Water lilies display large, shield-like green leaves and showy, fragrant flowers that are available in an assortment of colors. A popular aquatic pond plant, water lilies bloom mainly during spring and summer but can remain lively year-round in frost-free regions.
Two categories exist: hardy and tropical. Tropical are larger in size overall, flowers vary in shape and are more fragrant and colorful than hardy.
Water lilies are preferably planted in pots or can be placed directly into the soil base of the pond.
Water lilies require approximately five to six hours of direct sunlight, calm water, rich soil (fertilizer optional), proper water depth and pruning to flourish. Hardy: Bloom in spring (May), once water temperature reaches approximately 60 degrees and become dormant in fall (September). Tropical: Last throughout the year, consist of both day and night bloomers and need consistent warm temperatures near the 80 degree mark to survive.
The actual flower appears for three to five days. The hardy plant will return each year unless solid pond freezing occurs.
Remove dead or damaged leaves during blooming season to aid in health and appearance of plant. Hardy water lilies can be harvested in the fall, properly kept indoors and replanted the following spring, if desired.