Water Lilies for Shade

Water lilies grow from tubers in soil at the bottom of a pond or a pot. Although many water lilies require full sun, many are tolerant of shade. Even though many are shade tolerant, most will do better with a bit of morning sun. The type of lily you choose will depend on your color preference and the size of your water garden.

Blue Beauty

The Blue Beauty is a shade-tolerant tropical water lily that produces fragrant, deep blue flowers between 8 and 10 inches in diameter. Its leaves are around 14 inches long and can spread from 4 to 7 feet in diameter. Although it is shade tolerant, the Blue Beauty will do better with 4 to 6 hours of morning sun.

Blue Dauben

The Blue Dauben is a small water lily sometimes referred to as a pygmy water lily. The Blue Dauben does better with 3 to 4 hours of morning sun, but is very tolerant of shade. It is ideal for small ponds or tub gardens with a spread of 3-5 feet.

Tina

The Tina water lily is a shade-tolerant tropical water lily that, due to its 3- to 5- foot spread, is good for smaller tubs or ponds. Its 4- to 6-inch blossoms are fragrant and deep purple. Its leaves grow to around 10 inches long.

Comanche

The Comanche water lily is a hardy, shade-tolerant water lily that produces 5- to 6-inch yellow flowers that change color over time. Although they start out yellow, they turn golden and then to orange after a few days. Their 12-inch leaves have a 4- to 5-foot spread.

Froebeli

The Froebeli water lily is shade-tolerant and produces 6- to 7-inch pink to red flowers that look similar to peony flowers. Inner petals on this water lily are darker than the pink outer petals. The 5-foot spread of this lily makes it suitable for small pond or pan cultivation.

Keywords: water lilies, shade tolerant water lilies, water gardening

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for National Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.