Last Updated on February 4, 2020 by Cooper Fulton

Top 7 Reasons Your Pond Plants Are Dying

Watching your pond grow and flourish can be a great way to spend some time, so by knowing the reasons your pond plants are dying is crucial. When your pond plants don’t thrive and grow up, it can be very annoying.Reasons Your Pond Plants Are Dying

It is even more so when your plants begin to die and you have no idea why it’s happening.

As anyone would, they want to know why their plants are dying. So here are the top 7 reasons your pond plants are dying.



If your pond plants are becoming too overcrowded, where they have little to no space between each other.

When this occurs, your pond plants will not be receiving the right amount of sunlight, since they are shading each other.

Studies say pond plants should cover 60-65% of your entire pond. Unless your pond is already in heavy shade.

It’s simple really, without sunlight, photosynthesis will not be able to take place, thus your plants will die.

without the correct amount of shade, your pond plants would be exposed to too much UV rays from the sun.

But if you can find the yin and the yang between both, your pond will be much healthier.


Variety of Plants

Are you sure all your plants are water plants? If not remove them and move them to a more adequate area.

Also, having an assortment of pond plants is key, for having your pond look more attractive.

Having a pond just full of just elephant ears can look not so great, but by adding in hornwort, water lilies, and even blue iris will make your pond more pretty.

With more variety, if one species in your pond die, it won’t be as big of a problem as it could be.

If you just have one species of plants and that species gets a disease and dies, you will not have any plants left.

But if you have a variety, you’ll still have plants if one species begins to die.


Pond Temperature

Having the right pond temperature is very important because it will ensure your plants stay healthy and strong all year long.

The average pond temperature is around 65-75 degrees, by keeping the temperature in check will help your entire pond ecosystem.

During the summer and winter months, keeping your pond at the correct temperature can be quite a challenge.


pH levels(water testing kit) 

What every pond owner should shoot for in pH is around 7. In most cases, pond plants die when the pH levels get to over 8 or 6 and below.

When pH is below 7, it means your pond is more acidic, when the pH is above 7 it means there is more alkaline in the pond.

Keeping this in check will ensure all aquatic life won’t die. What I recommend every pond owner purchase is a water testing kit.

This kit helps test pH, nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia. It only takes one minute and could end up saving your entire pond’s life.


Toxic Water

If your pond does not have enough aeration, it will begin to cause toxic waste buildup to pile at the bottom.

A heavy rainstorm can also disrupt the water causing a rise in the toxicity level. Increased toxicity can end up killing your plants.

Usually, you don’t have to worry about this issue, if you are diligent through proper management and knowing early pond issues early on with, as I’ve mentioned above, use a water testing kit.


Adding Fish

reasons your pond plants are dying

Fish help pond plants grow quite tremendously, when fish poop, plants use this as nutrients.

If you’ve ever had a pond without fish, your pond plants won’t grow as well and will end up dying.

Just recently, I had accidentally overfed my fish in one of my small ponds and all of the fish died.

I was devastated, when this happened, my pond plants began not doing so well in the pond and started to yellow and a bunch died.

Being aware of this, I immediately purchased a dozen more fish and within one-two weeks, my pond was back to normal.

Pond plants thriving once again, as well as the new fish.


Pond Chemicals

Plants do not like their pond full of chemicals, period.

To cover this issue, you should know exactly what is going into your pond and if your plants will live in the company of these chemicals.

Try finding plant/Eco-friendly chemicals to use in your pond. A great one I use to help my plants grow is the Plantabbd Pondtabbs.

These small tabs not only help your plants grow and stay healthy but they also help reduce algae.

Remember to read all the labels of the pond products you use because as I always say, “better safe than sorry.”


Why Are My Pond Plants Turning Yellow?

Are your pond plants turning yellow? This is normally a cause of too little or too much fertilizer.

If your plants are potted, try and make a hole in the soil and then apply some fertilizer, then cover the hole back up.

If your plants are floating around, then you can take them out of the pond and place them into a bowl filled with water.


How To Help Your Plants Grow

How To Help Your Plants Grow

When it comes to plants dying, the most common cause is a lack of nutrients.

A common way to see if your plants do not have enough nutrients is to look at their color.

If the leaves or stocks on your plants have a yellow color, it means they either have too many nutrients and cannot filter it all or they do not have enough.

If you have multiple plants in your pond and a few fish it means that there are not enough nutrients to go around.

A simple fix for this is to add a few more fish into your pond. If you have a lot of fish a few plants it means there is too many nutrients.

This means you have to add plants into your pond to balance the number of fish to plants.

Another benefit of adding in more plants is your water will become clearer as the nutrients that are causing the water to become dirty will be filtered by the plants making it clean and clear.

If your pond plants start to die all of a sudden it is most likely due to temperature change. Once it becomes summer not only the air outside heats up but so does your pond.

The change in water temperature can be harmful to the fish as well as plants.

During the hot months, it is important to keep your pond cool as well as keeping them warm in the winter to ensure your fish stay safe and your plants do not die.

If you are going into the winter it is expected your plants will start to die.

When the weather gets cold the plants in your pond are not actually dying but they are going into hibernation.

When a plant goes into hibernation it means they are saving energy and nutrients needed to survive the cold winter.

Once spring comes around they will come out of hibernation bigger and stronger.


Plants That Are Easy To Grow And Won’t Die



Cattail is a plant that grows very fast and is very hardy. The cattail in my pond has been there for multiple years making it through every winter.

As soon as the water in my pond starts to heat up, the stalks of the cattail start to spring up.

The cattail grows a new stalk from its roots which means it will spread, and it will spread very fast.

Keeping the cattails in my pond controlled is a very big task during the spring months.

Since new stalks come from the roots, just because you cut down the unwanted stalks it does not mean they will not grow back.

In order to fully remove unwanted growths of cattails you have to cut it off from the mother plant and that means cutting the roots.

Cutting roots always seems dangerous but all the other plants will not be affected in any way.


Elephant Ear

Elephant ear is a staple plant of anybody’s pond, it is usually the biggest plant and stands out from all the other plants.

Elephant ears are a very hardy plant and can easily grow back if it loses its big leaves.

Once you have planted one elephant ear you will most likely start to find more.

That is because, like the cattail, it sprouts new plants off of its roots.

This means you can very easily start to get new “pups” to plant around your pond. In order to harvest these “pups”, you have to cut the sprout below where new roots are growing.

Make sure not to cut too close to the new plant as it will have no roots to get nutrients.

Once you have cut the new growth, find a spot in your pond and plant it just as you would any other aquatic plant.



Hornwort is a grass-type plant that grows along the bottom of ponds. It is commonly used as a way to add oxygen to ponds.

The plant produces large amounts of oxygen and helps clean the pond. Hornwort will grow fast and spread out over the floor of any pond.

It also provides great shelter for small fish to hide from predators or any other fish in the pond.

It is a plant that will be able to last the whole year even if your pond freezes over.

You do have to be careful the plant does not become overgrown, as it has the potential to entangle fish and cause them to die.