Hardy Water Lily (Nymphea)
Your water garden is not complete without at least one of these exquisite pond plants. The hardy water lily is available in a variety of colors and sizes. The water lilies, once established in your water garden will reward you with many flowers throughout the summer months. Hardy water lilies will bloom continuously May thru September. Flower colors in hardy water lilies include white, yellow, pink, peach, red and changeable. The lily pads are mostly green, although newer leaves in certain hybrids emerge dark red. Some of the lily pads are lightly variegated or have a light mottling. Hardy water lilies can be grown in cool to warm climates and require at least 4 hours of sunlight a day. They prefer still water and will not grow well in water features where there is fast moving or splashing water on their leaves. Hardy water lilies are necessary in creating a well balanced eco-system. Aside from their beauty, they serve an important function in the pond, filling it with color and vibrancy, while keeping the ponds inhabitants safe and healthy. They provide shade for fish, insulate the water from day to night temperature fluctuations and with there surface coverage help to protect the fish from predators. Water Lilies also absorb nutrients in the water, which would normally feed undesirable algae, helping to keep the water clean and clear. During the hot summer months we recommend one-half to two-thirds of the water surface to have plant coverage. In a large water feature several hardy water lilies can help achieve this. The more shade you provide, the fewer algae problems you will have. Dwarf and small water lily varieties are suitable for small containers and tub gardens, requiring only 12” of water to thrive. Medium to large hardy water lilies, once established can be grown at depths of 12” to 36”, depending on the variety of lily. In frost-free areas hardy water lilies will bloom all year, although they will slow down considerably in the colder months. In cooler regions they will bloom throughout the summer and into the fall, going dormant after the first frost. At this time, you will want to lower the potted lily to a depth below the freeze line in your area to ensure the tuber does not freeze.
Hardy water lilies, with the incredible amount of variation found among the different hybrids, from their size, color, fragrance or growing patterns, there is a water lily suitable for any water feature.
For information on planting your hardy water lilies visit our link Plant Care & Tips.