How to Make a Portable Water Garden

Spruce up your deck or patio with a new type of garden


Water gardens don't have to be big, elaborate or expensive to add a lot of drama to your patio or garden room. They can easily be made using a non-porous container which allows them to be portable as well.

Things You'll Need:

  • non-porous container
  • water
  • water plants

How to make a portable water garden

Choose a non-porous container that does not have a drainage hole. Plastic, resin, ceramic, metal and stone all make good choices. Pick one that is at least 18" across by 24" deep.

Fill the container with rain water or water from a garden hose. Some plants are sensitive to chlorine, so you may want to let the water sit overnight before planting your container if you have public water.

Choose dwarf variety plants that will grow well in the container you have chosen. Some good choices are blue flag iris, miniature water lilies, baby doll water lotus, dwarf cattails, and floating fairy moss.

Think about varying heights, colors and textures when planting your container. Choose a taller plant, a slightly shorter plant and a couple of floating plants. For more interest choose at least one that will bloom.

If the plant is already in a pot, simply place that pot in the water garden. Floating plants can simply float right on top of the water.

Place your water garden in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Monitor the water level daily and add non-chlorinated water as needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a water fountain for more interest or to help aerate the water.
  • Use bricks or upside down pots to help elevate plants in the container so that you get varying heights without buying more plants.
  • Keep potted plants from floating up by weighing down the pots with stones or shells.
  • Divide plants as they become too big for your container. Give to friends, sell them or create new or larger water gardens.
  • Put your container on a dolly with wheels before filling it with water to make it even more portable.
  • Do not dispose of water plants in local waterways as some are invasive.

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