I live on an arid island off the African coast, off the grid in a very sparsely vegetated area, far away from any neighbours. The summer has been fairly hot and most vegetation has dried away, waiting for the rainy season.

Somehow though, there are some frogs living in our garden!

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(the photo was a lucky shot - they usually keep out of sight, which is just as well, as we have many predatory birds that usually hunt for the many lizards out here.)

We suspect they survive by living in our underground cisterns. However, one of the cisterns has broken, and since then, they seem to have taken up residence in our largest watering can. Which is fine, but we are unsure about how to best help them:

  • Should we occasionally change the water in the watering can, or do they like it when it becomes pungent?
  • Should we be doing anything to help them procreate? There are two frogs that we know of. We can't build them a pond, but could erect a smaller structure.
  • Is there anything else we can do to help ensure they're doing ok? It seems so miraculous that they manage to make it at all in this type of area.
  • Not completely sure this is on topic here - hope it's ok.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 7:46
  • 1
    Hi! Here's a similar (not duplicate) question. It has some excellent advice that might go well with the answer you have here. Good luck keeping these guys alive! They're awesome! Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 20:55
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    @Sue that's a great link, thanks! We really want to do our best to keep them alive. They're remarkably resilient little fellows, though, so chances seem good.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 18:57
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    After you do build your pond, or whatever, would you mind coming back some day and letting us know how it went? Updates are always helpful for future visitors! Thanks! Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 19:47
  • @Sue will do! ---
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


Frogs are great natural garden predators of insects and it doesn't take much to attract them to your yard. They like:

  • shallow water that is not moving a lot
  • cover in the water from plants like water lilies or even clumps of algae
  • easy access and exit from the water. Steep sides are more work
  • no fish: fish eat frog eggs

You should review what insects also like these conditions. If disease carrying mosquitoes are present in your area then you may not want to make a water feature.

These requirements can be done with a pond liner (EPDM or even clay or stone) and a small pump to move the water.

If you study the life cycle of the frogs in your area you may find that all they need is a vernal pond. This kind of pond is full in the spring where it is popular for honeymoons and egg laying, then dries up in late spring or early summer. This gets around the problem of a year round pond where you would have to top it up with water in the hot dry summer.

  • 1
    Thanks, that's a very interesting idea. We're probably going to build them a pond this winter.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 18:57

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