Water Lilies (Nymphaea)



Water lilies (Nymphaea) are among some of the most beautiful blooming pond plants. They consist of a submerged rhizomatous plant with circular floating pads and spectacular flowers. Water lilies fall into three groups – hardy, night-blooming tropical & day-blooming tropical.

Hardy lilies bloom in an array of colors and lay dormant under water through the winter for enjoyment year after year. They only bloom during the day – starting in early morning and closing just after sunset. Each bloom will last 3-4 days. Each plant will produce blooms continuously if well fed.

Tropical water lilies come in more exotic colors and include blues, purples and reds.  Because they don’t go dormant, they have an extended bloom time, blooming well into autumn. They do however need to be overwintered indoors or treated as a seasonal annual. In addition to day blooming varieties, tropical water lilies are also available in night blooming varieties! Night bloomers open after dusk and close as the sun re-emerges. Many night blooming varieties are almost electric in color.

These plants not only delight us with their beauty but, like all pond plants, offer many additional benefits to the life of the pond including: supplemental filtration; shelter for fish; shade; and algae control. (Water lily selection is constantly changing – please check with us for current availability.)

Water Lily Care

Water lilies are much tougher than they appear and don’t require much special care. After bringing a new water lily home select a sunny area of the pond and submerge the pot 12-18” into the water. If the pond is deeper than that and does not have a supporting ledge, support it with an overturned pot or a stack of bricks to raise the lily to the correct level. The leaves will float to the surface of the pond. For optimal blooms, lilies will need to be fertilized with an easy tablet fertilizer specially formulated for aquatic plants.  Push the simple-to-use tablets into the planting medium of the lily pot and they will provide continuous feeding for 30 days.

Winterizing Water Lilies

To get your hardy water lily ready for winter, remove all dead and dying plant matter. In our climate we don’t have to worry about most ponds freezing solid so the lily will survive the winter by being lowered and stored into the deepest part of the pond. In spring, raise the pot back to the proper level.