Nymphaea, or Water Lilies as they are more commonly known, are the star feature for many ponds. Prized for their stylish flowers and elegant pads, these aquatic plants add colour, interest and so much more to your water garden.
From vibrant fuchsia to pearl white, to sunshine yellow and soft peach, it is no wonder they have been termed aquatic jewels. Your choices don’t stop at the wide range of colours, they are also available in different dimensions, varying from pygmy water lilies, which are ideal for smaller ponds, to larger water lily varieties which are better suited for deeper waters.
Water lilies thrive during the summer months, revealing their beauty by opening in the daytime and, as a defence mechanism, will close in the late afternoon/early evening to protect themselves from the elements and preserve their pollen. They will flower for a number of consecutive days before disappearing and re-flowering again until the end of the season. They are perennial flowers and will return each year when nurtured. After all, the word lily does derive from the Latin word lilium which means rebirth and passion.
Water lilies and their foliage provide important benefits to your ponds ecosystem by reducing light levels in your water which will otherwise encourage algae growth. Their flat plate-like circumstance also creates vital shade and safety for your fish.
It is important to not disturb water lilies roots or sink their leaves, so we advise you not to plant them near pumps, waterfalls and fountains. Instead, plant them in still water, which is in a sunny warm spot to make them happiest.
Lilies need plenty of nutrition to thrive, and it is therefore important to replant them in a suitably large basket with fresh aquatic compost when they are first purchased. It is also possible to purchase lily fertilizer tablets to slip into the basket to help promote growth and flowering, particularly in new, nutrient poor ponds.
When planting a lily the basket should be a reasonable size for the plant, lined with a hessian or foam liner then part filled with soil.
Place the lily in the aquatic basket with the “crown” pointing upwards, and then fill the rest of the basket with soil ensuring the “eyes” are showing through.
To finish off you will need to put some gravel on top to hold the soil down and to discourage fish from disturbing the lily.
Don’t just drop the plant into the depths, you will need to soak the basket first and then very slowly lower it down. Smaller and immature lilies may benefit from being positioned in shallower water to start with and gradually moved deeper over a couple of months.
If you have koi in your pond you will need to put larger stones on the top of the basket and use a hardy variety of lily. You would probably be best advised against putting a young lily into an established Koi pond as mature fish will probably destroy the plant before it has a chance to get established.
All our water lilies are expertly hand-picked and packed from our UK nursery to ensure you have only the very best specimens for your pond. Click here to buy online.