1. Large planter container- Waterlilies have large root systems so a large plant container is suggested to get the most growth out of them. They should be planted in a pot at least 10” wide pot, but even larger is preferred.
2. Fertilizer – Using a fertilizer is a key addition to enjoying beautiful blooms throughout the summer and fall. An annual fertilizer is a great option to minimize maintenance to once a year. If you choose to use fertilizer tabs you will likely need to push them into the soil every few weeks or so depending on the manufacturer’s directions. Waterlilies are plants that consume a lot of fertilizer and is essential to enjoying the best display of blooms.
3. Aquatic potting soil – Aquatic soil will meet the demands of aquatic plants and is a much better option than regular potting soil. The best way to use it is by spreading a 1-inch layer of aquatic soil in the bottom of your large lily planter. If you choose to use an annual fertilizer you can spread, it across the top of the thin layer of soil. Add another thin layer of aquatic soil on top of the fertilizer. Now you can remove the lily from its garden center pot and set it on top of the soil. Fill in the sides of the planter with more aquatic soil. If you are using fertilizer tabs you can add them now. Now add river gravel on top of the soil to keep the soil from leaching into the water.
4. Proper water depth level – Some lilies that you purchase will come with a tag that includes a planting depth level, if so, just follow the instructions. Most common depth level for a water lily is around 2 feet. This is also the most common depth of the deepest part of a backyard water feature. Typically, in all of the ponds we build we place the water lily on the deepest level of the pond on the opposite side of the waterfall to keep the extra water movement from the waterfall side from effecting the growth.
5. Six hours of direct sunlight – Sunlight is just as important to the growth of your waterlilies as food (fertilizer). Shaded sunlight is not sufficient enough for most waterlilies if you want to see consistent beautiful blooms. If you pond is surrounded by shade your lily pads will still look great however, don’t expect many blooms.