Water lilies make every pond complete. They possess unique beauty that can’t be found anywhere else. Ponds that otherwise would just exist become the highlight of the landscape thanks to these colorful flowers. Just as important is the role they play in keeping the entire pond ecosystem safe and healthy.

There are plenty of colors to choose from as well. Water lilies can be red, salmon, white, pink, orange, blue, and purple, each possessing vibrant beauty. Their petals gracefully unfold around the center, giving the pond a soothing and serene aura.

Tropical Water Lily Photo Credit: Netherland Bulbs

Water lilies’ visual appeal speaks for itself, but they’re also vital to keeping your pond healthy. Algae thrives when the sun beats down on the water, and day lilies limit the amount sunlight that penetrates the pond. They also provide shade to fish, giving them a break from the hot summer sun. Undesirable plants that may develop in the pond struggle to gain traction when water lilies are around. They suck up nutrients that those threats feed on and keep the water clean looking.

Two different types of water lilies exist, tropical and hardy, and each require different types of care. Tropical water lilies, like tropical annuals, won’t survive northern winters. Once winter hits, they’ll start to die. Water temperatures in the 70s and 80s allow tropicals to bloom profusely. From there, you can either just let them go and replant new ones next year or store them over winter. Visually, however, tropicals are stunning. They feature unique designs that add a really cool effect to the pond.

Tropicals also can be divided into two groups: day bloomers and night bloomers. The variation you choose really just depends on how you like to enjoy your pond. Ponds without lighting are generally better served with day bloomers, as some colors like blue and purple are tough to see during the night.

Hardy Water Lily
Photo Credit: Netherland Bulb

Meanwhile, hardy lilies act more like perennials. They’ll rebloom come May so long as their roots are below the ice. For northern climates, these have the distinct advantage of not needing to be replanted. They’ll also bloom earlier and long than the tropical style, although they lack the exotic visual tropicals offer. Also, if you’re interested in the night blooming variants, hardy perennials don’t come in that form. A few small differences exist, with hardy having thicker, solid green pads.

Caring for water lilies couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is plant them once, let them grow, and divide them every few years!

For pond owners, water lilies can’t be missed. They create serene beauty the best ponds achieve, help keep fish and other plant life healthy, and require almost no effort to enjoy. If you are looking to add them to your pond for the summer and fall, now is the perfect time. They’ll be in bloom for another two months!

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