9 Plants That Look Like Lily Pads

Lily Pads are stunning water plants that paint a picturesque image of a lush and healthy pond or lake. When most people think of these waterways, almost all will tell you that green and flowering Lily Pads are floating on the water.

You can have Lily Pads in your garden pond to help create a calming scene that is beautiful to look at and will be the star of your garden. There are several types of Lily Pads that you can grow in your pond, but they are all relatively easy to care for.

Lily Pads can be helpful to the environment of the water they grow in, but there are some instances when these plants become a problem when they grow in areas they are not native to. This can interfere with your area’s local wildlife and environment, even if the Lily Pads are only in your garden pond.

For this reason, you might want to look for Lily Pad alternatives that you can plant in your plant and garden that will not damage the fragile ecosystem in your area.

Lily Pads are beautiful plants that can generally be grown in most environments, but there are some locations where they can harm the ecosystems in your area. To avoid this but still have your pond looking the way you dreamed it, you need to plant another water plant that looks like a Lily Pad.

Alternatively, you might be someone who likes the look of Lily Pads, but you don’t have a garden pond, and you cannot build one, but you want the plant. In this case, you will need a land plant that looks like a Lily Pad to satisfy your needs.

Thankfully, there are water and land plants that look like Lily Pads, so no matter your scenario, you can still have something that looks like the plant you love. Let’s go through plants that look like Lily Pads, both water, and land plants, to help you build your desired look in your garden.

1. Pilea Peperomioides

Pancake Plant
Eden, Janine and Jim Pancake Plant

Pilea peperomioides, also called Pancake Plant and Chinese Money Plant, is a lovely houseplant that looks like a mini Lily Pad. This plant is a land or soil plant that is mainly grown indoors and is highly sought-after for its cute and unusual looks. Like a Lily Pad, this plant has round leaves with dainty stems.

This plant is a lovely green that further resembles a Lily Pad. Pilea peperomioides are an excellent ornamental plant that is extremely easy to care for and perfect for beginners. So, no matter your skill level at looking after plants, this plant will likely thrive in your care.

2. Garden Nasturtium

debs-eye nasturtiums

The Garden nasturtium is a stunning annual land plant that looks strikingly similar to Lily Pads. This is a fast-growing plant that grows large, round, green leaves that stand on fairly thick stems that keep the plant somewhat ridged.

This plant blooms with bright red, yellow, or orange flowers that mature into small fruits that many wild animals enjoy, but you cannot eat these fruits. These plants are perfect for Lily Pad lovers who cannot have a pond, as they look like Lily Pads growing in soil. These plants are fairly easy to care for and can handle the full sun well.

3. Dichondra

Harry Rose Dichondra

The next plant you can try to grow in your garden is the Dichondra plant. This lovely plant looks like a miniature version of a Lily Pad, and you grow it in soil. These are perennial plants that have small round leaves with creeping stems, which can make this plant spread around your garden.

These plants prefer tropical or slightly cool growing conditions, so if you live in a hot or extremely cold climate, this is not the Lily Pad alternative for you. This plant does flower, and the flowers can be yellow, white, or greenish, and they are quite small, but they can help enhance the look of your garden.

4. Gotu Kola

Centella asiatica
Natcharee Muenchareon Centella asiatica

Another land plant that looks similar to Lily Pads is the Gotu Kola plant. This perennial plant belongs to the Apiaceae plant family, and it is native to tropical climates like Asia, Africa, and Australia.

However, if your climate is relatively warm and humid, you won’t have a problem growing these plants in your garden. An added benefit of growing Gotu Kola in your garden is that you can use this plant as a culinary vegetable, which is also used in some traditional medicines.

This plant has round, bright green leaves with dainty stems that resemble Lily Pads well. These plants also flower, which can add to the beauty of your garden.

5. Leopard Plant

Leopard Plant
Drew Avery Leopard Plant

Leopard plants are evergreen perennial plants that grow in clumps and looks like Lily Pads. This is a land plant that you can plant in your garden to help cultivate the look you want. The leaves are small, round, and green, balanced on thin stems.

This plant is a member of the sunflower family, so it does require rich, moist soil to grow well. This plant does bloom with lovely bright yellow flowers that can help add color to your garden.

6. Hydrocotyle Umbellata

Hydrocotyle Umbellata
Dick Culbert Hydrocotyle Umbellata

The Hydrocotyle umbellata or Dollarweed is a beautiful land plant that looks similar to Lily Pads, but the leaves of this plant are held high by thick stems, making this quite a tall plant. Dollarweed is native to North America and some parts of South America, so you can grow this plant almost anywhere.

The leaves of this plant are round and light green, and they are used in some traditional medicine recipes in their native areas. These plants are great if you like the look of Lily Pads but don’t have a garden pond.

7. Marsilea Mutica

Marsilea Mutica
Kevin Thiele Marsilea Mutica

Marsilea mutica, or Four Leaf Water Clover, is a beautiful plant to grow in your garden pond as an alternative to Lily Pads. The leaves of this plant are thick and have a round shape that resembles those of a Lily Pad.

The leaves are a dark green around the edges and a lovely light green in the middle, creating a brilliant contrast of colors in your pond. This plant can handle a wide variety of growing conditions, making it pretty easy to care for. This is one of the best Lily Pad alternatives for your pond.

8. Nymphoides Aquatica

Nymphoides Aquatica
flawildflowers Nymphoides Aquatica

Nymphoides Aquatica, or Banana plant, is a great water plant that you should consider as an alternative to Lily Pads. This plant is native to the southeastern parts of the United States, including Maryland and Texas.

The leaves of this plant are round, with a notch at the base where the stem connects to the leaf. These leaves will float on the surface of the water and are fast-growing. The leaves are a lovely bright green, and the flowers are small and white. These plants are excellent alternatives to Lily Pads, so if you find them, buy as many as you can fit in your pond.

9. Aponogeton Distachyos

Aponogeton Distachyos
Bernard DUPONT Aponogeton Distachyos

The Aponogeton distachyos or Water Hawthorn is a wonderful addition to your garden pond in place of Lily Pads. This plant is native to western Africa but grows well in subtropical to warm temperate climates.

This plant has round green leaves that float on the water’s surface and are sometimes mottled, adding a lovely color contrast to your garden pond. This is a flowering plant, and the flowers have a lovely, sweet smell, which can attract bees and butterflies to your pond. This plant is a great alternative to Lily Pads if you cannot grow Lily Pads in your pond, as they look almost identical to them.