Water lilies are the most exquisite and colourful plants in the water garden and can give months of pleasure during the summer. It is also important not to forget that they play an important part in a pond ecosystem by shading the pond surface during the height of the summer. Other deepwater plants will also add interest and colour to some of the deep pond areas. Water Hawthorn, which flowers in the spring and autumn, makes a perfect partner for lilies giving you months of foliage cover and a beautiful display.
A wonderful selection of lilies can be seen in our stores. The Pygmaea varieties are ideal for small ponds and features with their tiny leaves and delicate flowers. Where a large amount of cover is desired a Nymphaea Alba or Attraction will offer an economic solution, with one plant throwing a large pad of leaves and plenty of flowers. There is a huge range of lilies to suit all tastes, from the wonderful deep red of James Brydon to the impressive double flowered pink M. W Gonnere.
How To Plant
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 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.