How to plant a pond to create a balanced wildlife habitat

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To create a balanced wildlife pond habitat use:

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

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 page for images.

Planting schemes for a wildlife pond:

A quick and easy way for you to choose pond plants to create a 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.

Pond plant scale and size?

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 latifolia is a vigorous rafting plant but Typha minima is a smaller clumping variety.
  • The Native Iris is the 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, whites and black.
  • For related products - see below: