5 Aquatic Plants that Koi Won’t Eat

a pristine water lily in a koi pond

5 Aquatic Plants that Koi Won’t Eat

There are many reasons to add aquatic plants to a koi pond. They add color and variety to the pond’s surface. They also shade the pond, helping to maintain the water temperature and keep your fish comfortable. All koi ponds, regardless of size, need aquatic plants to act as natural water filters and protect the fish.

The only problem with aquatic plants is that koi eat almost anything. Finding aquatic plants that your koi won’t devour is tough, but such plants do exist! Continue reading to learn about five aquatic plants that your koi won’t eat.

Umbrella Plants

Umbrella plants feature two- to three-foot-long leaves that mimic the shape of an umbrella. These exotic-looking plants are ideal for the edges of your koi pond. Since they can’t thrive in more than six inches of water, these plants do best in shallow areas. Note that umbrella plants tend to be invasive, so place them in a submersible container to prevent them from overwhelming your pond.

Water Poppy

Water poppy plants do a fantastic job of filtering water. They can grow and proliferate fairly easily. These flowering aquatic plants are another ideal addition to the shallow edges of your koi pond. They feature dark green leaves and pastel yellow flowers, providing a beautiful color contrast to your aquatic ecosystem. Best of all, koi tend to ignore these in favor of more palatable aquatic plants.


A lotus flower floating in a koi pond

Lotus plants are low-maintenance floating aquatic plants that feature large green leaves with colorful flowers on top. They can also provide plenty of shade for your koi. One major drawback is that lotus plants need a lot of direct sunlight and space to grow. If your koi pond is relatively small or heavily shaded, the lotus may not be the best fit for you.

Water Lettuce

Water lettuce is one of the best (and most affordable) floating aquatic plants. These unassuming plants are easy to grow and maintain, making them an excellent option for new koi pond owners. Water lettuce also helps prevent algae growth in your koi pond, keeping the water clean and your fish healthy. Just make sure you trim back these aquatic plants every so often. Otherwise, they will eventually grow out of control.


Eelgrass is a type of underwater plant that acts as a natural oxygenator. These aquatic plants do best in deeper water. They look like a natural “underwater meadow” for your fish. Eelgrass can grow up to three feet tall and has skinny, grass-like leaves. Anyone buying pond plants should begin with some eelgrass to enhance their koi pond habitat.


Koi are ravenous, and they’re not picky eaters! But Eelgrass, lotus, umbrella plants, water lettuce, and water poppy are five aquatic plants that koi fish won’t eat. We recommend getting some of these aquatic plants for your koi pond.

If you are looking to get some aquatic plants for your pond, look no further than Aquatic Gardens. We have koi pond plants for sale and are excited to help you beautify your koi pond. Order these and other beneficial aquatic plants from us today!