Plants for Ponds & Water Gardens Explained

Tropical Water Lilies (Nymphea)

Tropical Water Lilies are spectacular aquatic pond plants that make a magnificent centerpiece for your water garden pond. Hardy water lilies have very beautiful flowers, but the tropical water lily with it’s larger, flashier and very fragrant flowers are the ones that command the most attention. There are two types of tropical water lilies, day-blooming and night-blooming water lilies. The flowers of the day-blooming open mid-morning and remain open until late afternoon or early evening. Night bloomers open at dusk and stay open until mid-morning or until noon on a cloudy day. Flowers of tropical lilies rise several inches out of the water and are more prolific and fragrant than hardy lilies. The lily pads of the tropical water lilies come in different shapes with jagged or ruffled edges. The pads are generally larger than their hardy cousins and come in a variety of colors ranging from green, burgundy to heavily variegated purple and green. Tropical water lily colors range from white, pink, red, yellow, peach/orange, blue, lavender, purple and other unusual blends. They can be grown outdoors in all zones providing the weather is warm enough. Tropical plants prefer the temperature to be at least 70 degrees with a water temperature of 65 degrees or warmer. They will tolerate cooler temperatures for brief periods although they may go dormant. Some varieties of the day-blooming tropical water lilies are viviparous and are more cold-tolerant and will continue to bloom later in the fall as the temperature lowers. Tropical lilies are spectacular pond plants and well worth the expense, as they reward you richly throughout the growing season with many gorgeous, exotic flowers and their beautiful foliage.

For instructions on planting your tropical lilies visit our link Plant Care & Tips.