Silvie shows off her finished frog hotel, ready to welcome some green guests.
Frog hotels are a great way to encourage more frogs to visit your garden while giving them a safe space to live in.
What’s more, building a frog hotel is easy and fun and you’ll be rewarded with a croaky chorus of little guests in no time!
Frog hotels are designed for tree frogs (Litoria species) that can easily climb up the pipes.
- PVC pipes in 3-4 different widths
- Bowl or tub that will hold water (if your chosen pot/tub has a drainage hole at the bottom, seal this with silicone)
- Small gravel or pebbles
Note: If you are concerned about snakes, you can cut a hole in the side of the pipes or purchase 3-way PVC pipe connectors, then cut your original PVC pipes in half and attach them together with the connector that has the third hole out.
- Native water plants
- Large river stones or decorative rocks
- Solar light
Step 1 – Cut your PVC pipes to random different lengths and sand back the cut edges so they are smooth.
Step 2 – Arrange the pipes how you would like them to look in your chosen bowl or tub.
Step 3 – Have an assistant hold the pipes in place while you scoop in the small pebbles/gravel around them until they stand upright on their own. Some additional gravel can be put inside each pipe for extra support.
Step 4 – If you are adding a water plant, place it now so that the rim of the pot sits just below the edge of the outer bowl.
Step 5 – Fill the rest of the bowl with gravel, decorative rocks or river stones if you would like.
Step 6 – Fill the pipes and bowl with water. Your frog hotel is now ready for guests to check in!
- You can also add a solar light in or next to the frog hotel to attract moths and other insects at night for the frogs to feed on.
- If cane toads are common in your garden, you can prevent them from accessing your frog hotel by placing it at least 60cm off the ground. Frog hotels are designed for tree frogs which will have no trouble climbing up high to get to them.
- Check your hotel every few days and top up with water when necessary. It is best to use water that is chlorine and chemical-free. You can achieve this by purchasing a bottle of water conditioner from the fish section at your local pet store or standing a bucket of tap water outdoors for a minimum of 24 hours.
- Filling with water just up to where the rocks/pebbles will help to avoid too much mosquito activity,
- If you are using plants, make sure you choose ones that are happy to be in constantly wet soil. Some frog-friendly natives include:
- common rush (Juncus usitatus)
- bog primrose (Villarsia exaltata)
- native violet (Viola hederacea)
- frosmouth (Philydrum lanuginosum)
Check your local nursery’s water plant section for more ideas.
To prevent water from smelling and from mosquitoes, flush out with a bucket of dechlorinated water every 3-4 days to freshen up the water.