How to grow How to: attract frogs

How to: attract frogs

 
Little green frogs come out to play from February on in Linda's garden. Photo - Linda Ross

Attract frogs into the garden with strappy leaved plants such as Mexican lily (Beschorneria yuccoides), kangaroo paw and agapanthus. 


We have found five green frogs inhabiting one Mexican lily plant in harmonious co-existence with a variety of ladybirds, crickets and snails. 


Frogs are well known indicators of a healthy environment, so are good to use as a check of your own garden’s health. Here’s how to encourage them to take up residence at your place. We have frogs living in waterlily bowls and giant bromeliads in our garden, even outside bedroom windows! Throughout spring, summer and autumn we enjoy their noctural calls.

 

Step 1 Frogscape your garden and create a habitat where frogs feel at home. This is usually a pond placed away from the bedroom windows (as frogs can be a bit noisy at night) where frogs can breed and tadpoles flourish.

Step 2 Provide a shallow pond with water (use pond lining, prefab fibreglass ponds or even an old bath). Place rocks at the edge with branches going in and out of the water to provide a frog ‘highway’ that frogs can use to get in and out.

Step 3 Planting around the edge of the pond will provide shelter and shade. Two thirds of the pond should be in shade and shade can come from overhanging shrubs, and other planting. Low native plants, grasses and groundcovers will provide protection and insects for frogs to eat. Don’t worry if a garden lizard takes up residence to eat the tadpoles. Our experience with a resident lizard is that there always seems to be enough tadpoles to go around!. Mulch the garden with leaf litter. 

Step 4 Place waterlilies in their pots within the pond to allow frogs to lay their eggs: decaying leaves and flowers will provide nutrients for the tadpoles to feed on.

  

Frog facts

- You know frogs are about when you can hear them calling near a pond or stream. Each species makes its own particular sound, but it is the male frog who does all of the calling, to attract the females.

- If the female frog is also ready to breed, she will approach the male frog. He will climb onto her back (this embrace is called amplexus) and she will carry him to the egg-laying site. As she releases her eggs, the male frog releases sperm over the eggs (this can be seen as white bubbly froth). Fertilisation occurs outside of the female's body, usually in pond water.

- Australia has around 200 species of native amphibians, all of which are frogs. About 37 of these are found in Sydney. Frogs sing during their reproductive season. The calling frogs are males trying to attract females, and warning other males to keep their distance.

- In the Sydney region, the two most common frogs are the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii and the Eastern Toadlet, Crinia signifera.

- The life span of frogs, like lizards, varies depending on the species. But in general, the larger the species of the frog, the longer it is likely to live. Some small frogs live on average for just one year, whereas some large frogs live for many years before they croak.

- Frogs also have a different colour pattern when they are tadpoles and when they are frogs. Most tadpoles are a fairly uniform and drab colour, but frogs often have distinct patterns and have some bright colours somewhere on the body.

 

Text: Linda Ross

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Author: Linda Ross

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