Ponds

Add a pond to your garden and give your garden an extra dimension

Pond planting

Aquatic flora enlivens a pond and helps create a good wildlife habitat.

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  • Moss can add character to garden features. Image: John Trentholm/RHS

    Algae, lichens, liverworts and moss

    Algae, lichens, liverworts and moss are often found growing in damp or shady places in the garden on plants, soil and hard surfaces. They do not cause any harm, and can usually be tolerated as they can give a mature look to a garden. But they can make paths and lawns slippery and make ponds and borders unsightly so control is sometimes necessary.

  • Planting an aquatic plant.

    Aquatic plants: planting

    Aquatic plants enliven a pond and help create a wildlife habitat. They are not difficult to plant, although there are a few key differences from planting on land.

  • New Zealand pygmy weed choking a pond. Credit: RHS Advisory.

    Aquatic weeds

    Aquatic weeds (or pond weeds) can normally be tolerated in small numbers, but it is when they make excessive growth that they become a nuisance, particularly in summer. In garden ponds control is relatively easy, but in larger ponds and lakes it is more difficult.

  • ©RHS LIB0041289

    Bog gardens

    Creating a bog garden is the perfect use for a redundant or leaky pond, but it can also be an informal edge to an existing pond or a way of cultivating a naturally waterlogged dip in your garden. Bog gardens provide a range of attractive planting opportunities and are an excellent wildlife habitat.

  • Duckweed on a pond. Credit:RHS/John Trenholm.

    Duckweed

    Duckweed is a familiar sight to pond owners. The tiny, rounded leaves float on the water surface, resembling a mass of young cress plants. They multiply rapidly and quickly fill any open surface of water unless regularly cleared.

  • Himalayan balsam

    Invasive non-native species

    Our gardens have been greatly enriched by the introduction of plants from abroad but a small number have proved highly invasive in the UK, threatening natural habitats and native species. The control of these species is difficult and costly, yet many are widely available with little indication of the damage they can do if they are allowed to escape from gardens or are disposed of carelessly. After habitat destruction, invasive non-native species are the most serious threat to global biodiversity.

  • blanket weed

    Pond algae and blanket weed

    Algae can be a major problem in ponds, causing discoloured water, green scum at the pond edges, or dense mats of green growth under the surface. If conditions are favourable, algae will spread quickly and can harm aquatic life. 

  • Removing blanket weed from a pond. Credit: RHS/Advisory.

    Pond care

    Ponds are a lovely addition to any garden and can provide a rich habitat for a range of wildlife. However, without care ponds can soon become an eyesore with overgrown plants, weeds and water that is unhealthy for fish and other wildlife. Occasional cleaning and regular maintenance are required.

  • ©RHS PUB0025629

    Pond construction and repair

    There are a number of ways of creating a pond. Most involve excavating a hole of the required shape: what is different is the type of impervious material used to line the hole. These include flexible waterproof liners, semi-solid preformed ponds and concrete.

  • Pond filters

    Pond filters

    Pond filters are used to maintain a healthy pond by keeping it clear of algae and some of the debris which, in turn, helps to keep fish healthy.

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