How to plant a pond to create a wildlife habitat

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To create a balanced wildlife habitat use:

Submerged plants under the water:

  • 2 bunches or 9cm basket of submerged oxygenators per m² of surface area but less the larger the pond size
  • Necessary for pond health and submerged cover for wildlife.

Surface cover and rafting plants:

Emergent marginal pond shelf plants:

  • Choose upright pond plants for the shelf areas at a rate of 1x1 litre basket per linear foot of shelf space.
  • The wider the shelf the more space for plants and the more natural the finished look when you group the 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 the Tips and Advice page.

Planting schemes:

A quick and easy way for you to choose how to plant your pond. Our planting schemes provide a 'one click solution' to creating a a balanced wildlife habitat.

  • We put together a combination of plants to suit your pond size and can tailor this to 'Mainly British Native plants', 'British Native only' or a selection from 'Any plant on the website'.
  • This provides oxygenating plants, decorative marginal plants for the different depth shelf areas and a surface cover plant for the deeper section (in Planting Scheme Sizes 2-5).
  • Includes both rafting plants for spawning and emergent uprights for attracting airborne pollinators
  • A Planting scheme will spread the interest across the seasons.

Pond plant scale and size?

Some marginal 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 which 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 that fit more in scale with garden ponds. The choice of colours then include blues, purples, whites and black.

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