Planting guidelines on how to plant all the water depths in your pond to create a balanced wildlife habitat:
Submerged plants under the water:
As a rule of thumb you need 2 bunches or 9cm basket of submerged oxygenators per m² of surface area, but less the larger the pond size, aiming for 30% of the volume in time.
Surface cover plants:
You need to aim for 60% of your water surface area covered by plants – either waterlily or surface cover plants. (Look at the ultimate spread of each category of waterlily to find the most suitable for your size of pond and supplement their spread in the short term using floating surface cover plants and rafting plants)
Emergent marginal pond shelf plants:
Then choose emergent pond plants for the shelf areas at a rate of 1×1 litre basket per linear foot of shelf space. The wider the shelf the more plants you will need and the more natural the finished look as you can group the plants in clusters.
In 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.
Our planting schemes provide a ‘one click solution’ to create 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’ or a selection from ‘Any plant on the website’.
This will provide you with oxygenating plants – necessary for pond health and submerged cover for wildlife, decorative marginal plants for the different depth shelf areas of assorted growth habits for the wildlife – both rafting for spawning and emergent for attracting airborne pollinators. You will also need a waterlily for the deeper section which would be a Pond waterlily for at least shelf depth.
The scheme would spread the interest across the seasons and give a mix of rafting and emergent plant types.
Pond plant scale and size?
Some marginal plants are more suited to garden wildlife ponds others to a larger lake situation.
Be careful if you are choosing your own plants.
Dependent on the size of your wildlife water area choose your plant varieties carefully – ie. Typha latifolia is a vigorous rafting plant but Typha minima is a smaller clumping variety.
The same is true for Iris. The Native is the Yellow Flag Iris – Iris pseudacorus which can grow to 5ft tall and spreads into a solid clump of 2ft width within a couple of years. Ideal for a large pond or a lake. There are more restrained Iris 2ft 6″ in height with a slower growth rate that fit more in the scale of most garden ponds. The choice of colours then include blues, purples, whites and black.