How to Plant Cabomba in a Pond (Care & Grow Guide)

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how to plant cabomba in a pond

Cabomba is a beautiful aquatic plant that you’ll often find in ponds, water gardens, and especially aquariums!

Also known as Carolina Fanwort, Cabomba is extremely popular due to its ornamental appearance and ease of care. It features fan-shaped leaves, and in summer, you’ll notice white flowers emerging from the plant, sometimes breaking the surface of the water.

Cabomba can help improve water quality by converting carbon dioxide into vital oxygen, which is especially important if you have pond fish like koi, goldfish, etc. Plus, it will help consume and reduce nitrogens in the pond water, which are toxic to fish and fuel algae growth.

However, it is important to note that Cabomba is classified as an invasive species in some states, so you may have to check local regulations before planting.

Green Cabomba Live Plant

Green Cabomba Live Plant

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Cabomba (Cabomba) Quick Look

Scientific Name


Common Names

Fanwort, Carolina fanwort, green cabomba, and fish grass

Plant Type

Submerged pond plant

Light Requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Hardiness Zones

USDA Zone 6 – 13


May through September

Grow Up To

From 10 inches to over 6 ft. tall in the right conditions

Flower Color

White, yellow, pink, purple

How to Plant Cabomba in a Pond

To plant Cabomba in a pond, simply attach weights to the bunch and submerge them in the pond. The weights ensure the plants sink to the bottom of the pond, from where they grow upwards to the surface. You can also tuck the stems of the plant into the bottom sediment of your pond. It is best to anchor the plants in 1-2 inches of the substrate, so they don’t float back to the surface.

Cabomba thrives in various planting media  – aquarium gravel, muck, loam, or even aquatic soil.

For best results, ensure a minimum spacing of 1 inch among Cabomba plants. This will prevent any direct nutrient competition among them.

Cabomba Care Guide

Cabomba is easy to grow and care for, but it's also a fast-growing plant, so you'll want to keep it under control by trimming it regularly, making sure to discard the cuttings outside and away from the pond.

It is also recommended to prune and trim the leaves and flowers of your Cabomba plant as soon as they turn brown. Removing and discarding these parts will minimize your pond's excess organic material.

Cabomba can be left in the pond over winter, as it will simply grow dormant and grow back in Spring. Be sure to trim off any dead foliage and trim the plant down before winter sets in.

Green Cabomba Live Plant

Green Cabomba Live Plant

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Cabomba Care Card

Download our free printable care card for the Cabomba plant! Click the care card below and save the PDF file to your computer. You can easily print off the 3x5 care card or access it right from your phone. Get all the important information you need to keep your Cabomba plants healthy and happy!

Plus, we provide a blank card for you to print and fill out yourself. Print it as many times as you like to create cards for all your plants!

Cabomba Care Card

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Cabomba Plant FAQs

Is Cabomba a fully submerged plant?

Cabomba is a fully submerged pond plant, but in the summertime, you may notice the flowers emerge above the water line.

Can Cabomba grow in cold water?

Cabomba can grow well in a range of water temperatures, from cold to warm. But, it does not do well in temps above 85 degrees F (30 C).

Can Cabomba grow without soil?

Cabomba can grow without soil. Simply attach a weight to them and drop them in your pond. But it’s recommended to have at least an inch of some sort of substrate to attach their roots to.

Is Cabomba an invasive plant?

Cabomba is considered invasive in certain parts of the United States where it is not native. Because of its dense nature, it can quickly clog up drainage systems and prevent safe swimming in recreational ponds and lakes.