Waterlily Problems: providing habitat for wildlife has always been part of our horticultural activities. Three ponds were established to provide habitat for frogs and other aquatic animals.
Exotic waterlilies were planted in two of these ponds. Over a period of time these attractive aquatic plants have survived and thrived. In fact they have thrived so well that the ponds are choked with waterlilies (see image). No water is visible and we came to the conclusion that they had become unsuitable for frog habitat. There was no room for frogs to lay their eggs and certainly no room for tadpoles to swim around.
We made a decision to remove the waterlilies, use them as mulch and replace them with less aggressive native aquatic plants.
Shortly after their removal frogs were croaking and obviously doing what comes naturally because tadpoles appeared in the ponds.
Waterlilies are suitable for large bodies of water. They could be planted in smaller ponds if you are prepared to cull them regularly. We have decided on the native option as this will mean less work and ties in with the Australian theme of the rest of the garden.
We have replaced the waterlilies with Marsilea species (Nardoo), Myriophyllum species (Watermilfoil) and Nymphoides species (Marshworts). Other aquatic natives will be added in the future.