Water lilies

Water lilies enchant us with their florescence and their scent contributing significantly to the water quality in your pond.
Margit Seeber
Margit Seeber
Water lilies and aquatic plants

Benefits of water lilies

Water lilies in full bloom are not only the centrepiece of any water feature, they also fulfil an important function.

They consume nutrients and their leaves shade the water. They make life difficult for algae, which need nutrients, light and warmth to grow.

Selecting the right water lilies

When selecting water lilies consider the water depth and the space available.  Water lilies thrive and bloom best when set in ideal depth and left with enough space.

If a water lily is set too deep or too shallow, it will flower less or perhaps not at all.


Water lilies usually flower from May to October, more or less, depending on the variety. Flower size and the daily opening time also vary with variety.

Flowers vary between 3 and 25 cm. Some water lilies are already open before 9 am, others stay open until even 6 pm. Depending on the variety, a flower withers after 4-5 days. A few water lilies take a short flowering break during summer heat.

In autumn, the plant retreats back to the bottom of the pond and winters underneath the ice.

Water lilies in pots and containers

Small, non-spreading, floriferous varieties are best suited for pots and containers. Make sure to select the appropriate water lilies so that you can enjoy their flowers.

Please consider that the water lily tuber must spend the winter frost-free. If the container might freeze during winter then the whole container or just the water lily should be placed somewhere where it won’t freeze.

Planting water lilies

Water lilies are aquatic plants and need to get into water as soon as possible. If you do not have time to plant them right away put them in your pond or a bucket full of water. 

Please note that water lilies do not like excessive water movement. If planted too close to waterfalls or water features they will bloom less or not at all.

Water lilies should ideally always be taken from the pot and set into the pond substrate, considering the ideal planting depth so that they can grow optimally. If that is not possible, the water lily should be planted in a larger pot/basket so that it can develop, using heavy, nutrient-rich soil.

Bare-rooted water lilies should first be planted in a pot and set in warm and shallow water. When the first roots start growing outside the bottom of the pot, the water lily can be moved deeper or planted into pond substrate.
The more vigorous the water lily is, the faster it can be set or put into the final setting depth.


In a functioning pond, water lilies released in the pond substrate do not need any care, everything is done by nature. If it bothers you, you can cut off dead flowers and yellow leaves for beautification. 
Do not tear them off as this may result in injuries that might cause blight and could lead to death of the water lilies.

Water lilies in pots or baskets should be checked regularly. To ensure growth and flowering, the container should be adapted accordingly and the water lilies regularly repotted in fresh soil. Water lilies are strong nutrient consumers and therefore need a good supply of nutrients.

Water lilies extending in the pond substrate make an particular contribution to good water quality.

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