How to Plant a Water Lily in a Pot


Water lilies are aquatic plants of the family Nymphaea. Their beautiful blooms are popular in home water gardens, with cultivars available with yellow, white, pink or deep red blossoms. Before water lilies can be installed in a water garden pond, you must plant them in a pot.

Step 1

Trim the weed cloth to fit the pot. Line the pot with the trimmed weed cloth.

Step 2

Fill the pot with clay garden soil or aquatic planting medium to within 3 inches of the pot rim.

Step 3

Identify the pointed growing-tip end of the water lily rhizome. Press the rhizome into the soil or planting medium near the edge of the pot, with the tip pointed upward at a 45 degree angle. Leave the growing tip sticking up above the soil or medium by about a half inch.

Step 4

Stick two aquatic fertilizer pellets about 1 inch deep into clay soil or aquatic potting medium. Place pebbles on the surface of the soil, taking care not to cover the growing tip of the rhizome.

Step 5

Set bricks or stones in the water garden pond to adjust height so that the pot will sit in the water with the water lily rhizome 6 inches below the water surface. Lower the pot into the water garden pond.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic or terra-cotta pot
  • 1 yard weed cloth
  • Clay garden soil or commercial aquatic planting media
  • Scissors
  • Aquatic fertilizer pellets
  • Pebbles
  • Bricks or stones


  • Tips for Growing Water Lilies
  • Waterlillies and Lotus in the Water Garden
  • Water Gardening

Who Can Help

  • Water Gardening: Plant Life
Keywords: water lily, water garden, water plants

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.