A beautiful water lily (Nymphaea) with many flowers is the crowning glory of your pond. But they also have an important biological function. They take up nutrients from the water, thus limiting the growth of algae. Lilies love to fish in the water, as they keep insects and water snails away from them. And vice versa: Pond fish like to hide under the floating leaves of a beautiful water lily when they are in danger from a hungry heron.
Which water lily to choose?
Water lilies come in many colors and varieties:
- Hardy water lilies. These bloom from May to October and, if placed sufficiently deep, will not freeze in winter.
- Dwarf water lilies. As the name suggests, these are smaller water lilies that can also grow in a shallow pond. 10 cm is sufficient, so they are also very suitable for patio ponds.
- Tropical water lilies. Purple and blue shades. They cannot overwinter in the pond, so replace them every year, or place them in a container in a frost-free environment. They bloom longer, more profusely, and spread a wonderful scent.
- The best-known water lilies are the white water lily (Nymphaea Albatros), yellow water lily (Nymphaea Pygmaea Helvola, a small water lily with yellowish-white flowers that can grow in exceptionally shallow water (10 cm)), blue water lily (Nymphaea King of the Blues) and the yellow plump (Nuphar Lutea Variegata).
Planting water lilies
The water depth per lily species varies greatly. Some species need only 10 cm to grow, whereas other species need up to 4 meters, so always bear this in mind when purchasing this pond plant. They are true sun lovers, but they also do well in the semi-shade. However, water lilies cannot tolerate the water movement of a fountain or waterfall.
Water lilies can be bought and planted from April to September. Choose (hardy) varieties that suit the size of your pond. Always squeeze the root ball, as a soft ball indicates rotting. Also use a pond basket for water lilies. Fill these up with water lily soil and growth substrate for better growth and flowering. Then cover them with gravel. If necessary, add iron and trace elements.
TIP from Velda
When buying a water lily, always squeeze the root bulb. A soft tuber indicates rotting…
Maintenance of water lilies
Special growth bulbs have been developed for the local fertilisation of water lilies.
Water lilies and growth bulbs can be purchased from garden centres and specialist pet and pond shops.