How to Make Your Water Lily Bloom

The Water Lilly is the preferred flower in aquatic gardens, floating among their lily pad leaves. Hardy Water Lilly species can bloom in any temperate zone. Their rounded smooth leaves have a waxy sheen. Tropical water lilies are extremely vulnerable to cold, and have circular leaves with jagged edges. The container, the fertility of the pond, temperature and sunlight can affect how your water lilies bloom.

Planting Container for the Water Lilly

Be sure your water lilies are planted in shallow containers, as the roots grow sideways. The wider the container, the more shoots the Water Lilly will send up to the surface. Plant them at least 18 inches deep in the pond.

Fertility of the Soil and Water

Water lilies prefer a clay-based soil, or sand. Basic cat litter (without additives) is suitable. Fish in your pond will produce enough waste to fertilize water lilies. If you have no fish, feed soil with aquatic plant tabs once a month.


For tropical water lilies, the temperature must remain above 50 degrees F (10 C) for the growing season.  Hardy water lilies tolerate cold well, and both types need full sun for 8 or more hours daily to bloom.  Flowers on both types last for three days.