- When creating a drinking source for wildlife, use native plants around it.Nathan Blaney/Photodisc/Getty Images
Wild animals and birds need water sources. A backyard wildlife pond provides a place for them to drink and bathe and allows you to see wildlife firsthand. Planting native species around the pond gives wildlife something to graze on. According to Backyard Gardener, let water in the pond sit for a minimum of one week before adding any native plants. It recommends putting in some submerged plants to aid in water oxygenation.
- Nymphaea odorata Aiton, a native American fragrant white water lily, lives and flowers in water. Its large, white or pink flowers appear only from morning until noon. This deciduous perennial blooms from early spring to autumn and thrives in ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams. Both heat and cold tolerant, the plant is native to the northeastern part of the United States but is found across the country. Both animals and waterfowl feed off the plants and seeds, and the white water lily attracts birds.
- Ranunculus flabellaris, commonly called yellow water-crowfoot, grows in water. It is native to most of North America. A member of the buttercup family, this perennial remains submerged with most of its leaves under water and its yellow flowers blooming on the surface in May.
- Marsh marigold, Caltha palustris, does well in moist soil. Often found in wetlands, marsh marigold's yellow flowers bloom from early spring until June. This slow-growing perennial herb, native in the northeastern part of the United States and Canada, makes a suitable plant for wildlife ponds, as it grows abundantly in natural water sources. Eight to 24 inches when full grown, the plant is also colloquially referred to as cowslip.
Bushy Beard Grass
- Plant native grasses along the banks of your wildlife pond and provide food for birds, insects, deer and smaller animals. Bushy beard grass, Andropogon glomeratus, an East Coast native, likes marshy, wet areas. It grows from 2 to 4 feet high and flowers in early autumn. Green during the summer months, bushy beard grass turns orange come fall.