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Are Lily Pads Good for Ponds? (4 Benefits to Consider)

Are Lily Pads Good for Ponds? (4 Benefits to Consider)

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Lily pads are a staple for any pond, making it look straight out of a movie. This begs the question, are lily pads good for ponds?

It goes without saying that lily pads not only look gorgeous, but they can also be beneficial for your pond. They help aerate the water, protect any pond fish from the excess heat, and also keep algae away!

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of keeping lily pads in your pond as well as how to care for your water lilies.

Let’s dive in!

Benefits of Lily Pads for Ponds

If you want to add some plants to your ponds, lily pads would be an excellent choice. They can help your pond in the following ways:

1 – Cooling the Pond

Lily pads cover the surface of the pond, thus blocking the sun. This can be extremely helpful in keeping the temperature of the pond from getting too high, especially during the summer.

While you might not think hot ponds pose an issue, the pond’s fish will surely benefit from the extra shade that lily pads provide!

2 – Oxygenating the Water

Typically, ponds need to have an oxygen level of at least 5 ppm. This is crucial for the survival of the fish and any other plants in your pond.

There are many ways for oxygen to get into the water of the pond. Yet, the cheapest method is just adding plants, like water lilies!

3 – Animal Habitat

Water lilies are a sure way to attract plenty of animals, insects, and snails to your pond.

First, the lily pads provide a resting spot for frogs. They can also draw dragonflies and fireflies.

Furthermore, lily pads house many insects, such as caterpillars and lily beetles. If you flip over the lily pad, you’ll also find multiple snails!

Additionally, lily pads make for excellent snacks if you have ducks around your pond.

4 – Removing Algae

Algae is a common problem in ponds. Luckily, water lilies are one way to combat these aquatic weeds.

Since algae grow in excess sunlight, lily pads can control their growth. Not only that, but water lilies can also act as biological filters that clean your pond.

Disadvantages of Lily Pads

Like all plants, water lilies need special care. Otherwise, they might grow out of control.

Some common problems you may encounter with lily pads include:

1 – Overtaking the Pond

Water lilies are rapid growers. This means they can quickly cover the surface of the pond, blocking sunlight.

Sure, they can provide desirable shade to the pond. However, if the fish and other pond plants get too little light, they might completely die.

Typically, lily pads can overtake the pond when there’s an excess of nutrients in the water. For this reason, you should closely monitor the growth rate of your water lilies.

2 – Attracting Insects

While lilies can attract some gorgeous snails and dragonflies to your pond, they can also be subject to insect infestations.

Most commonly, black aphids and beetles can attack your lily pads. These insects might spread to nearby plants and damage them as well.

Planting Water Lilies

Now that you know how beneficial water lilies can be for ponds, it’s important that you know how to properly maintain and care for the aquatic plant. This way, it won’t negatively affect your pond.

Water lilies need plenty of sunshine and still water. You’ll need to plant your water lilies at a specific depth depending on their size.

For large water lilies, plant them 30 inches under the water level. Medium-sized water lilies should be about 20 inches deep.

Lastly, you should plant small water lilies 8 inches below the surface.

However, placing your water lilies too deep can shock them. So, you should gradually lower them to the desired depth.

How to Care for Water Lilies

Once your water lilies have established themselves in the pond, they’ll last for up to 20 years. During this time, you should make sure to take proper care of the plant.

The first care tip is to make sure to regularly remove dead foliage. That’s because the faded foliage can lead to excess nutrients in the pond, which in turn can lead to an overgrowth of lily pads!

If your pond lilies aren’t hardy, they won’t survive cold winters. For this reason, you should lift them out of the pond and keep them in a frost-free space until spring,

Do Pond Lilies Need Soil?

Pond lilies are quite hardy. They can grow in the presence or in the absence of soil.

If you’re planning to grow your water lily in soil, you should pot it. Stack the pot with manure and clay-loam soil, and plant the water lilies.

Cover the water lilies with another layer of soil. Then, top it off with coarse sand or gravel to prevent the soil from washing off in the pond.

On the other hand, you can easily plant the lilies at the bottom of your pond without any soil. Simply embed them into the pond’s bed and anchor the roots with gravel or stones.

Does Pond Dye Kill Water Lilies?

Simply put, pond dyes won’t kill water lilies. Alternatively, pond dyes can help your aquatic plants thrive.

That’s because pond dyes can inhibit the growth of algae and fungi. Plus, these dyes are non-toxic to animals, fish, and many aquatic plants such as water lilies.

Additionally, pond dyes can transform your pond from muddy brown to gorgeous blue.

Taking Care of Water Lily Flowers

Pond lilies don’t only serve to provide shade for your pond, but their flowers are also incredibly mesmerizing.

The flowers come in many colors, including white, pink, red, and purple. The cup-like flowers bloom from a long stalk that’s attached to the underwater stem.

These flowers are unique due to their numerous petals. So, if you have water lilies, make sure to properly care for them so that they blossom stunning flowers.

There are two types of water lilies, hardy and tropical water lilies. As the name suggests, hardy water lily flowers can survive during the cold months.

On the other hand, tropical water lily flowers need warmer weather. However, these flowers are larger, more fragrant, and more vibrant.

When Do Pond Lilies Flower?

Other than the multiple benefits water lilies provide for your pond, they have some of the most beautiful blooms.

Typically, your pond lilies flower during the summer and early fall, from June to September. If you live in a warmer area, your water lilies might even bloom year-round.

Furthermore, water lilies are usually diurnal. This means they bloom only during the day and close at night.

Still, certain varieties of water lilies can have a nocturnal nature, blossoming at night and closing during the day.

How Long Do Pond Lily Flowers Last?

Unfortunately, pond lily flowers are quite short-lived. They bloom for only three to five days before wilting.

There are multiple things you can do to keep your water lily flowers blossoming for as long as possible. First, you should make sure your plant is getting adequate sunlight.

Second of all, you’ll have to add fertilizer to its soil.

Moreover, make sure there’s enough space between your lily pads, as crowding them can hinder the growth of the flowers.

Final Thoughts

Are lily pads good for ponds?

Lily pads are the perfect addition to your pond, especially the hardy variety. They provide shade, remove algae, and keep your pond looking gorgeous.

The great thing is you can grow water lilies without any soil. They’re also pretty easy to propagate in the pond.

However, you need to properly take care of your water lilies to ensure they don’t overtake the pond, preventing the growth of other plants.

If you want the water lilies to blossom into mesmerizing, colorful flowers, place the aquatic plants in still water and a sunny area.


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