One of the pleasures of keeping a garden pond is to attract wildlife to it and many people look to attract frogs. As amphibians frogs are creatures that spend part of their lives in water and the rest on dry land but you might be surprised to learn that most of their time is spent out of the water. They only really return to water to lay their frogspawn but they do their feeding on land so, as they need to keep moist, they prefer damp ground.
So, How Do We Attract Frogs Into Our Garden?
To encourage frogs into the wildlife garden, it's important to remember that they have 4 basic needs - shelter, moisture, food and a place to breed.
The Garden Pond Your garden pond should have shallow edges to allow frogs to get in and out of it with ease. At least one of the shallow edges should taper off into surrounding rough, moist vegetation such as a leafy mulch which will offer them food, shelter and hibernation. Although frogs require shelter from the heat of the summer sun, you should ensure that this isn't provided by too many overhanging trees in the garden as ponds need direct sunlight to thrive properly. You should buy a good mixture of native pond plants such as water violets and marsh marigolds which both thrive in ponds. Your local garden centre should be able to give you advice on the types of suitable plants that are available in your area for a wildlife garden. A pond of 2 to 3 feet in depth is also recommended if you want to attract frogs to it.
Food For Frogs In The Garden One of the additional benefits of having frogs in your garden is that they will keep the insects at bay from destroying other things in your wildlife garden. They'll eat moths, mosquitoes and their larvae, snails, slugs, flies, beetles and cockroaches and by planting lots of different shrubs and plants native to your area and by mulching garden beds and keeping a compost heap, your garden will become a magnet to frogs who have a canny knack of sussing out the best places to colonise.
The Moisture and Humidity That Frogs Need Don't be surprised if you find frogs have taken up residence in your garden greenhouse if you have one. They are attracted by the humid, moist conditions which also attracts other insects and small creatures on a frog's menu.
Breeding Frogs In The Garden Pond Garden ponds that are shaded and filled with appropriate pond plants create the perfect breeding ground for frogs.
Hazards and Things to Watch Out For With Frogs
It's imperative that you create the right garden environment to 'attract' frogs into your garden and have patience. If the setting's right, they will find you. This can sometimes take a couple of years but you should not try to introduce frogs into your wildlife garden by bringing them in from another area. If you remove them from their original habitat, they'll most likely die or migrate away.
They are also at risk from careless mowing and strimming so it's important to keep your garden grass short and mow it regularly as a frog might take shelter in longer grass and you might not be able to see it when it comes to mowing. Also, if you use nylon mesh to protect garden plants, make sure it's kept taut and the mesh size is at least 1.5 inches (4cm) as this mesh can trap and slowly kill frogs if they end up underneath it.
What Frogs Do In In Winter
The majority of male frogs will hibernate in the garden pond in winter and lie dormant near the bottom. Therefore, as they need oxygen to survive, you should ensure that you regularly check the pond during freezing winter temperatures and thaw part of it by placing a pan of hot water on it.
Having frogs in your wildlife garden does not require too much in the way of maintenance but they are relatively fragile creatures so by following the advice here, you can ensure that you create the perfect garden environment in which they can prosper.
Note to Add
Recent studies have shown that the layer of ice that sits on the surface, traps air created by plants and actually benefits the pond, so making a hole may not be as necessary as once thought. We'll keep you posted on this...
We have largish pond which contains fish, plus at least 14 frogs.When we had the pond enlarged, the fish and frogs were removed to a holding tank, and replaced into the new pond.
There are some high stones around the edge for the frogs to be able to emerge from the water if they want to.However, there is no means of escape for them as the pond has to be netted, to keep herons and gulls from taking the fish.Are the frogs content to stay in the deep for the whole of their lives?
Souza - 16-Oct-16 @ 3:00 PM
ROBIN - Your Question:
I have built a small garden pond, L54inxW27inxD10in. I have had it for 1month. I already have 1 little frog living in it about the size of a dime. Don't know where he came from. I also have 5 to 6 big toads that hang in my yard at night. My questions to you are,1. Where could the baby frog come from so soon that lives in my 1 month old pond?2. It's going to be winter here soon in SC so is 10 deep enough for the little frog to hibernate in?3. Are my toads that are hanging around going to eventually eat this little frog?Thank you, Robin
Toads do not eat frogs as a rule. If there is sufficient silt etc for the frog to bury down into, then 10 inches should be deep enough to hibernate.
