Create a wildlife habitat

Encourage pond wildlife 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13  

Plant to create a balanced wildlife-friendly habitat:

  • Use plants from each of these separate planting groups to create a wildlife habitat.
  • Each type of plant occupies a different area of the water and does a different job in the pond.

1. Submerged oxygenating plants under the water:

  • 2 portions of bareroot submerged oxygenators per m² of surface area (but choose less the larger the pond size)
  • Wildlife benefit - submerged deep water cover from predators and a supply of oxygen in the water.
  • Pond benefits - they use nutrient in the water and inhibit blanketweed. They use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis that, in excess, would help create the greenhouse effect that causes global warming.

2. Surface cover plants:

3. Rafting marginal shelf pond plants:

4. 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 benefit - upright plants for dragonflies to emerge from the water & flowers for airborne insect bee and butterfly pollinators.
  • Pond benefit - uses surplus nutrients in the water to grow and flower.

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.

5. Muddy bog or Moist areas around the pond add to the wildlife habitat:

 Extend the wildlife habitat further by including:

  • Longer grass
  • Piles of fallen leaves
  • Log piles
  • A 'Bug House'
  • Hedges not fences

Planting schemes for a balanced wildlife habitat:

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 balanced pond wildlife habitat.
  • We combine a collection of all the necessary pond plants to suit your pond size with our Pond Planting Schemes.
  • Choose either 'Mainly British Native plants' - our favourite, 'British Native only' or a selection from 'Any plant on the website'.
  • Schemes include all types of pond plants mentioned above - 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 bee and butterfly insect 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.
  • Also use our Moist Planting Collection or Muddy Bog Collection for the habitat outside the pond water.

We choose 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 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. Ideal for a large pond or a lake.
  • Better Irises for a smaller pond - Iris versicolor and louisiana are 2ft 6" in height with a slower growth rate and more in scale with garden ponds. 
  • Waterlily - Nymphaea alba is a large growing British Native waterlily.
  • To keep a British Native 'look' but use a smaller scale waterlily we choose Nymphaea Marliacaea Albida or Nymphaea odorata alba
  • For plants to create a balanced wildlife habitat - see below: