Water Lily Care

How many water lilies can I have in my pond?

  • Large lilies e.g. Attrraction - one lily for every 2m² of water surface area - planted 45-65cms deep from soil to surface.
  • Medium lilies e.g. James Brydon - one lily for every 1.5m² of water surface area - planted 40-55cms deep from soil to surface.
  • Small lilies e.g. Froebelii - one lily for every 1m² of water surface area - planted 20-30cms deep from soil to water surface.
  • Miniature or pygmy lilies e.g. Pygmy Helvola - need only 1/2 m² of water surface area i.e. one lily for a tub or mini pond (ponds with less than 1m² of water surface area) - planted 15-25cms deep from soil to surface.

How can I best display my water lilies?

Lilies are best displayed with clear water showing all round the plant. When choosing the variety and number of water lilies you should consider the following:-

  • The overall size of your pond and the size of the water lily (see above)
  • The mature size and vigour of the plant you choose.  Please refer to the stocking rates shown above.
  • The depth of your pond, i.e. you may need to use blocks or other supports to raise planting crates to the optimum planting depth.
  • Any factors which might restrict the growth of you plants such as shade, pumps, fountains, cascades or waterfalls.

What growing conditions do water lilies like?

  • To obtain the greatest number of flowers throughout the flowering season (June/September), place in the sunniest part of the pond.
  • Always introduce a new plant in stages, never plunge a young plant straight into the maximum depth of water.
  • For a young plant or new introduction, plant with 15-20cms (6-8ins) of water over the gravel. With medium and larger lilies, as the leaves grow and separate, gradually lower the basket until the full depth is achieved.
  • Lilies do best in warm, sunny conditions, so ideally should be planted no deeper than 45-60cms deep (to the top of the basket).
  • NEVER put a lily beneath a fountain, they hate being constantly splashed and it can even kill them!
  • Always position plants well away from pumps, filtration inlet/outlets, moving water and fountains.

How do I care for my water lilies?

  • We recommend that, for ease of maintenance, all lilies should be planted into mesh planting baskets or crates.
  • Most water lilies should be potted into a 10ltr container.
  • Use ordinary heavy garden loam. If you can squeeze a handful of soil into a ball, throw it up and catch it without it breaking up, the soil is the right consistency.
  • Plant into a heavy loam, free from chemicals. Don't use light, sandy soil, chalky soil.
  • NEVER use peat based potting composts or add peat to the soil.
  • If your own garden soil isn't suitable we recommend Westland Aquatic Compost which is available from most good garden centres.
  • Fill the basket ¾ full of soil, pressed well down to make it really firm.
  • Place the rhizome on the surface of the soil with any shoots uppermost.
  • Fill with soil, again really firmly pressed into place, so that the rhizome is exposed at the growing point of the shoots.
  • Top dress with 1-2cms washed pea gravel.

Further Reading: Caring for your Marginal & Oxygenating Plants

General tips

Marliac type lilies  Water lilies like to be well secured. Fill to around 2/3rds full a 10lt planting crate with heavy garden loam packed well down.  Position the rhizome in the middle and pack more soil around it until just the growing tips are exposed.  Top dress with pea gravel.  Submerge until there is about 15-20cms (6-8ins) water above the surface of the gravel.  When the leaves have grown to the surface gradually lower the plant 20cms(8ins) at a time, until it is in no more than 1m water.  If planted into a clay-based lake, cut the sides of the basket before dropping into the final position.

Oderata type lilies  Water lilies like to be well secured. Fill to around 2/3rds full a 10lt planting crate with heavy garden loam packed well down.  Lay the rhizome horizontally in the middle and pack more soil around it until just the top third of the rhyzome is exposed.  Top dress with pea gravel.  Submerge until there is about 15-20cms (6-8ins) water above the surface of the gravel.  When the leaves have grown to the surface lower the plant  until it has no more than 30cms (12ins) water above the surface of the gravel.

We grow all our water lilies ourselves so that we can ensure that each water lily we supply is true to name.  All the pictures here are taken by us of our own waterlily collection, marginal plants, oxygenators and moisture loving plants so what you see is what you get.  Each of our waterlily cultivars and all other plants are hardy varieties grown outdoors and not under glass, so they come to you in the best possible condition to cope with our climate here in the UK.

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Iris Louisiana Merebrook Symphony
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 GIFT TOKEN

 Birthday, wedding anniversary celebration?  For that someone special, why not a Pondplants Gift Token so that they can add something really unique and special to their pond?  The token can be redeemed at any time during the year.  We'll just point them to our website so thay can choose just the right water lily, iris, marginal or poolside plant for their own pond.

We normally dispatch plants within three working days of receipt of order.  Our standard delivery charge is £7.50 per order for delivery within the UK.  For delivery to EU mainland countries please add an extra £7.50 per 2kg and note that we cannot deliver planting crates or snails outside the UK.  Full details on our "Delivery" page.

Our plants are supplied bare-rooted, lifted and prepared on the morning of dispatch.  The potted plants you buy from other suppliers must be re-potted immediately to give them room to grow.  Marginal plants need to be in 5lt mesh crates and water lilies in 10lt mesh crates.

DON'T FORGET TO ORDER PLANTING CRATES

Remember that plants always grow to fill the crate they are in, so size does matter!  Small 9cm crates are suitable for oxygenators and for containing marginal plants in tubs and mini-ponds.  5lt crates are suitable for most marginal plants and for miniature water lilies.  They can also be good for small varieties of lilies in tubs and mini-ponds.  10lt crates are great for water lilies in almost all garden ponds, and they can also provide space to grow for marginals in larger pools too.

 

  

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