Growing Water Lilies – A Full Planting Guide

Growing Water Lilies

Hello gardeners, we are here a new and interesting topic today. The topic is all about growing water lilies. Do you want to know how to grow water lilies? Well, and then follow this complete article to know about how to grow water lilies. In this article, we also cover all the requirements for growing water lilies.

Introduction to Growing Water Lilies

Nymphaeaceae that means water lilies belong to a family of flowering plants, it is commonly called water lilies. They can live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and even in tropical climates around the world. This plant’s family contains nearly five genera with nearly about 70 known species. Water lily plants are usually rooted in soil in bodies of water, with the help of their leaves and even flowers floating on or emergent from the surface of the plant.

A Step By Step Guide to Growing Water Lilies

Guide to Growing Water Lilies
Guide to Growing Water Lilies (Image credit: pixabay)

With striking flowers and leaves, they float serenely; water lilies are very enchanting plants. They are very easy to grow and care for, so turning your pond into a picturesque oasis will not take much work. You need to plant water lilies in containers to control their growth, then submerge the container in a pond or aquatic planter, and then make sure they get plenty of suns. Trim off the old flowers and leaves to prevent rot, and then divide your rapidly growing lilies every 2 to 3 years. With a little time and care, you will have a gorgeous collection of water lilies year after year.

Suitable Container for Growing Water Lilies

You can plant water lilies in containers instead of planting them directly in the ground. Use a wide, shallow pot or even a mesh basket designed for aquatic planting. The container needs to have a diameter of 14 to 16 inches or 36 to 41 cm.

It is very easy to maintain potted lilies. Additionally, a lily planted directly into the ground can eventually overwhelm your pond easily. When they are planted in the ground, a water lily’s root system can nearly cover a diameter of 15 feet or 4.6 m within 5 years.

You can easily find aquatic plant necessities, including a mesh basket and even aquatic soil, online, at any local garden centre, or a home improvement store.

You can use an aquatic planter if you don’t have a pond. If you have one, you can easily plant lilies in your pond or backyard water feature. If not, you need to purchase a large aquatic planter, then fill it with water, and submerge the pot that holds the lily.

Go for an aquatic planter that is around 6 by 8 feet or 1.8 by 2.4 m. Make sure that it is designed for aquatic plants and does not have any drainage holes.

How to Purchase Healthy Lilies?

Purchase lilies with very healthy crowns and leaves. You can find water lilies at your local nursery or even a garden centre, or you can even ask a friend with lilies for clippings. Look for lily plants with very healthy crowns or the part where the stems meet the roots. Search for the stems that are very easy to pull away from the crown, and look for yellow, curling, or even damaged leaves.

An unhealthy crown and even yellow leaves are signs of crown rot. It is an incurable fungal infection and then it is one of the only health issues that affect water lilies.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Water Lilies

Ensure that your pond or container gets at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun. While water lilies need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight and more light encourages them to produce more flowers. Ideally, your water lilies should get at least 8 hours of sun.

When To Plant Water Lilies?

Plant your water lilies in the spring. In cooler climates, plant when there is no risk of frost.

There are 2 varieties of water lily. They are hardy and even tropical. As their name implies, hardy water lilies can easily tolerate very cooler temperatures. You still need to plant them in the spring, but maintaining a high water temperature is not as important.

Suitable Temperatures for Growing Water Lilies

Be sure your pond is warm if you choose tropical type lilies. Tropical species cannot tolerate water temperatures below 18°C, so make sure your pond or even aquatic container can sustain warm water before planting. Ideally, your water temperature should be at least 21°C.

Planting a Water Lily

Fill the 3/4 of a container with aquatic loam-based soil, and then add fertilizer. Line your pot or aquatic basket with a bit of coarse fabric, like hessian or burlap. Use a loam-based soil labelled for aquatic use, as standard potting soil is just too fluffy and can float away when submerged. Add soil to the container until it is nearly 3/4 full, and then add aquatic fertilizer.

The right amount of fertilizer depends on your product, so read the instructions for the fertilizer you buy. A typical ratio is 10 grams of fertilizer for 1 gallon or 3.8 L of soil.

Remove the water lily from its old container and then trim it. Gently you need to pull the lily out of the old container and rinse away excess soil from its rhizome, or even root age. Trim unspecified, fleshy roots with shear, but leave white, hair-like roots intact.

Trim away all old, fleshy roots. If you do not see any, you’ll skip trimming.

Place the basis ball within the soil at a 45-degree angle. Set the water lily’s root ball on top of the soil on one side of the container. Confirm the crown or the part where the stems emerge, points at a 45-degree angle toward the centre of the pot.

If your lily hasn’t matured and features a growing tip rather than stems, position the growing tip at an equivalent level because of the top of the soil.

You need to add more soil and a top layer of pea gravel. Add more soil, but don’t fill the container. Leave about 1 to 2 inches or 2.5 to 5.1 cm between the highest of the soil and therefore the container’s rim. Lightly press the soil to pack it, and then add a layer of pea gravel to assist keep the soil from floating away.

Rinse the complete pea gravel thoroughly before you add it.

Be sure you do not pack the gravel tightly around the stems. If your lily isn’t mature, leave an area within the gravel for the plant’s growing tip, which should be level with the highest of the soil.

