water lillies in ponds

Water Lily Pond Plants Guide

Water lilies are best placed in still pond water away from constant the splashing and flow currents from filter outlets, fountains and waterfalls. Water lilies grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. When placing water lilies into your pond make sure to lower them in stages to allow the plant to acclimatize to its new depth, this way the leaves can stretch to the surface during each stage of the descent. You can do this by using stacked bricks or upturned terracotta pots.

For long-term growth, it is advised that 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pond lilies are re-potted into a 3 Ltr or larger pond basket to encourage future growth and flowering. All other sizes of lilies do not require re-potting but would benefit from being potted up long term. 30Ltr water lilies should not require re-potting for approximately 10-15 years.

Lily spread and planting depths are provided as a guide only, with the depth being the amount of water above the crown. In shallow water excessive leaf growth will rise above the surface and reduce flower blooms. The leaves of lilies shade the pond providing shelter for fish from predators such as herons. The reduction of sunlight helps reduce algae growth. Make sure to remove dead leaves and flowers during the growing season.

water lily

How do you look after water lilies in the winter?
For hardy water lily plants, the key to over-wintering water lilies is to move them to the deepest part of your pond. This will insulate the water lily plant a little from repeated freezing and thawing which limit your water lily's chance of surviving the cold.

Should water lilies be cut back?
Water lilies spread out by producing tuber-like rhizomes - underground stems that act as organs to help the plant store water and nutrients. The rhizomes have leafy shoots which can be split to make new plants.

In autumn, trim back dead foliage of hardy waterlilies and let them die back to the bottom of the pond. If you have small, new or tender waterlilies, try and keep them somewhere frost-free over winter.

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Photo credit(s): Anglo Aquatics Ltd / Canva Pro Licence


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