Belle Hibiscus Blooms.Dwarf Hardy Hibiscus 'Disco Belle Pink' - Hibiscus moscheutos Disco Belle Pink blooms from late spring through summer and reaches a height of 24-36 inches. It showcases large, vibrant pink flowers with a deep red center, providing a tropical flair to temperate gardens despite its smaller stature.
  • Dwarf Egyptian Papryus - Marginal Water Plant.Dwarf Egyptian Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus Perkamentus typically blooms in summer and grows to a height of 24-36 inches tall. Known for its ornamental, grass-like appearance with green, umbrella-like clusters at the top of each stem, this dwarf variety is perfect for adding texture to water gardens or damp areas.
  • Dwarf Umbrella Palm - Cyperus alternifolius Gracilis typically blooms in summer (though it does not flower prominently, focusing instead on its foliage), and grows to a height of 24-36 inches tall. It features multiple stems, each topped with whorled, umbrella-like leaves, ideal for adding vertical interest to aquatic settings or moist soils.
  • Horsetail marginal water plant close up.Horsetail Rush - Equisetum hyemale typically doesn’t flower conspicuously and its growth can be robust most of the year in the Valley of the Sun, except during the hottest summer months if it's not kept adequately moist. It grows to a height of 24-36 inches tall. This reed-like perennial is valued for its architectural, segmented stems and preference for wet conditions, making it a popular choice for modern and aquatic gardens.

Grows Approximately 36-60 Inches Tall:

  • Black Magic Elephant Ears Marginal Water Plants.Elephant Ear 'Black Magic' - Colocasia Black Magic typically does not bloom, focusing on its dark purplish-black foliage, and can grow to a height of 44-60 inches tall. Requires protection during the coldest winter temperatures and shade during peak summer heat, with consistent watering to maintain its lush appearance.
  • Elephant Ear 'Blue Hawaii' - Colocasia Blue Hawaii is valued for its blue-green foliage with prominent veinsgrows to a height of 48-60 inches tall. Thrives year-round in the greater Metro Phoenix area with winter protection and ample summer shade, needing regular moisture to keep its leaves vibrant.
  • Hardy Canna Flowers and foliage.Hardy Water Canna - Thalia Dealbata blooms vibrant flowers from late spring to early fall and grows to a height of 48-60 inches tall. Ornamental in appearance, this tall plant has reed-like stems that add vertical interest with powdery blue-green foliage and spiked purple flowers that attract pollinators. In the Valley of the Sun, it is best planted in partial shade in shallow water or boggy conditions and needs plenty of water, especially during the hot months.
  • Queen Victoria Cardinal Flower - Lobelia fulgens Queen Victoria blooms red flowers mid-summer to early fall and grows to a height of 24-60 inches tall. It requires a moist environment and benefits from partial shade, ideal for water gardens or shaded garden beds in the greater Metro Phoenix area.

Grows Approximately 60-120 Inches Tall:

  • Pink Angel's TrumpetPink Angel's Trumpet - Brugmansia Isignis Pink blooms from spring through fall and typically grows to a height of 60-72 inches tall. We recommend abundant watering in the Valley of the Sun and growing it in an area with afternoon shade to protect from intense sun.
  • Red Abyssinian Banana - Marginal Water Plant.Red Abyssinian Banana - Ensete ventricosum Maurelli is primarily grown for its ornamental red-tinged leaves rather than flowers, and can grow up to 8-10 feet tall. It needs regular watering and partial shade during the hottest parts of the year to maintain healthy, vibrant foliage in the greater Metro Phoenix area.

For additional Marginal Plants, many of which are available throughout the year, click the button below:

Additional Marginal Plants


Oxygenators are submerged plants that grow completely underwater and are crucial for maintaining the oxygen balance in the water, which helps keep the water clear and supports fish and other wildlife.

Available only at our Mesa store while supplies last:

Hornwort Oxygenator Water Plant.Hornwort - Ceratophyllum demersum is a submerged aquatic plant does not bloom and is primarily grown for its dense, feathery, dark green foliage. In the Valley of the Sun, Hornwort can thrive year-round if placed in ponds or water gardens. It typically floats freely but can also be anchored in substrate. It can grow very quickly, easily reaching lengths of 6-10 feet under water, though it can be trimmed to maintain a desired depth or density.

Hornwort is excellent for improving water quality by competing with algae for nutrients and providing a habitat for aquatic wildlife. It's especially useful in hot climates like Phoenix, as it helps oxygenate and shade the water, which can be crucial during the intense summer heat. Regular monitoring and management might be necessary to ensure it doesn’t overtake other aquatic plants in your pond.

Water Lilies

A Wanvisa water lily in bloom.Surface plants

Water lilies are surface plants that have large leaves that float on the water's surface, providing shade and reducing algae growth by limiting sunlight penetration. They help maintain the temperature and oxygen levels of the water, making it a better environment for fish and other aquatic life. 

Hardy Water Lilies

As their names suggest, Hardy Lilies do well in cold and can withstand freeze if left in the pond. Hardy Lilies bloom during the day and have round, thick, waxy leaves that are typically solid green or sligthly mottled. They stem from horizontal rhizomes or tubers.

The following Hardy Water Lilies are available at your local SummerWinds in 4-inch and 8-inch sizes while supplies last:

  • Nymphaea Albatross - A white water lily with large, fragrant blooms and a vigorous growth habit.
  • Nymphaea Almost Black - Features deep red to nearly black flowers, providing a striking contrast in water gardens.
  • Nymphaea Attraction - Known for its large, deep red blooms with a white center, attracting attention in any pond.
  • Nymphaea Aurora - Changes color over a few days from yellow to orange to deep red, creating a multi-colored display.
  • Nymphaea Colorado - A salmon-pink water lily that stands out for its soft, pastel tones and prolific flowering.
  • Nymphaea Joey Tomocik - Showcases vibrant yellow blooms, known for its exceptional blooming ability and hardiness.
  • Nymphaea Madame Wilfron Gonnere - Offers lush, double pink flowers that resemble peonies, noted for their fullness and beauty.
  • Nymphaea Wanvisa - A unique and award-winning variety with cream and pink flecked petals, displaying occasional streaks of deep pink.


  • Fertilizer: To help keep your aquatic plants healthy, we carry Pondtabbs Aquatic Fertilizer
  • Water Plant Bowls: We have water plant bowls in assorted colors so you can grow your very own water garden!

To learn more about creating your own water feature and the plants you need to success, speak with one of our Trusted Garden Advisors.

At SummerWinds Nursery, We Guarantee Success!

3 Water Lily Varieties: Nymphaea Madame Wilfron Gonnere. Nymphaea Joey Tomocik, and Nymphaea hybride Almost Black.