How to Shade a Garden Pond


Create a focal point in your garden landscape by adding a row of plants to use for shading your garden pond. Mix tall plants like blue spruce with shorter plants for an attractive design. Create a makeshift wall around the pond by planting trees of the same height along the pond. Add aquatic plants in the pond that might not require as much sunlight. Shading a pond can also bring in different types of wildlife that might otherwise be scared of visiting an "open" garden pond.

Step 1

Research plants native to your area that can be used to shade a garden pond. Native plants require less maintenance and have a higher chance of flourishing. Also, make sure you know how tall and wide the plant will be when fully mature. This will help you when spacing out your plants.

Step 2

Use plants that don't shed large amounts of leaves or flowers, which can clog up a pond. Evergreens, like blue spruce or dwarf cedar stay green all year round and drop a minimal amount of needles. According to the Minnesota University Extension, "Well-watered evergreens often survive when other plants fail."

Step 3

Clear out a space around your pond to use to plant the evergreens. Make sure the space is at least 1-2 feet from the edge of the pond. Remove all weeds and rocks so the planting surface is clean and level. Rake the space to ensure all debris is gone.

Step 4

Dig one hole per evergreen and space them around the perimeter of the pond. For more shade around the pond, plant the trees close together; make sure you know their ultimate size so the holes are spaced out large enough. Dig a large enough hole to allow three to five inches around the tree base for adding soil and compost.

Step 5

Lay 2-4 inches of compost at the bottom of the hole. Mix the existing soil with the compost. Place the evergreens in their holes and fill the sides up the compost and soil mixture. Press firmly to ensure the tree is secure into the ground.

Step 6

Water the evergreens once or twice a week, more in the summer months, for proper establishment into the soil. Add a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of the evergreen. Evergreens in nature are mulched by their own fallen needles and other forest debris, so by mulching you are creating their preferred environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Evergreen trees
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extension
Keywords: shade pond ideas, evergreens, garden pond

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.