How to Plant a Water Lilly


Water lilies can be found growing in ponds and alongside rivers, but are also commonly grown in home ponds and gardens across the Untied States. Two popular species of water lilies are tropical and hardy water lilies which grow best when they are planted inside a container and placed in a body of water. Both tropical and hardy water lilies are characterized by their flat, soft green leaves that float on top of water, and their blooms that range in color from soft whites to vibrant pinks.

Step 1

Fill a fabric pond-pot halfway full of potting soil. Any potting soil will do, as long as it has the ability to retain moisture. You can purchase fabric pots and potting soil at your local garden specialty store.

Step 2

Add a water soluble fertilizer to the container filled with potting soil and mix well. Measure the fertilizer depending on the size of pond-pot you use. There is no need to mix the fertilizer with water since the lilies will be placed into water, thus completing the same task.

Step 3

Create a 2- to 3-inch hole for the water lily bulb in the potting soil.

Step 4

Insert the water lily bulb into the hole and cover the bulb loosely leaving the tip of the bulb protruding through the soil. Ensure that all roots are thoroughly covered by the soil. Apply a thin layer of pea gravel over the top of the soil and around the tip of the bulb. The pea gravel will weigh the soil down so it doesn't wash out of the container.

Step 5

Set the planted pond-pot on the floor of a shallow pond or lake that is no deeper then 8 inches. Once the water lily water sprouts and begins to grow well, then you may move it to a deeper area in the pond. Water lilies can grow in just about any depth of water, but for ease of access, it's best to allow them to grow in water that is between 3 to 4 feet deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric pond-pot
  • Potting soil
  • Water soluble fertilizer
  • Water lily bulbs
  • Pea gravel


  • The Water Garden: How to Care for Water Lilies and Other Aquatic Plants
  • Wallis Creek Water Garden: Cultivating Water Lillies
Keywords: Growing water lilies, Planting water lilies, Water lily care

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.