Water Requirements for Growing Water Lilies

Water it very well, and then submerge the container in water. You need to soak the pot completely with a help of a hose, then lower it into your pond or aquatic planter. For the primary 3 to 4 weeks, submerge the pot so that 5 to six inches or 13 to fifteen cm of water covers the crown and young leaves float on the water’s surface. If necessary, stack bricks or other supports to stay the pot at the proper height.

Keeping the pot at a shallow height will encourage growth very easily.

When you submerge the container in water, lower it into the water at an angle so that the air trapped inside can escape.

How to Maintain Water Lilies

Place the container at gradually deeper water levels. After about 3 weeks, lower the pot so 8 to 10 inches or 20 to 25 cm of water covers the crown. Because it grows, gradually very lower it until 12 to 18 inches or 30 to 46 cm of water covers the complete crown.

Remove old flowers and leaves before they rot. If you plant in spring, you ought to see flowers by June. Flowers last 3 to 4 days, and will be trimmed and removed once them whither. You ought to also remove old leaves to stop the rot.

Deadheading, or removing old flowers and leaves, will help keep your water clear and encourage new flowers to make.

In case if you miss this: Growing Organic Leafy Vegetables.

Fertilizing Water Lilies

Fertilize water lilies monthly during the growing and starting season. Water lilies are hungry plants and they should be fertilized with a slow-release aquatic formula every 4 to 6 weeks. Lift the pot out of the water, and then use your fingers to clear out small holes in the gravel and even soil. Then insert aquatic fertilizer tablets or pellets, and then smooth over the gravel and also submerge the complete pot.

The amount of fertilizer to add will depend on your product, so better check its label for specific instructions. Some aquatic fertilizers specify 1 tablet per 1 gallon or 3.8 L of soil, while other products recommend 2 to 4 tablets for the same amount of soil.

Caring Tips for Growing Water Lilies

Bring tropical lilies inside when the water temperature dips below 18°C. If your pond freezes solid, you will get to winterize hardy lilies inside, too. Store the pot in a very large aquarium crammed with water.

If you cannot store the whole pot, trim the leaves and take away the rhizome, then apply a dusting of fungicide. Store the rhizome in a bag crammed with sphagnum, and keep the bag in a very cool, moist place, like a basement.

If your pond is a minimum of 18 inches or 46 cm deep and doesn’t completely freeze, you’ll winterize your hardy lilies outside. Place the pot within the deepest part of the pond, where it’ll be shielded from cold air.

Divide an overgrown lily every 2 to three years. Eventually, the rhizome will start to crowd the pot, and you’ll get to divide it. Within the spring, remove the rhizome, or root ball, from the pot and rinse away excess soil from the roots. Search for tuber-like shoots with distinct growing tips or emerging stems. Employing a knife or shear, cut the shoots and surrounding roots in lengths of a minimum of 3 inches or 7.6 cm from the remainder of the basis ball.

You’ll likely be ready to divide the basis ball into several shoots. Plant each shoot in a separate container, and then place them in your pond or give them to a lover.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Water Lilies

Questions about Growing Water Lilies
Questions about Growing Water Lilies (pic credit: pixabay)

How do I grow water lilies at home?

In any water garden, they will very easily grow in a container. The soil is usually sand or even clay. If you want to have them in a lily pond, then plant them in a very large non-draining pot in a bit of heavy yard soil covered in sand, and then cover any exposed sand with very large, washed gravel after planting.

Do I need soil to grow water lilies?

Use a heavy clay loam that means not potting soil or even a packaged soil specific for aquatic plants. By using the wrong type of soil can cause several problems. Most aquatic plants require at least 5 hours of direct sunlight for ideal and optimum growth. Do not cover the growing point of water lilies with soil or even gravel.

Is water lily plant easy to grow?

Water lilies bloom in a variety of colours including pink, white, yellow, and even red. A good choice for beginners, hardy lilies are dependable and very easy to plant. The flowers appear from spring to fall and go dormant in the winter that means you can even leave them in the water, or take them out and store them in a shed or garage.

How deep should water lily plant be planted?

Planting depth needs to be measured from the top of the rhizome or even basket to the surface of the pond. Dwarf (Pygmaea) and very smaller lilies will do best between 15-25cm and 6-10inches and most other Water lilies will survive between 30-60cm and 12-24inches.

How long do water lilies take to grow?

It takes nearly about 5-6 months to grow.

What is the best type of soil for water lilies?

Loam or clay-loam soil is good and best for potting up your water lilies. And do not overcomplicate it: for most of us, it means digging some sort of soil from our gardens vs. reaching for a bag of potting soil.

Can water lilies grow in partial shade?

Water lilies like warmth and very light, so they will grow well and best in the sunniest part of the pond. Most of the water lilies will not flower well in shade although some will tolerate shade as long as they are in sun for more than three hours per day.

Does water lily plant die-off in winter?

Move the water lily: Hardy water lilies will go dormant for the winter season. When this happens, you need to move the water lily, pot, and all, to the deepest part of your pond, where the water does not freeze solid.

What do I feed water lilies?

Your new water lilies are now going to depend on you for food. All rooted water plants will require fertilizer occasionally. To encourage steady growth, it is best to get on a regular feeding schedule. From May through August, we will recommend a monthly feeding with Lily tabs or a similar low-release aquatic fertilizer.


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