WildlifeGardener - 30-Sep-16 @ 10:28 AM
I have built a small garden pond, L54inxW27inxD10in. I have had it for 1month. I already have 1 little frog living in it about the size of a dime. Don't know where he came from. I also have 5 to 6 big toads that hang in my yard at night. My questions to you are,
1. Where could the baby frog come from so soon that lives in my 1 month old pond?
2. It's going to be winter here soon in SC so is 10 deep enough for the little frog to hibernate in?
3. Are my toads that are hanging around going to eventually eat this little frog?
Thank you, Robin
ROBIN - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:50 AM
Hi I have a small kidney Shape pond at the end of garden it has a lilly and pond weed but no wildlife life it's been in for 3 years lilly is growing and I keep it clean what I'm I doing wrong can't put no more plants in pond but have some round edges please help
Bumble bee - 14-Sep-16 @ 1:32 PM
spaceman50 - Your Question:
Hi I can only put my small frog pond in a fairly shaded part of the garden. is that a problem and can I offset any such problems by the type of plants to plant in/near the pond?many thanks. spaceman
A pond should thrive in a shady part of a garden if you choose the right plants and keep it well filtered (it's just easier if there's sunlight). The frogs should still be attracted to it.
WildlifeGardener - 8-Sep-16 @ 11:39 AM
hi i can only put my small frog pond in a fairly shaded part of the garden . is that a problem and can i offset any such problems by the type of plants to plant in/near the pond?
many thanks. spaceman
spaceman50 - 7-Sep-16 @ 12:52 PM
I've noticed a couple of frogs on my deck in my plants. The only issue with that is my deck is on the second level of my house. Are they climbing the poles to get there? It's pretty high from the ground.
Jenny - 26-Jul-16 @ 12:32 PM
biro - Your Question:
Hi,We have lots of frogs which bred in our two ponds. One is a small pond - the other is made from an old bath but we put plenty of rocks in it so the frogs can get out. However, because I have fibromyalgia most of our plants are grown in waist high raised beds or in containers so that I can plant/weed etc more easily. So sadly the frogs cannot get into the raised beds & containers to eat the slugs :( This year, due to the damp conditions we have hundreds of slugs which are happily munching their way through all our veg. We have managed to catch some in beer traps but I would much rather that the frogs ate them! Can you think of a way that we could make our plants more accessible to the slugs but still be easy for me to work on?
Could you place some rocks/decorative stones etc near the containers to enable the frogs to hop up onto the beds?
WildlifeGardener - 12-Jul-16 @ 2:34 PM
We have lots of frogs which bred in our two ponds. One is a small pond - the other is made from an old bath but we put plenty of rocks in it so the frogs can get out. However, because I have fibromyalgia most of our plants are grown in waist high raised beds or in containers so that I can plant/weed etc more easily. So sadly the frogs cannot get into the raised beds & containers to eat the slugs :( This year, due to the damp conditions we have hundreds of slugs which are happily munching their way through all our veg. We have managed to catch some in beer traps but I would much rather that the frogs ate them! Can you think of a way that we could make our plants more accessible to the slugs but still be easy for me to work on?
biro - 10-Jul-16 @ 9:51 PM
We bought our house 5 years ago and there is a perfect Frog Pond in our back yard.and the frogs showed up in May every year -- about 10 of them -- until this year!A lot of leaves had fallen in the pond over the winter, plus it got very, very cold this winter and then we had a couple of weeks of freaky hot weather before spring -- before wewere able to get the pumps installed.As we've done each year, we took out most of the leaves from the top of the pond and installed the fountains, but the water was smelling a bit stagnant.The frogs never arrived and we are heartbroken!!What could have caused this? Did we do something wrong and will they come back?
Jespo - 25-Jun-16 @ 1:51 PM
I have a small old metal / iron tub that Id like to use as a pond,butIve noticed that there is a bit of rust in the bottom would this effect the health of the frogs ?
Jo - 22-May-16 @ 4:33 PM
I have a nice pond in my garden about 3 years old
I live in the Scottish Highlands and get very cold in winter . To give you a clue we are 700 miles north of Brighton
I was wondering if I canintroduce something to live in the pond? not fish, too many cats around
If somebody has any ideas fine. To give you an idea we don't even have slugs..
Laurence - 5-May-16 @ 4:10 PM
I has 6 newts in my pond and 4 fish a nd they ate all my tadpoles in 2 days. My child hood dream is ruined.how can I turn it more froggy. One eng is knee night and a rocky area the other side.
pinkpasta - 13-Apr-16 @ 10:09 PM
I've found a albino frog in our pond this morning
Spanner - 3-Apr-16 @ 2:15 PM
If you put some plants in and let it fill with rain water frogs will naturally find your pond in their own time.
jay - 26-Mar-16 @ 6:44 PM
For the first time in 20 years we have no frogs or frog spawn in our pond.For the first 15 years or so the frogs arrived about the end of February and by mid March the pond was full of spawn and most frogs had dispersed.Can anybody tell us why they have decided not to use our pond this year?We miss them
K80N - 12-Mar-16 @ 9:13 PM
Anni - Your Question:
I have a real dilema. I have a small garden pond, about 20 years old in my garden and it is in a bad state. There are quite a few frogs in it and already mating. But, but, the pond is dirtyand the plants don't look too good either. I know I have left the cleaning too late since there is already frog spawn in the water. However, I also know that I can't leave it in this state for another season since the lining has some faults in it and the water needs constant replenishing once it gets warmer. I cannot do this work on my own and would need some help emptying the pond and replacing the liner. Where can I get such help at reasonable cost and as I said earlier, have I left it too late? I would appreciate some advice. Thank you. Anni
Your local aquatic or garden centre that supplies fish/pond equipment will be able to advise on the nature of the work. It's probably not too late if done properly. Once you know what should be done, ask around your local landscape/garden companies and find one that has knowledge of pond gardening. You can then get quotes for the work and choose the best value.
