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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.