British Native plants or Non-Native pond plants?

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Should I choose British Native plants for my pond?

We recommend a combination of British Native plants and selected Non British Native plants for a pond.

  • Oxygenating plants should always be British Native species.
  • Marginal pond plants - species for a wildlife pond do not have to be British Native. Non-Native species such as Pontederia cordata and Mentha cervina add a later flowering season that benefits pollinating insects especially bees.
  • Some British Native pond plants can be too vigorous and invasive for a small scale area.
  • Use smaller Non Native varieties in a small pond. Choose Juncus ensifolius, Cyperus involucratus or Iris versicolor instead of the more vigorous British Native plants Juncus effusus, Cyperus longus or Iris pseudacorus.
  • Native waterlily - is white and is vigorous. Use smaller white waterlilies for a smaller pond. These are not Native but have the same growth habit & flower colour. These are in better scale for the smaller pond ie. Nymphaea Marliacaea Albida
  • Coloured (red, pink and yellow) waterlilies are not British Native. They give bright flowers for visual interest and for pollinators.
  • We show British Native plants with a small Union Jack for easy identification.

 

The 2015 publication from RHS ‘Plants for Bugs' says:

"The best strategy for gardeners wanting to support pollinating insects in gardens is to plant a mix of flowering plants from different countries and regions. Emphasis should be given to plants native to the UK and the Northern Hemisphere but exotic plants from the Southern Hemisphere can be used to extend the season to provide nectar and pollen for some specific pollinators.”

  • “The more flowers a garden can offer throughout the year, the greater the number of bees, hoverflies and other pollinating insects it will attract and support."

Apply the same principles to a pond:

  • In early and late season there is less in flower for insects to forage from. Try to have some pond plants flowering regardless of whether they are British Native or not.
  • A pond can have flower from Aponogeton distachyos in Feb/March through to Hesperantha coccinea in November.
  • Avoid double flowers that are not useful to the insects.

Refer to our pollinating plants page for image examples of the pond and moist area plants that are ideal for pollinating insects to keep the flowering interest going all season.

Allow us to choose a balanced collection of plants for you:

  • Purchase a Planting Scheme
  • We choose the plants for you
  • Have your Planting Scheme as either a selection of 'Only British Native plants’, ‘Mainly British Native' plants or ‘Any' plants available on the website.

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