Best tall plant to attract dragonflies?

Hi guys, I've just rediscovered this lovely forum after a break away. My small pond is teeming with life now. It's 2 years old and it's really settled now. I had a dragonfly swooping about in the garden yesterday and I would love it to lay eggs in the pond. It's a Bermuda cove and I have a newt and some frogs already back for the spring. I'm just wondering what tall plant would be best? I have a reed growing at the side and there's a marsh marigold too. Thx
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  • Dragonflies are not generally fussy when it comes to types of plants but whether the whole site offer a good territory for a male to attract a mate.  There are masses of plants to choose from - a starter list can be seen here:

    http://www.wildflowershop.co.uk/Pond%20Plants/dragonfly%20collection.htm

    Really you are constrained by the size of pond and the aggressive nature of each plant species.  For instance a native sparganium, typha or and many sedges are very invasive and not suited to small garden ponds, where as lesser spearwort, water plantain and to an extent purple loose strife and easily be kept in check.

    Since dragonflies spend most of their lives under the water (as larvae) ensuring good aquatic habitats is a start to a flourishing dragonfly colony. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,071

    I think plants growing out from the water is most important, what they are is irrelevant as Simon says. Dragonflies are carnivores not plant eaters

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,197

    The best perching points are produced from simple piles of dead sticks. This will attract far more dragonflies than the plants.

    Think big though, I pile of sticks 6 inches high won't attract much, one 5 foot high in a sunny spot will have the males lining up throughout the summer.

    And of course there is no fear that the pile of sticks will invade the rest of your garden. image

  • JodeJayJodeJay Posts: 73
    Thanks guys for all the constructive advice. I have situated my pond in an overgrown area with plenty of sticks, although not 5 ft high lol. I have plenty of plants growing out from the sides too. I guess I just have to wait and see if they like the nature pond or not. I've never seen any dragonfly larvae in there so it would be nice to attract them.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,197

    I'm not kidding about the ideal perch height, they are sun lovers and need to be able to sit in the sun and see their territory. No perching points, no dragonflies. It is too risky for them against competitors otherwise, so they need a vantage point to keep an eye on everything. Else they'll just fly over and go somewhere more suitable. image 

    I have records of 9 species of dragonflies and 8 damselflies from a small pond in a relatively tiny back garden. The reason being that I have log piles topped with sticks in the full sun, sitting five foot off the ground. image It's only a pile of sticks, try it, you might get a dozen other things living in the pile too, in fact I will pretty much guarantee that you will. 

    You'll often see them sat on washing lines, that's what they are doing, high vantage point where they can survey the area whilst warming themselves in the sun. 

    There is without doubt at least one dragonfly species that will love your pond, probably several but they won't use it if it presents nothing but a risk to them. image

    The first species you ought to see is the Broad-bodied chaser, if they didn't come in the first season then it is the surroundings of the pond that is stopping them, not the pond itself.

  • JodeJayJodeJay Posts: 73
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    Thanks Gemma, I've been establishing a stick pile so hopefully I have provided some perching points now. The pond is also next to an apple tree ( I net it over in the autumn to stop the leaves). Do you have a picture of your pond and perches to give me an idea if I've done enough to attract them? Thx again, your advice is really helpful.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,197

    You might make them out in this picture, though they are lost a bit to the background:

    image

    Hopefully you can see some of the sticks and branches stand out high above the rest, they are dead so are not obscured by vegetation at any time.

    If you haven't got room for a large pile of sticks, just a single bare stick stuck in the ground but around 5ft high above it will work. Just think of them having a spot where they can see the pond and all around them in full sun. That's what they look for. image If you have the time to sit and watch you may see a succession of males 'claim' the vantage point throughout the summer. image

    We are hoping for a good show this year. The ponds murky because it was recently renovated, that means the early species should be back, including the chasers which are my favourites.

  • JodeJayJodeJay Posts: 73
    Wow! That's a very impressive pond. I'm not surprised it's so popular image I have just dragged my husband on a walk to find a 5ft stick and we found one so have stuck it next to the pond to provide a perching place. Hopefully the one I saw yesterday will return and decide to give my little pond a chance. The pond is situated in the sun and it's a lovely sunbathing spot for me so who knows if they will approve.
  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

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  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

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     The first three and others were photographed on a pond in the village but this one was rescued from the Surgery tying to get out a  closed skylight

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