How to Build a Waterless Pond


Butterflies are a welcome addition in garden areas. These elegant insects like to drink from shallow water sources, such as the morning dew that collects on blades of grass and rocks. Adding a waterless pond to your garden is an ideal way to give butterflies a drink. A waterless pond is a shallow hole filled with heat-absorbing rocks. The dew that forms on the rocks drips down to the bottom of the pond, so you never need to fill the pond with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Stones
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • Thick plastic sheet
  • Sand (Optional)
  • Select several light-colored or white stones for the pond. Choose stones that are all about the same size. The number of stones you need will depend on the desired pond size.

  • Rake leaves, grass and weeds away from the spot where you want to establish the pond.

  • Use a trowel or stick to trace an outline for the pond in the dirt. Make the pond any shape, such as a circle or square.

  • Dig out a shallow area in the ground deep enough to hold the stones.

  • Line the dug out area with a sheet of thick plastic. Landscaping plastic or a thick trash bag works well.

  • Spread a layer of sand over the plastic, if desired, for aesthetic purposes. Lay the stones over the sand.

  • Allow the morning dew to collect on the stones. This draws butterflies to the pond.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not want to collect stones for the pond, a bag of heat-absorbing flint works just as well. Flint is available at garden and home improvement centers.
  • Place a piece or two of ripe fruit on a nearby log to provide food for butterflies. Butterflies also enjoy brightly colored flowers so consider establishing a garden bed nearby.

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