How to Plant a Water Lily in a Small Fish Pool


Water lilies are not only beautiful additions to your fish pool, but they are also extremely useful. Water lilies help to control algae growth and provide shade for your fish. Water lilies can also protect your fish from nosy predators that prowl around your fish pool, because the plants can spread up to four feet. When planting a water lily in a small fish pool, you'll want to keep that in mind. Depending on the size of your fish pool, you may want to plant only one or two water lilies so they don't end up covering the entire water surface.

Step 1

Plant your water lily in a fabric pond pot or a no-hole plastic container. Make sure the pot is 10 to 14 inches in diameter and at least six inches deep.

Step 2

Fill the pot halfway with a heavy clay loam or a commercial potting mix designed specifically for aquatic plants. Do not use regular potting soil. Add two to four fertilizer tablets (made for flowering aquatic plants) and fill the pot with more soil until it is two inches from the top.

Step 3

Set the water lily's tuber upright and bury the roots gently into the soil. Do not bury the tip of the tuber.

Step 4

Add one inch of sand or pea gravel on top to help keep the soil in the container when it's placed into the fish pool. Keep the gravel away from the tuber's crown.

Step 5

Place the potted water lily into the fish pool, ensuring that the water is approximately six inches over the crown. The lily leaves should be floating at the water's surface. Make sure the water is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting the water lily.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't plant your water lily until the water reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit if it's the tropical variety or 60 degrees for the hardy kind. The plant will go dormant if your water is too cold.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric pond pot or no-hole plastic pot
  • Heavy clay loam
  • Aquatic plant fertilizer tablets
  • Sand or pea gravel


  • How to Care for Water Lilies & Other Aquatic Plants
  • Why Water Lilies?

Who Can Help

  • Small Ponds--Water Lily Soil and Containers
Keywords: plant water lily pond, fish pond plants, grow water lilies fish pool

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.