Coverage plants to create a wildlife pond habitat:
- Should include both the pond water area and the planted areas around the outside of the pond.
1. Deep water plants to provide cover:
- Oxygenating plants will increase in volume in the warmer summer months and should be allowed to fill 30% of the volume of the pond.
- This gives places for young amphibians to hide in different depth zones of water as they grow and mature.
2. Surface pond cover plants:
- Start with cover across the pond in Spring with Aponogeton distachyos
- Use waterlilies for more surface cover for wildlife in Summer.
- The only Native waterlily is Nymphaea alba which can be too vigorous for a small pond so substitute with smaller whites - Nymphaea Marliacaea Albida
- Aim for 60% surface coverage by leaves
- Use the Native Frogbit (Hydrocharis Morsus Ranae) whose leaves only grow to 1" in diameter and Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides)
- These plants will help to protect the young and vulnerable newts, frog and toad tadpoles during metamorphosis in different areas of the pond.
3. Cover from shelf plants:
- Plant growth on the shelf areas of the pond will give protection later in Summer as the young amphibians leave for the first time.
- Grow Veronica beccabunga and Myosotis scorpioides for the smaller pond or Mentha aquatica for a larger pond.
- Emergent pond plants like Iris whose rhizomes walk out into the water make the transition between water and land smoother.
4. Cover outside the pond:
- Moist and bog plantings around the outside of the pond water create a wildlife pond habitat.
- the area should be full and leafy in growth.
- They give the pond a backdrop and setting.
- Provide foraging places for slugs and other insects and a protective canopy as young amphibians leave the pond for the first time.
- Create Bug Houses or log piles for overwintering places for wildlife.