Water lilies are probably the best part about water gardening. It's a kind of pond foliage that enhances the beauty of your pond and immortalizes your water garden.

Due to their vivid colors, it isn't unusual for gardeners to consider their ponds as their unique canvas to plant water lilies in.

And while perfection is subjective, you can still master growing water lilies. Just like any great artist. This quick guide on growing beautiful water lilies will help you do exactly that.

Why add gorgeous water lilies to your pond

Typically, there are two types of water lilies: hardy and tropical. As the names suggest, the tropical water lilies are great for regions with pleasant weather whereas the hardy water lilies are perfect for regions where water tends to freeze during winters.

While the tropical water lilies have larger flowers than the hardy ones, both of them accomplish the same objective - beautifying your pond.

Aside from enhancing the appearance of the water body, water lilies actually offer a better habitat for the aquatic animals residing within the pond. By promoting good bacteria and offering shade for the animals, water lilies prove to be an ornamental yet functional addition to your pond.

The right choices will help grow gorgeous pond foliage

  • Soil and Fertilizer

Start by planning the food you'll offer your water lilies a.k.a. the fertilizer. The right fertilizer can make a significant difference in the growth of your pond foliage.

Let's begin by choosing the right kind of soil before discussing the type of fertilizer you must incorporate in it.

Regular potting soil consists of too much organic matter that's enough to ruin water lilies. So, you can eliminate that option. However, soil that's designed for aquatic landscapes holds more nutrients than the former and is, therefore, the better choice.

For growing healthy pond foliage, you can use this unique, non-toxic, fine-grained soil made especially for water lilies. With no compost or peat moss, it's the perfect choice for growing beautiful water lilies.

Besides, consider adding gravel and loam to the soil. Being heavy, they can be used for water gardening as they prevent the water from getting soiled. They will also prevent the soil from floating in the container.

Now for the fertilizer. Depending on your preference, you can go for either an annual fertilizer or treatment tablets, which can be placed near the roots of the plant.

Ensure that you don't put the fertilizer directly into the water as it will mess with its pH balance, which won't be pretty for the pond foliage or animals.

Lastly, be generous with the fertilizer but don't over-fertilize. Over-fertilization can promote the growth of algae in the water and destroy the quality of the habitat.

  • Placement or position

This is yet another important determinant in your plants' growth. You need to allow your pond foliage to have full exposure to the sun. A minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight should do the trick. For this reason, water lilies grow beautifully during the summer as it offers them the perfect weather condition to bloom.

  • Temperature

Speaking of perfect weather conditions, the temperature of the pond plays a vital role in growing beautiful water lilies. For the hardy water lilies, the temperature should be at a steady 60° Fahrenheit. For tropical water lilies, maintain 70° Fahrenheit to allow them a better environment to bloom.

If you wish to learn more about the ideal weather, check out this article on how to prepare your pond for winters.


The container can literally be the personification of the idiom; room for growth. Having a big container means the water lilies will have enough space to grow optimally.

To make it easier for you, follow the 18x10 inch rule. The perfect pot should be 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep, so the roots can spread freely.

Once you find the ideal container, punch a few holes in it to allow the water to enter into the soil in the pot.

Or you can simply use this environment-friendly fabric aquatic lily pot that can be used as it is due to its high porosity.


Unlike regular gardening, you don't have to have a specific watering routine for water gardening. All you need to do is get the basics right.

For starters, ensure that the leaves of the plants are above the surface of the water when you place them in the pond. If they aren't, elevate the pots with gravel to avoid ruining the flowers.

Also, avoid adding chemicals to the water as they can kill the algae and other live culture within the pond.

For excellent results, oxygenate the water using waterfalls, fountains, or aerators. In case you're curious, you can read more about this subject in detail in our guide on how to use a pond fountain to maintain cleaner water.

Major dos and don'ts of growing the perfect pond foliage

  • Do not fill the pond with water lilies because it will prevent the sunlight from reaching other animals within the pond.
  • The pond foliage should cover only 60-65% of the surface. This balance will allow you to adequately shade the water and maintain a suitable environment for your aquatic animals without ruining the arrangement.
  • Consider usingmaintenance tabs to simplify the upkeep of your pond foliage.
  • Clean out the dead leaves regularly to maintain the appearance of your garden.

Once you have everything down to the T, place the pond foliage inside the pond at regular distances to avoid them from spreading to undesirable places or overcrowding.

And there you have it, folks.

Remember, building a pond isn't the end of the road. From beautifying the water body to making it habitable for the aquatic animals, there are too many things to check off the list before you can wrap it up. Check out our in-depth guides and pond supplies to keep getting inspired and making informed choices for your pond.

Happy water gardening!