What is Water Lily?
Water Lilies (Nymphaea hardy hybrids) are a perennial tuber water plant. It is part of the Nymphaeaceae and is native to Europe. When growing water lilies, the climate is very important to which type of water lily you choose for your pond. There are two categories of water lilies one is the tropical variety which are frost tender and needs removing from the pond during the Winter months and the other variety is the hardy water lily variety that will stand very cold weather (which we are looking at). Water Lilies go dormant in Winter and will start growing again in Spring before flowering later on in late Spring to mid Summer. When choosing a spot for your water lily make sure that it is in full sun and gets at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. Their flowers come in many colours including apricots, pinks, reds, whites and yellows where most varieties will open their flowers in the morning and close them again at night. The flowers are held just above the glossy leaves that have distinctively smooth edges and lay upon the water surface. Water should be calm and not moving around with ripples of a fountain or running water. During Spring you can fertilise your water lilies with fertiliser tablets inserted into the soil.
Benefits of Growing Water Lily
Make your water feature come to life every Summer with magnificent Waterlilies and their beautiful flowers. They reduce the amount of space that algae can form in a pond. Water lilies make a good habitat for fish and frogs giving them shelter, shade and a food supply.
How to Grow Water Lily
Cool to Sub Tropical
When To Plant Water Lily
Plant in Winter.
In the pond: plant in a sandy soil at the bottom of the pond, covering the tuber with only a few cm of soil. Place a light layer of sand or gravel on top which will stop the soil from floating away. Another way is plant the tuber in a pot and place that at the bottom of the pond. Fill the pot with enrich garden soil with a slow release water lily tablet. Remember when placing your water lily in the pot it will need space for the roots to grow so placing it to one side. Cover the soil and tuber with 2 to 4 cm of sand. This can then be weighed down with some decorative pebbles to make sure the soil does not float away. (This method is recommended, as maintenance is easier)
Water lilies should be grown in water depth of at least 45cm and will grown in water up to 1.8m deep.
How To Plant Water Lily
Plant in full sun, 50-70cm apart with the tuber just below the soil surface. Plant the tubers lying flat.
Before potting, cut the water lily roots back a bit to encourage strong, new growth. Also remove dead leaves and dead flowers that might remain from last season, then place it into the pot and plant to one side, so there is plenty of room for the roots to grow.
Water Lily Plant Care
Fertilise in Spring using slow release tablets for water plants placed into the soil.
Water lilies can remain undisturbed for a few years. Lift and divide the plants every 3 – 4 years. When you repot your water lilies, remove the pot from the pond, you can use a knife to divide the tubers into two or three pieces or as desired, make sure each piece has a lily pad attached to it. Any dead lily pads should be removed at this time. Snip off the spent flowers and leaves as close to the base as possible, to keep the plant looking neat.
Goldfish will eat many of the pests that could trouble them. Having fish in the pond will also eat any mosquito larvae.
Remove any green algae that appears.
Recommended Water Lily Varieties
Brighten up a pond with these fantastic water plants. They come in many different colours that will be the talking point of your water feature.