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:
- Cover 60% of your water surface area with plants - use waterlilies growing from deep in the pond in Summer.
- Look at the ultimate spread of each category of waterlily to find the most suitable for your size of pond.
- Include Aponogeton distachyos for early Spring cover.
- Wildlife - surface cover from predators and water temperature control.
Rafting marginal shelf pond plants:
- Add horizontally growing rafting shelf pond plants to grow across the water away from the 9cm basket
- Houttuynia cordata Chameleon, Mentha aquatica, Myosotis scorpioides, Myosotis scorpioides alba, Oenanthe javanica Flamingo, Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum, Veronica beccabunga
- Wildlife - provides habitat for newts to lay eggs
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:
- These provide the wetland habitat.
- Planting around the water should be dense in places to give safety to the wildlife entering and leaving the water.
- Muddy Bog or Moist Schemes available for 1m2 areas.
- See more about Creating a wet or damp area around your 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: