Wildlife container pond step-by-step

Think you don't have space for a pond? We have the perfect solution - a pond in a pot. Repurpose an old Belfast sink, plastic sand pit or recycling box. Making your very own wildlife-friendly container pond is a perfect weekend project.

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Quick facts

  • Pond-skaters will quickly find your mini-pond
  • Container ponds are great for everyone, even if you only have a balcony or roof terrace
  • Smelly, stagnant water is rarely a problem if you use rainwater and a few plants

Getting started

What you'll need to make your container pond;

  • A container such as a half barrel, plastic trug, child's old sand pit, a recycling box, or Belfast sink
  • A sheet of pond liner to line your container if it isn't watertight
  • Some bricks, stones or several logs OR
  • A plank of untreated timber and square of chickenwire
  • 3-5 pond plants suitable for small ponds
  • Rainwater
Top Tip

Worried about small children around water? Make a bee drinker instead using a large plant saucer filled with pebbles and water.

A pond in a pot in six steps

  1. Pick your position - Position your container somewhere you can enjoy, ideally with a little sun but not for the whole of the day otherwise the water can warm up too much or evaporate too quickly.
  2. Make it watertight - Test it with some water to see it it leaks. If so, make it watertight by fitting with a flexible pond liner, securing it in place with a silicone-based sealer. Here we just needed to put in a plug.
  3. Make it wildlife friendly - Create a ramp so that frogs and other wildlife can get both in and out of your container pond. We used a stack of stones but bricks, logs or a plank of untreated wood covered in chickenwire for little legs to grip onto works well too.
  4. Fill it with rainwater.
  5. Begin planting - Gently lower in a mix of floating and upright pond plants. Three to five plants is usually enough for a mini-pond – they may look small to start but pond plants can grow very quickly.
  6. Sit back and let nature do the rest!

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