How to plant a pond to create a balanced wildlife habitat

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To create a balanced wildlife pond habitat plant:

Submerged oxygenating plants under the water:

  • 2 portions of submerged oxygenators per m² of surface area (but choose less the larger the pond size)
  • Wildlife - submerged cover from predators and a supply of oxygen in the water.

Surface cover plants:

Rafting marginal shelf pond plants:

Emergent marginal shelf pond plants:

  • Choose upright pond plants for the shelf areas at a rate of 1x11cm basket per linear foot of shelf space.
  • On a wide shelf use more plant groups per linear foot.
  • Wildlife - upright plants for dragonflies to emerge from the water & flowers for airbourne insect pollinators

Groups of upright plants:

  • The pond looks more natural when you group the upright plant baskets in clusters.
  • For a larger pond buy 3 of a kind of each plant and a contour mesh basket and put all 3 in the contour together.
  • Fill the remaining space with gravel and you have an instant clump effect and weight at the base to help keep tall plants upright. See our Tips and Advice - Planting a Pond page for images.

Muddy bog or Moist areas around the pond:

Planting schemes for a balanced wildlife pond:

A quick and easy way to plant a pond to create a balanced wildlife habitat is to use our Planting schemes for the size of your pond.

  • Our planting schemes provide a 'one click solution' to creating a a balanced pond wildlife habitat.
  • We combine a collection of plants to suit your pond size.
  • You choose either 'Mainly British Native plants', 'British Native only' or a selection from 'Any plant on the website'.
  • Schemes include oxygenating plants, decorative marginal plants for the different depth shelf areas and a surface cover plant for the deeper water (in Planting Scheme Sizes 2-5).
  • Includes both rafting plants for spawning and emergent uprights for dragonflies or airborne pollinators.
  • All Planting schemes will spread the interest across the seasons.
  • Ideal for the beginner as a Starter Pond Kit until you gain more experience with planting in water.

Choosing the best pond plants for your size of pond:

Some marginal shelf pond plants are more suited to garden wildlife ponds, others to larger lake situations. Be careful if you are choosing your own plants.

  • Typha lugdunensis is a more vigorous rafting plant but Typha minima is a smaller clumping variety.
  • The Native Iris is Yellow Flag Iris - Iris pseudacorus. This can grow to 5ft tall and spreads quickly into a solid clump. Ideal for a large pond or a lake.
  • Iris versicolor and louisiana are 2ft 6" in height with a slower growth rate more in scale with garden ponds. The choice of colours then include blues, purples and black.
  • Waterlily - Nymphaea alba is a large growing British Native waterlily.
  • For a smaller pond to maintain a British Native 'look' use  Nymphaea Marliacaea Albida which is smaller in growth.
  • For plants to create a balanced wildlife habitat - see below: