What type of plants should I plant around the waterfall to compliment it but not hide it?

Adria Whitford
by Adria Whitford
We completed the top portion of the water feature last year and just added the lower part to the pond. It's now time to focus on the landscaping around it and I don't know where to start.
  20 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 23, 2013
    Congratulations, Adria. That looks like a lot of work! I would start by thinking of things that like moist conditions: ferns, clethra, itea, red-twig dogwood, many types of iris, ligularia, etc. There have been tons of posts about waterfalls here on Hometalk. Do a search for aquatic plants using the box at the top of the page and you'll find lots of inspiration.
    • Cathy W Cathy W on Aug 25, 2014
      @Douglas Hunt Hey! I built a water "feature" 6 years ago. Decided some nice big sword ferns would be lovely draping over the edges. Now, I wish I had planted them further away from the waterfalls. They hid the top and nearly the second tier. So I would suggest a foot + away from the focal point (waterfalls). Sword ferns grow so big they can cover a 5'+ span!
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Mar 23, 2013
    Hi Adria, I would think about what I am trying to acheive with my fall. Do you want an alpine mountain theme or something lush and tropical. Then research what plants will give the desired result based on the conditions you have. Looks pretty woodsy so it would be easier to do an alpine design I am thinking.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 23, 2013
    Great job for what appears to have been a big job! This is going to be stunning. I am not qualified to suggest plants, but do look forward to seeing the results.
  • Karen Sheilds Karen Sheilds on May 30, 2014
    I would suggest taking a walk around one of your local parks that has a stream or take a walk in woods near your home. What you find around a naturally occuring stream should work for your waterfall. Plus an additional benefit will be less maintainence with plants that grow in your area naturally. You have done a lot of hard work, I would love to see the end result!
  • Belle Belle on Jun 10, 2014
    even monkey grass...something airy looking for sure.
  • Pamela Pamela on Jun 16, 2014
    ground cover sedum is nice with yellow flowers. Also some lower growing trillium.
  • Cp C Cp C on Jun 26, 2014
    Here's my LITTLE waterfall when we first planted it!! :) HOPE it might help you!!
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    • Cp C Cp C on Aug 26, 2014
      @Lynn Colello Weber Thanks! That was just fresh, LYNN>>> It was edged & enjoyed for MANY years :)
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 02, 2014
    Looks like you have a lot of sun.always like plants that don't need a lot a attention.I would start with several trees first.The height of the trees will give a nice base.I just added several small trees and now my flower beds already so much better.i planted a dwarf pear tree,an dwarf apple tree.I think a weeping willow tree towards the top always is pretty and fun near a water feature.They grow very fast and they are so much fun to sit under on a hot day.You have a really large water feature!It is really beautiful.You want to have color through the seasons.Azaleas and forsythia are beautiful in the spring.Redbuds are beautiful in spring with small pretty purple flowers.For summer,I love hydrangeas if it is not too sunny.They like some shade.Olianders are beautiful maintence free but are poisonous so would not use if you have small children.Daylilies are so pretty in the summer!dogwood shrubs have a beautiful red bark when the weather gets cold.double knockout roses are great choices.no deadheading needed although I do have trouble resisting.Last but not least winter choices are camellias of all different colors,they love the cold sunny weather,and or an evergreen tree that you can decorate for the Christmas holidays.Beautiful space! needs a bench and some garden art
  • Libby Yuewhoo Libby Yuewhoo on Aug 23, 2014
    @30 results are available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.Adria can you post a picture of the results?
  • Faye Duke Faye Duke on Aug 25, 2014
    @Adria Whitford I am from the great land of Aus. so plants probably vary quite a lot but enclosed 2 pics of what I did around my water feature. Used different types of plants for effect and everyone comments how lovely it is. So just to give you an idea of what you can achieve
  • Faye Duke Faye Duke on Aug 25, 2014
    Oops sorry I commented before adding the pics, so here they are, cheers
    • Cp C Cp C on Aug 26, 2014
      @Faye Duke Alrighty! Still looking for pix!! :) Faye!! Bet it's pretty!!
  • Faye Duke Faye Duke on Aug 26, 2014
    For some reason they didn't load will try again now, at last success lol, click on the pics for a better view
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    • Cp C Cp C on Aug 27, 2014
      @Faye Duke VERY VERY Pretty! SO glad ur pix finally loaded, Faye!!
  • Idyllic Pursuit Idyllic Pursuit on Aug 27, 2014
    We have a lot of hostas by ours:)
  • Christine Christine on Aug 27, 2014
    depends on light value and be careful about root systems . elephant ears and miniature weeping willows to start cannas love moist areas, you did a beautiful job good luck and God bless.
  • Rosanne Cannon-Schiedel Rosanne Cannon-Schiedel on Aug 31, 2014
    I use variegato, serrato aloe to hide the black of the plastic that feeds the waterfall. They bloom orange flowers on long stems, and the dragonflies like to set on them. Behind that I have lilies that are yellow and they also provide a long stem the draggies like to sit on. Not a big fan of low growing succulents, the weeds hide them much too easily.
  • Mary Mary on Oct 10, 2014
    I've had better luck with ground covers such as sedum and ice plants. But as you can see from the attached pictures, most anything goes!!
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  • Dorothy Dorothy on Nov 07, 2014
    I'd use a variety of hosta (esp if you have summer shade around it), some ferns.....maybe smaller ones like Japanese Painted Ferns, lady ferns, licorice fern. Some water iris of some kind.....don't know if the yellow flag iris are a noxious weed there but they are lovely. Also some vertical accents like the variegated leaved iris. Other plants could be papyrus, dwarf bullrush, horsetails. I'd probably put a BUNCH of bulbs under/around the larger plants. A nice touch is something like a cutleaf Japanese maple for some color (and some varieties are very slow growing and can be pruned into bonsai type shapes). Some of the ornamental grasses could also be lovely....Japanese blood grass or the lovely green/gold striped type whose name I can't remember at the moment. Ground covers could be things like mosses (Irish/Scotch), wooly thyme, and there are others (there's one that is tiny leaved and mint scented.....another name that escapes me at the moment)...or sedums like dragons blood. So many options in your climate!!
  • Barbara Smithwick Barbara Smithwick on Dec 26, 2014
    This is several months old. What did U finally do with it?? Atlanta has a great selection of plants that u can use that are LOW growing and sun loving to help set it off and not hide it. Post a pic please of what plants U did use, @Adria Whitford
  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 05, 2023

    Hi Adria, that looks great, how about a miniature willow shrubs.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    Talk to or call your local master gardners and find out what native species would do best in that area.