Skip to main content

What to consider before building a wildlife pond

Wildlife ponds are great additions to any landscape design because they provide a water source for animals and a beautiful addition to the scenery. Plus, they’re an excellent way to get closer to nature.

You can create a wildlife pond in as little as a weekend. To make it as sustainable as possible, you simply use the resources that are already naturally found in your area. For example, you can use plants native to your region so that your wildlife pond becomes a natural habitat for local species. With proper care, you’ll see many more invertebrates, mammals, and birds populating your pond over time.

Dragonfly in wildlife pond
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is a wildlife pond

A wildlife pond is a beautiful and easy way to establish a natural habitat in your garden, backyard, or even on your front lawn. It’s also one of the easiest ways to bring nature into your life. The best part? As previously suggested, building one only takes about three days!

A wildlife pond is a significant step up from a regular garden pond. It includes features that are natural to the local habitat. For example, suppose you’re in North America, your wildlife pond might have cattails and other aquatic vegetation along with native fish and bullfrogs. In contrast, similar ponds elsewhere in the world might include different types of plants and animals as they suit their environment.

A great thing about wildlife ponds is that they provide habitats for many species at risk of extinction. For instance, some frogs need them during the tadpole stage of their life cycle.

Benefits of wildlife ponds

The plants in your wildlife pond provide food and shelter to many animals, from bugs to big game. The colors of the flora attract pollinators, too, like bees and butterflies. Many birds who use vegetation for nesting or feeding are also attracted, including crows, chickadees, ravens, and herons.

Wildlife ponds naturally create a type of wetland habitat, even if your pond is relatively small. With all of the negative changes occurring to everyday environments, it’s essential for people to protect the outdoor landscapes on their properties. A wildlife pond is a fantastic way to help protect and preserve plants and wildlife while creating a peaceful spot to relax.

Caring for a wildlife pond

Caring for a wildlife pond doesn’t have to be super hard. Once you’ve built it, you need to try and keep the water as low-maintenance as possible. Installing a pump and filter system similar to that of a swimming pool can help keep debris from getting into the pond. In turn, that can help prevent algae growth will oxygenate the water.

There’s usually no need to add fertilizers or other aquatic additives because of how many bugs and fish are attracted to it naturally! You might be amazed at what happens when you add structures like logs, rocks, or stumps. They all provide added living space for teeny tiny crawly things, which then become food for bigger animals—your own little ecosystem.

Things to think about before installing a wildlife pond

Before building a wildlife pond, you need to consider precisely where you’d like to put it and whether it makes sense to put one on your property. Not all environments are suited to having one installed.

Ideally, you’ll need a level area that’s at least 100 square feet. The wildlife pond should be at least three feet deep, and you’ll also want to think about what sort of fish you want in your pond—from goldfish all the way up to bass!

Importantly, it’s highly recommended that you seek professional advice if you intend to create your pond in an area that may already be considered a wildlife habitat. As for the types of plants you should use to plant around your wildlife pond, there’s a massive variety from which to choose. You’ll need to do some research on this subject.

Frog swimming in wildlife pond
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Wildlife pond management

Keep in mind that the benefits of a wildlife pond are plentiful. For one, they’re beautiful and can be located in any area you want to put them – it doesn’t matter what the landscape looks like as long as there’s adequate space for both the water and plants. They provide an excellent habitat for fish, frogs, turtles—wildlife!

Finally, remember that the best thing you can do for our planet is to educate yourself, your family members, friends, co-workers, or anyone else you’re trying to influence so that they understand that taking care of the world we live in, and its environment, is crucial to the survival of many species, including our own.

Editors' Recommendations

Will Blesch
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Blesch is a copywriter, content writer, and someone passionate about anything that lets him discover more about this…
What are water globes, and why should you use them for plants?
Tips and tricks for using water globes
An iridescent pink water globe under a holly plant.

Not being able to water your plants doesn’t have to mean instant death for them! Whether you’re going away for vacation or find yourself too busy to consistently water your plants, water globes for plants can be a reliable source of hydration for a few weeks. Plus, there are tons of colorful options, so no matter what your personal aesthetic is you're sure to find one that work for you. How useful are these gardening tools, and are they more effective than other watering methods? We'll answer all your questions and even recommend some of our favorite water globes!

What is a water globe?
The idea of a water globe is straightforward. Essentially, you have a sphere made from glass, plastic, clay, or metal with a long, thin neck. At the end of the neck, you'll find a small opening that slowly dispenses water after you fill up the globe and stick it into your soil. When your soil dries out, air gets into the globe, which pushes a small amount of water out of the stem.
Pros of water globes
Water globes are great if you’re going away for a while or find yourself without much time to tend to your plants. They can usually keep your soil moist for between seven to 14 days. If you’re out of town for a week or two or have a particularly thirsty plant, a water globe can be a quick and relatively affordable solution. It’s especially ideal for water-loving plants such as ferns and calatheas, which appreciate moist soil.
Cons of water globes
There are some matters to consider, of course. A globe can be fragile, especially if you get a glass one. Also, the amount of water dispensed can be variable, depending on how you stick the globe into the soil, the size of the sphere, and your home temperature conditions. While water globes dispense water slowly and don’t waterlog your soil, they aren't the best choice for plants that prefer to fully dry out between waterings, such as cacti and succulents.

Read more
The 4 best window shelves for displaying happy houseplants
Choosing a plant shelf for your window garden
Plant in a window

Those of us who are obsessed with house plants know that the real estate around a window is in high demand for our leafy friends, especially for those of us who adore succulents, cacti, and other plant friends who need extra sunlight. Depending on the number of windows you have and what direction they face, there may not be enough light to go around. This leads to crowded windows and sometimes means we can't grow our collection because we have nowhere to put any more plants.

Investing in a plant shelf is a great solution, but how do you know which is right for you? We've got all the info, including 4 recommendations for you to choose from! Your plant shelf window garden will thrive with these tips and tricks.

Read more
Can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Here’s what you need to know to grow your dream plant
Tips and tricks for successfully propagating a bird of paradise plant
Bird of paradise plant

Whether they're found in their natural habitats in the wild or as the centerpiece in an indoor garden, bird of paradise plants are eye-catching and perfect for adding some color and tropical flair to your home. This plant is native to South Africa and is well-known for its lush foliage and attractive tropical blooms with vividly colored flowers. The plant gets its name from the stunning flower's resemblance to a colorful bird in flight.

With how stunning this plant is, it's no wonder that so many gardeners want to grow their own. However, growing one from seed can take a long time, and mature plants can be expensive if you want more than one. For most plants like this, propagation is the fastest and most cost effective way of adding them to your garden. So can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Yes, and this guide will tell you how!

Read more