Marginal pond plants for dragonflies

Marginal pond plants for dragonflies

Using Marginal Shelf Pond Plants dragonflies and damselflies climb out of ponds now.

You can watch this amazing spectacle - often in the early morning or late evening.

Tall upright-growing stems of any emergent marginal pond plants are used by dragonflies so make sure you have plenty growing upwards out of the water at this time of year. See our suggestions on this link.

  • Plants used by dragonflies and damselfly larvae all have their roots and baskets below the water surface.
  • The water based larvae start to climb on foliage below the water surface.
  • To have their final metamorphosis into adulthood the larvae will climb up the stem into the air.
  • Alisma plantago-aquatica, Anemopsis californica,  Butomus umbellatus, Carex acutiformis, Cyperus, water Iris, Typha or Pontederia varieties are all good for this.
  • Emerging larvae will climb up the stems and grip tightly on before pushing open a slit down the back of its outer casing
  • It will push its way free of the casing and hang onto the stem to harden its body and inflate the veins in its wings for flight.
  • The empty casing is abandoned on the plant.
  • Within hours you can see the adults flit and fly above the water and within days they will mate.
  • The adult stage is usually the shortest in the dragon or damselfly life-cycle and rarely lasts for more than a few weeks.
    You can also watch the female deposit her eggs back into the pond:

  • She stretches her ovipositor (tail) down under the water surface into the plants or into mud in the margins of the pond.
  • Waterlilies and Frogbit would help support her when she oviposits
  • Watch our video of this on our Tips and Advice page

Also see all our photos of the lifecycle stages of dragon or damselflies on our Tips and Advice page.

Cameras at the ready!

Add more marginal pond plants for dragonflies and damselflies to use during emerging - see our ideas below: