Water Lily Care Tips

If you’re looking to add some color to your pond, water lilies are an easy plant to grow. In addition to their beauty, they can help reduce algae blooms and improve the health of your pond.

Like other perennials, water lilies require ample sunshine, soil, fertilization and water depth to thrive. Read on to learn more about water lily care tips for your pond or garden.


When growing water lilies in your pond, make sure you place them in the area where they will receive the most sun. These plants are known to benefit the pond ecosystem by shading the water below and keeping it cooler.

They also provide shade and hiding places for fish and other animals. They also reduce algae growth, which is harmful to fish.

Planting a water lily is easy, but it will take time before you see any blooms appear. To start, line the bottom of a pot with porous but tight-knit plastic burlap bag, then fill it with a heavy bagged soil mix made for garden use, not a fluffy potting soil that will sink.

Then, remove any old leaves and thick, fleshy roots from the tuber. Leaving the newer, hairlike roots will allow more of the plant’s energy to go toward developing leaves, stems, and flowers.


Watering lilies correctly is one of the best ways to keep your flowers healthy. The care you give them directly after receiving a bouquet can make the difference between flowers that last a few days and blooms that remain fresh for weeks.

Lilies grow best in moist but not soggy soil, with a pH reading between 6.0 and 6.5. Add plenty of organic matter and compost to improve drainage.

Before planting, remove any old, fleshy roots and leaves. These waste energy that should go to growing new buds, stems, and blooms.


Water lilies need regular fertilizing to remain healthy. Without it, they may stop flowering or their leaves may yellow.

Fertilize your lilies regularly and in spring, summer, and fall (depending on the type of fertilizer). Use a granular fertilizer designed specifically for aquatic plants to give your lilies the nutrients they need.

To help prevent algae growth, remove dead plant matter as it grows. This helps maintain good water quality and prevents excess nitrogen from entering the pond.

Water lilies thrive best in heavy garden topsoil, but take care not to mix it with too much manure or compost. Also, avoid placing them near waterfalls or other water features that splash them continually. Constant splashing rots the leaves that they need to replace before they make flower buds.


Water lilies require regular pruning to keep their flowers healthy. Remove dying or faded flowers as they fall below the water line, tracing the stem back to where it joins the main crown of the plant.

There are two basic types of pruning cuts: heading and thinning (Fig. 7).

Heading, or cutting off a terminal limb or shoot, stimulates regrowth at the cut. This type of pruning works well for trees and shrubs that need to be reduced in size or have overgrown their planting area.

It also helps improve the health and strength of the plant, enabling it to grow more vigorously. In addition, it promotes branching, improving fruit production. It is a basic and essential horticultural practice for gardeners who are interested in cultivating trees, shrubs and other plants.


Water lilies can be harvested and enjoyed as ornamental plants. They are typically grown in above-ground tubs, shallow ornamental pools or in other containers that provide access to the plant without wading into the water.

Depending on the variety, water lily flowers open during the day and close at night. The fluid-filled centers of these flowers attract pollen from visiting insects.

Hardy water lilies are long-lived perennial plants. They bloom year after year and spread their lily pads across the surface of the pond to shade the water, cooling it and protecting fish.