Plants For A Wildlife Pond

Plants suitable for garden wildlife ponds can be categorised into;

  1. Oxygenators.
  2. Marginal Plants.
  3. Floaters.
  4. Deep Water Aquatics.

Oxygenators – these plantsare  weighted at the base so that the leaves and stems can be underwater.

  • Water milfoil (Myriophyllum).
  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum).
  • Canadian waterweed (Egeria).

The Collins Nature Guide:Garden Wildlife Of Britain & Europe by Michael Chinery states that the three plants above, “are among the best plants for the pond. Simply dropped into the water, they will quickly form dense clumps and give off all the oxygen needed to keep the pond and its animals in good shape.”

  • Water buttercup (Ranunculus aquatilis).
  • Water violet (Hottonia palustris).

Marginal Plants – the plants have their roots are submerged but the leaves and flowers are above the surface.

  • Arrowhead (Sagittaria).
  • Water irises (Iris).

These are marginal plants also known as emergent plants and Chinery says that they, “can be planted in plastic buckets placed on the ledges around the margins of the pond.”

  • Bulrush (Schoenoplectus).
  • Dwarf reedmace (Typha minima).
  • Water forget-me-not (Myosotis).
  • Water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica).
  • Pickerel (Pondederia cordata).
  • Spearwort (Ranunculus lingua grandiflora).

Deep Water Aquatics -these plants have their roots submerged deeply and the leaves and flowers are only just floating on the surface.

  • Water lilies (Nymphaea).

Water lilies can be planted in the deepest part of the pond.

  • Water hawthorn (Aponogeton distachyos).
  • Water fringe (Nymphoides peltata).

Floaters – the leaves, stems and flowers of these plants are on, just below or just above the surface of the water.

  • Fairy moss (Azolla).
  • Frog-bit (Hydrcharis).
  • Water soldier (Stratiotes).
  • Water hyacinth (Eichhornia).
  • Ivy leaved duckweed (Lemna).

Floaters are important plants for providing shade.

This article is dedicated to my friend Sue who wants to develop her garden pond and encourage more wildlife into and around the pond. If anyone knows of any more suitable plants for the wildlife pond then please feel free to leave a comment.