Enhancing Your Eco-Friendly Garden to Attract Frogs and Toads

Guest post by Jeriann Watkins

There are a few different reasons you might want frogs and toads in your garden. They do a great job of keeping bugs away. They’re fun to watch after rainstorms when they hop in puddles and through wet grass. They serenade you to sleep at night (ok, that may be a bad thing, depending on whether you like croaky serenades).

As much as you may like frogs and want them in your yard, you should never take it on yourself to place them there. Frogs do not do well when removed from their habitats. Also, you want to be sure that your garden is home to native species, not invasive ones that will do more to harm your private ecosystem than help.

The best way to attract any wildlife to your garden is to emulate what the land would do itself. Trees, shrubs, bushes, and vegetation that would normally grow in your area are most likely to attract native insects, which will in turn attract frogs and toads.

To the human eye, frogs are pretty unassuming. Some people don’t like the slimy appearance. Whatever your opinion, you probably don’t see them as vicious. But they are fierce predators with large appetites, so if you have the environment and the bugs, they will come.

Courtesy of New England Nature Notes: Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

Courtesy of New England Nature Notes: Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

Choose plants that retain moisture and offer shade. Frogs love cool damp environments, mostly out of necessity. Mulch and compost piles are also great for attracting frogs. They’re a).moist b). full of bugs and c).dark.

There are a lot of plants that are poisonous to frogs. If you have a vegetable garden, you’ll want to avoid planting these items near your pond or areas where frogs are likely to congregate:

Eggplant, Rhubarb, Snowpeas, Potatoes

For landscaping and flower gardens, you’ll want to avoid:

Honeysuckle, Azalea, Hydrangea, Daffodils, Hyacinth

For more info, check out this more exhaustive list of plants that are poisonous for amphibians and reptiles.

Frogs and toads are important for the environment, and are great for maintaining healthy eco-systems. While displacing wildlife to improve your garden will always backfire, you can enhance your garden and landscape to attract creatures that do need food sources and shelter. It’s a symbiotic relationship in that you’re helping them so they can help you.

10 thoughts on “Enhancing Your Eco-Friendly Garden to Attract Frogs and Toads

  1. I would like to attract toads to my garden. When we lived on the farm we had a large common sage plant near our back door. I believe that a toad lived nearby as of an evening we would sit on the back steps and a toad would appear from by the sage plant and sit near us. I have read that toads like sage – is this true? If so, would planting sage plants, providing toad houses and wet areas help to attract toads to my garden?

  2. Hi Jean, I’m not sure about sage and will do some investigating. Can you share where you are located? This will help me share the right plants for your area. – Susan

  3. Hi Susan,
    Sorry for the delay in responding. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, quite close to the Niagara Escarpment.

  4. Hello Susan,
    Thank you for the article. I had not visited this site for some time and have only just found your reply. I’ve been setting up toad houses, ponds and sand pits this weekend and am hoping for some residents! I’ll be planting some sage.
    Regards, Jean

  5. Susan, I have just read that Euonymus is poisonous to amphibians…I have placed one of my toad house under a Euonymus bush…! I suppose I should move it…?

  6. Help please, 4-17-2017 9:55 AM

    I have NO FROGS at my pond…..{OK, OK i did see one the other day} , but for the most part …zilch!
    I have in the past, and will do tomorrow, put in 100 more tads.
    Our pond is a farm pond, managed and landscaped for eye appeal and a bass, bluegill etc 5/8ac fishing pond.
    I don’t hear any spring peepers as in my neighbors pond. I do have a few Hydrangeas , roses, trees, bushes, Hibiscus
    and grasses around the pond, and cat tails and some grass in the pond…but no frogs.
    Do you think the bass are gobbling up the frogs??…that’s a good thing to fatten up my bass, but not so, if i want “them thar bug eatters” around. I do have a Minnie pond, about 500 gallons, that i keep Minnie’s in to fish with, …do you reckon I should put in 100 or so Tads to grow, then put them in the big pond??
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Ralph Clark
    Slanesville, West Va.

  7. Hi Ralph, Sorry for the delay in writing back. There are a few things I would say to look into. Yes, the fish could be eating the tadpoles. Be sure all the plants are frog and fish friendly. You may need to separate the two.

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