Wet habitats encourage wildlife to visit our gardens.
Create a wet area in a secluded part of the garden:
- Include a pond and a good surround of planting for wildlife.
- Wet habitats should include both water and a protected emergence zone of other dense foliage plants for cover.
- Grow these in either wet, muddy soil or moist soil right next to the pond.
- Include flowering plants across the season for the insect pollinators.
- Native plants are regarded as the most wildlife friendly for ponds and wet areas.
- These have been part of our country's ecology since before the formation of the English Channel.
- They suit the needs of our wildlife but can be vigorous and out of scale with more modern small-scale ponds or gardens.
Leave the larger growing British Native plants to the larger wetland areas:
- There is one British Native waterlily. It is a vigorous, large white lily. A small pond will be over-run by this so use smaller dwarf to medium white waterlilies to give 50% surface cover.
- Yellow Native Flag Iris can reach 5ft tall and are suitable for a large pond or lake. Non Native Iris give you the foliage shape and function for emerging dragonfly but are around 2ft tall.
- Mentha aquatica (Water Mint) is a strong growing rafting plant. It has runners that spread across the water that will overtake a small pond. The Non Native Mint - Mentha cervina has a similar flower head to attract insect pollinators late in the season but is a clump forming plant and much slower in growth.
For a small pond or wildlife area try to combine smaller growing Natives with non Natives to create more balanced wetland habitats.
If you need help with this:
- Purchase the Pond planting Scheme right for your size of pond, a Moist Plant Collection or a Muddy Bog Plant Collection.
- Choose to have your plants as either 'Only British Native plants’, ‘Mainly British Native' plants or ‘Any' plants from the website.
- We recommend the 'Mainly British Native' option.
- We choose the correct plants for you.
- The best wet habitats are created by balancing the scale of the British Native plants and the seasons of interest for the wildlife.
- The RHS agrees with this mixed strategy in its 'Plants for Bugs' publication.
Visit our Tips and Advice page on Choosing British Native plants for more information.