Designing a Container Water Garden

Water gardens aren’t just limited to in ground installations, you can also make a water garden container, for indoors or out! Check out the guide below for tips on creating your own.

  1. Determine if you want an indoor or outdoor garden.
  2. Decide whether you want plants or just the sound of water or a combination of the two.
  3. Decide where you will place the water garden. Good suggestions are:
    • Close to where you will view it regularly
    • In full sun if you want to grow water lilies
    • In morning sun if you will have fish
    • Inside the house – select a brightly lit area
  4. In determining your container, some considerations should be decided on:
    • For a plant garden, you will need a container that holds at least four (4) gallons of water and is at least ten (10) inches deep
    • A fish garden will also need a container that holds at least four (4) gallons of water but will need one that is at least fourteen (14) inches in depth
    • Suggestions for containers:
      • Whiskey barrel
      • Terra-cotta, ceramic or plastic pot
  5. Prepare your container:
    • If terra-cotta or ceramic, seal with a clear, wood deck sealer or line with plastic
    • If whisky barrel, line with PVC liner
  6. Select your pump, plants, rocks, etc. If plants are going to be in your water garden, plant the water plants. Place the pump and arrange the rocks. Make sure the rocks are large enough so they don’t clog your filter. Add water and test for correct pH. When water is balanced, you may add fish and snails (if they are in your plans.)
  7. Feed plants monthly with PondTabbs Aquatic Plant Fertilizer and to prevent mosquitoes (if you don’t have fish) buy Mosquito Dunks and place in your water garden.

Plants for an Outdoor Water Garden

  • Anachris (to help oxygenate the water)
  • Parrot Feather
  • Hardy Waterlily – Pygmaea Helvola
  • Tropical Waterlily – Dauben
  • Water Clover
  • Dwarf Variegated Sweetflag
  • Dwarf Papyrus

Your Waterlily should be the centerpiece of the water garden. Arrange the other plants around it.

Plants for an Indoor Water Garden

  • Chinese Evergreen*
  • Nephritis
  • Dwarf Papyrus
  • Dracaena
  • Parlor Palm*
  • Corn Plant*
  • Coleus*
  • Philodendron*
  • Wandering Jew*

*Can last one season in water