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How Do You Grow Waterlilies in Containers?

“I would like to know more about waterlilies, container-growing, and how to plant them.” Question from Uma of Wellington, Florida

Answer: You are in luck! There are quite a few tropical, compact waterlilies that grow beautifully in containers. Tropical lilies would be best for your zone and climate.

Tropical Waterlilies for Containers

There are many great options available, which may be listed as pygmy or miniature tropical waterlilies (Nymphaea hybrids). The highly compact, lavender-blue-flowered Nymphaea ‘Colorata’ is ideal for small aquatic pots or tubs. Another is the heavier blooming Nymphaea ‘Margaret Mary’, which has even darker purplish-blue flowers and a growth habit suited to tub culture.

How to Grow Waterlilies in Pots or Tubs

“Most gardeners don’t consider growing these beautiful aquatic flowers because they lack the desire or space for a pond, but ponds are not needed if you grow small. Watertight, spacious troughs or pots can be converted into tiny water gardens for miniature waterlilies. If you have a partially sunny patio, deck, or garden space that can take the weight of a water-filled pot, you are set!” For further details about how to prepare your waterlily pots, please read our full blog titled, HOW TO CREATE MINIATURE WATER LILY POTS. It will provide all of the information that you need to get growing.

I hope that these tips help.

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith, Fafard Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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