Frogs are a real favorite in most ponds, so finding out how to attract pond frogs into your garden is the first step in getting these fabulous amphibians into your garden pond.
Frogs are part of almost every ecosystem, living on every continent except Antarctica. As such if you have a fish pond in your garden, then frogs are part of the natural environment and you should be wanting to help the local wildlife as much as possible.
Why Should You Attract Pond Frogs to your Garden Pond?
There are a multitude of reasons why you should be wanting to attract frogs to your garden pond.
As we have already mentioned frogs will be a part of the natural ecosystem where you live, unless you live in Antarctica! We are big believers in that you should keep a pond or aquarium not only because you love the hobby and keeping fish, but because you love the natural world itself. Part of this is loving frogs too!
Frogs will provide you with a number of useful functions. Frogs are voracious predators, and a single frog can eat many hundreds of flies, mosquitoes, and other pests in a single night. If you have a pond which attracts many frogs you can see how this benefit will become very obvious. Tadpoles will also eat mosquito larvae, as well as algae, which helps to reduce the mosquito population as well as unwanted algal growth.
Kids also love everything about frogs. Being able to attract frogs to your pond will give them the opportunity to see the transformation of tadpoles in little froglets, and you can even keep some indoors so they can watch them closer. Having a pond which attracts frogs will help get them interested in wildlife and the natural world, and will only help their education.
How to Attract Frogs to your Pond?
There are a number of ways in which you can help to attract frogs into your garden pond. No one way will definitely attract frogs, but if you try to combine all of them you should be pretty confident in getting some amphibians friends soon enough!
Frogs have many natural predators, so deterring them is an important step in attracting pond frogs.
Predators like herons, birds, raccoons, and cats will all try and grab a frog or two. You can put netting across your pond which acts as a physical barrier to stop predators from getting at the inhabitants of your garden pond. Not only will this help with the frog population, but will also help your fish too! Herons especially love nothing more than eating all the fish in a pond. You want to make sure the holes in the netting are large enough for frogs to pass through.
You can set up fake herons and hawks near the pond. This will discourage avian predators from coming to your pond, much like a scarecrow in a field. Try moving them around sometimes to prevent birds from getting used to them! Herons are much more unlikely to land at your pond if they see another heron there.
Give pond frogs a refuge
Frogs are amphibians, and like being on land as much as in the water. Giving them a safe refuge spot near to your pond is a very good idea. A perfect space for frogs is to place an upturned ceramic pot on some rocks, with an opening so frogs can enter and exit.
A simple shelter like this will give them somewhere to hide during the day. They lose a lot of moisture from their skin, so a shady damp place to hide in when they leave the pond is perfect in making a great environment for attracting frogs.
The shelter should be out of direct sunlight, and ideally in a damp area near to your pond.
You can also place logs and more pot shelters elsewhere around your garden. This will give frogs a place to rest and recoup if they venture further afield. Insects love rotting wood, and many species lay their eggs and their larva in it. Having logs in your yard will increase the insect population, which the frogs feast upon. This will also help to attract frogs!
Make sure you have plants!
Having a properly planted pond is an absolute must if you want to attract frogs. If you have Koi carp you can read our piece on the best koi pond plants for some ideas.
Plants create a safe haven for frogs and tadpoles in the pond. Having reed-like plants around the edge of the pond will both help them get in and out of your pond and provide a place for them to hide and hunt in.
Lilies are a great choice for the more central parts of your pond. We’ve all seen the adorable pictures of frogs perched on lilypads! The broad leaves create shade for the frogs when they are underwater and help prevent the water from becoming too hot. Frogs will also lay their eggs under lilypads.
A properly planted pond will provide a large amount of natural filtration, ensuring that the water is safe for frogs, fish, and indeed any other wildlife that calls your pond home. Plants remove nitrates, phosphates, ammonia and other chemicals.
Also make sure that the area surrounding your pond is planted well. Having the surrounding area planted will ensure your frogs can leave the pond safely, and will also attract plenty of insects for them to hunt.
Keep grass short
Frogs will go wandering during both the day and night. They can be extremely hard to see, and will also hide in tall grass. So if you let your grass get long before cutting it you could easily catch some frogs in your lawnmower accidentally.
If you keep your grass short you will be able to see them much more easily and won’t have any accidents.
You can keep a wildlife area in a part of your yard however. Planting wildflowers and allowing grass to grow free in a portion of your garden will give frogs grass and foliage to hide in as well as attracting bees and other pollinators.
Make sure pond frogs can get in and out
Frogs can find it hard to get out of a pond if it has steep sides. You want to make your pond as attractive as it can be for frogs, so having steps down into the pond, or a low area with plenty of plants as cover will be perfect.
Having reeds and tall fringe plants like horsetail are perfect for frogs too. Frogs will use these tall plants to climb in and out, and the reeds will also provide perfect shelter for them and their tadpoles.
Don’t use pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers
Frogs have semi-permeable skin, which means they will absorb any chemicals you put into the water, or which run off from your yard into the pond. Frogs obtain all their water and can also breathe through their skin, which shows just how sensitive it is.
As the frogs will wander throughout your yard in search of food, you shouldn’t be using chemicals in your garden at all. These chemicals will get into the pond and adversely affect the frogs, and fish as well.
There are plenty of ways to naturally fertilize your plants, including keeping a compost bin and using the natural compost you create. This will also attract insects, which will help bring the frogs!
Having lots of plants in your pond will help to natural filter the water. They will remove nitrates, ammonia, and other dangerous compounds and chemicals. Also make sure you have a good pond filter, as this will remove these chemicals too and ensure the water is safe to attract frogs.
Have your pond shaded
Whilst sunlight is essential for a healthy and happy pond, especially as you need a good helping of pond plants to ensure you attract frogs to the pond, you need to make sure the pond isn’t constantly in full sunlight. You can read our article on how much sunlight does your fish pond need for more information
Frogs lose a lot of water from their skin when they are on land, and if your pond s in the full view of the sun with no shade then it will roast them. Sunlight can get quite intense, and can heat up your pond quite quickly. Having tress or other plantlife such as bushes near your pond will ensure your pond receives shade as well as sun.
As we have already mentioned, plants such as Lilies and Eelgrass are perfect for creating shade in your pond.
If you follow these simple steps for how to attract frogs to your garden pond then there is no reason that you shouldn’t see frogs in your pond!
If you can only do a few of these pointers, then definitely put plants in and around your pond and give them a refuge. If you have no pond plants then it is unlikely frogs will find it attractive, while a refuge in the pond area will provide extra safety.
Also do your best to deter predators. While ponds plants will provide a great deal of safety in the pond, there is only so much safety they can grant when there is a heron peering between the reeds waiting for any movement!
Good luck with attracting your pond frogs!