WildlifeGardener - 1-Mar-16 @ 10:30 AM
I have a real dilema. I have a small garden pond, about 20 years old in my garden and it is in a bad state.There are quite a few frogs in it and already mating.But, but, the pond is dirty
and the plants don't look too good either.I know I have left the cleaning too late since there is already frog spawn in the water.However, I also know that I can't leave it in this state for another season since the lining has some faults in it and the water needs constant replenishing once it gets warmer.
I cannot do this work on my own and would need some help emptying the pond and replacing the liner. Where can I get such help at reasonable cost and as I said earlier, have I left it too late?I would appreciate some advice.Thank you.Anni
Anni - 27-Feb-16 @ 10:06 AM
I wonder if someone can help me please, bit of a novice.
We moved house 2 months ago and there is a pond without a pump in the garden, about 1 1/2 metre wide and 1 metre across and its in layers the deepest being about 2 1.2 foot best guess/roughly.It has quite a few mating frog pairs and a I've seen a really cute yellow frog (I do love frogs).
Anyway, I'd like to put some oxygenating plants in for them, and I plan to ask when I next visit Dobbies (local garden centre) do you have any tips of plants I should ask/look for please?
Clairh74 - 24-Feb-16 @ 2:11 PM
I just built a pond and filled it its about 1-2 feet deep and has all plants and a frogitat ceramic house around it and 3naturaloxygenating plants inside the water is this enough to attract frogs ?
froggy groggy - 28-Jan-16 @ 9:20 PM
i have just removed my sunken pond which used to regularly have around 30 - 50 frogs.
I am replacing this with a raised pond approximately 600mm high, accesswise, how can i encourage the frogs back to this raised pond.
Davey - 28-Jul-15 @ 12:38 PM
@lulu. Is the article above helpful?
WildlifeGardener - 15-Jun-15 @ 2:17 PM
@lulu. Was the article not helpful? Please let us know if we need to make any additions.
WildlifeGardener - 10-Jun-15 @ 12:54 PM
We are making a wild life pond in our garden , can anyone recommend how to attract frogs and wild life
lulu - 10-Jun-15 @ 12:19 PM
HELPS..I have just installed a lovely wildlife pond but in the space of 3 weeks it is alive with mosquito (I think) larvae. I don't want fish but my acquatic centre says there is nothing I can do bar wait for frogs! I have read about mosquito dunks but they appear to be only available in the U.S.Aand I live in southern England!!! Anyone any idea as at this rate the pond will be filled in by the summer!!!
Dreamer - 26-May-15 @ 8:17 PM
@Kaz. Clever planting and burying some hardwood logs is a great way to attract insects like beetles into your garden. Here's a great list that we found recently.
WildlifeGardener - 30-Apr-15 @ 10:48 AM
Hi I have a small garden & decided a few years ago to turn a large plant pot into a pond to see if I anything would arrive. My plan worked frogs ,pond skaters ect. I've now replaced the smaller pot to an even bigger one which I've put gravel on bottem & bedded irisis in the middle frogs are back seen eight So far but I discoverd a boatman ( beetle with paddles) is there anything else I can put in it to encourage more insects like this?
kaz - 24-Apr-15 @ 5:42 PM
@chocalholic89. Your local garden centre will be able to give you lots of good information and ideas, but we like: Irises, the bright blue Flight ofButterflies is lovely; Cotton Grass (Eriophorum angustifolia) - with its white fluffy cotton wool ball like tops; Barred Horsetail (Equisetum japonica), lovely straight, green stems.tidier looking than the bullrush.
WildlifeGardener - 11-Mar-15 @ 2:14 PM
I have a small pond being taken over by huge bullrushes in it, but we have lots of frogs and newts. I would like to replace the bullrushes with a smaller nicer looking plant but don't want to disturb the frogs- any suggestions would very welcome.
Chocaholic89 - 8-Mar-15 @ 4:55 PM
I am happy that I have seen a few frogs in my garden, First noticed when we moved in and had to demolish the old shed. We found them living underneath, so waited a few weeks befor levelling off the land with soil and planted grass. I've noticed them In the ornamental grasses down the side of the garden which is fine...but today I was in the garage ( old fashioned type, tin roof full of junk and falling to bits, moved a box and found frog behind. thought about trying to move him to the outside but he hopped into a hidingplace behind some shelves.
My concern is if I just leave him in there will he find a way out?? I don't want to damage him or scare him.
Last time one was seen he ran under my wheelie bin, left him to come out of own accord, but a week later on moving the bin on bin day I discovered him dead :(