Water plants for a wildlife pond

I created a wildlife pond from a preformed liner last autumn. It has sloped edges and will be in semi sun and semi shade. It is about 1metre long and about half a metre wide. Not very big. I am now thinking about what water plants to put in and have no idea where to start. None of the garden centres have any on stock at the moment and there is so much info online. So if anyone could give me the names of some plants that would be idea for a small pond or any good websites that would be great! Ps. The pond does not have a pump in it so would also need oxygenating plants image


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,892

    You'll need different plants for the deep parts and for the shallower areas - how deep is the deepest part and how deep are the shallower bits?

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I am not sure in cms but the deepest part is probably up to my elbow if I put my arm in it and the shollowist to my wrist
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    That's quite a small pond, so the number of plants it will hold will be limited. Pond plants tend to be vigourous growers too.

    As you say, you'll need an oxygenator - hornwort, milfoil or elodea. Then maybe a small water lily to cover part of the surface, and perhaps a small water iris, or other upright plant, at the side.

  • marsh marigold,lovely and golden ,fertility,water mint adds a little hint of scent.

  • Have a look at Stapelys Water Garden site. They sell miniature waterlilies which only need about 4ins depth of water to grow in. Their plants are excellent and arrive very well packed.

    You would only need one plant for your size of pond.

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    As Lyon said, native pond plants can be very vigorous. Mint will rampage around include growing out of the pond but is OK if you keep on top of it. Native irises much too big and spreading as I know to my cost. Agree with Rose that marsh marigold is excellent. I like water forget-me-not which spreads around like the mint doeas and is also pretty easy to control.

  • Brooklime is a super little plant to use in conjunction with water forget me not.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    A really convenient way to buy elodea (which is probably the most popular oxygenator) is through Amazon...



  • Erica938Erica938 Posts: 25

    I have a similar size pond and I bought my plants from www.puddleplants.co.uk they suggested I went for the native barrel collection http://www.puddleplants.co.uk/native-barrel-collection.html

    I ordered my plants on Monday and I received them on the Wednesday by FedEx. If you are unsure on anything you can email them for advise. I put my plants in today and can't wait to see them mature.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    John don't forget some planting alongside your pond for froglets to get a  bit of cover, and some shingle and assorted rocks etc to let wildlife in and out for drinking and bathing. Up here we have a chain of GC's called Dobbies and some branches have a good selection of pond plants so worth  checking what's in your area. I also used an online specialist nursery and will try to locate the name if I can. A  wildlife pond whatever the size is just so lovely and well worth the effort.image

  • TootsietimTootsietim Posts: 176

    I have a very similar sized pond also in part shade. It is planted with a flowering rush and contains both milfoil and water crowfoot (I removed the elodea as it was far too vigorous) I then ensure that the surrounding soil is very moisture retentive and grow marginal plants there rather than in the pond, (marsh marigold, variegated iris etc).

    No Fish. but planty of water fleas, tadpoles, damselflies etc.

  • jane_gjane_g Posts: 1

    Callitriche verna is a good choice for your plant. It's an oxygenating plant which forms mats of foliage. They usually blossom in March and dies during winter.

    Water Violet or Hottonia palustris is also a good choice for flowering plants. They usually bloom from May to June with a bright green feathery foliage. 

    Water Crowfoot or Ranunculus aquatilis is also a great choice if you like flowers. This blooms white flowers during April to July. - Jane

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    You should buy Hornwort if you can rather than Elodea.  Elodea is not native and can be invasive in a small pond.  I have just installed a similar small preformed pond.  At to moment it has Bogbean in (floating), Hornwart (oxygenator), small water lilly called Helvola, and a small leaved floating thing which I forgot the name of.  I also have a pot of the miniature bullrush in there for damselflies to climb out of the pond and dry their wings.  I would also like to get hold of some Frogbit.  This is a good site:


    I got mine from here:


  • I have just joined this site and I am pleased I did as the advise is wonderful . I have just made a wildlife pond after a heron took all my fish so thought I would turn it into a wildlife pond, I am looking for info on the best plants for wildlife.

  • You'll need some 'oxygenators' to keep the water oxygen rich to support aquatic wildlife.


    ...and some plants to suck up the nutrients prevent algae / green water...eg

    Water hyacinths

    Water forget-me.not

    ...and some marginal plants for visual appeal...eg

    Water mint

    Mini rushes

    Water primrose

    and a few floating plants to create shaded areas for wildlife to hide...eg

    Water lilies


    Water lettuce

    Also, I'd go to a local established pond or a neighbour's pond and get a bucket of silt. This will contain enough lavae and nymphs to get your pond started. in terms of aquatic life. Pond snails are an especially important part of the ecosystem of a pond.

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