Chelsea Gold Medal winners for Aquatic Plants 2011 - 2017
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Waterlilies & surface cover plants

Waterlilies for sale - miniature, dwarf & large and other surface cover pond plants

Waterlilies are marked with <p>Suitable for shelf depth 14-22cm (approx 6-9”) below water surface</p>,<p>Suitable for shelf depth 23-44cm (approx 10-17”) below water surface</p> or <p>Suitable for shelf depth 45cm+ (approx 18”+) below water surface level</p> - hover over/touch the symbol to see each variety's depth requirement.

Tiny miniature waterlilies are ready potted in 1 litre baskets and can be grown in a patio container pond. A larger pond waterlily is ready rooted in a 3 litre mesh basket in aquatic compost and able to be placed immediately into your pond in a sunny position.

The other perennial deep water aquatic plant is the Aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn). This grows from a deep shelf and sends leaf stalks up to the water surface in February to give leaf cover and flower across the pond surface from February until May.

If the waterlily or Water Hawthorn you receive has leaf growth that has reached the surface of our pond in the Nursery (ie the leaf is no longer furled but lying flat) then you should place it so that the flat leaf is on the water surface again. If necessary, stand the basket on another basket filled with gravel. Submerging the top surface of the leaf below water level by more than a couple of inches at once will result in the leaf rotting away as it cannot 'breathe'. If the leaf is furled (rolled up) it can be placed at any depth as it is still traveling. The plant can be lowered deeper but do not rush to take the plant all the way to its specified depth in the first year. The waterlily crown will see more sunshine if it is not too deep and you will have a stronger plant that will flower better.

Waterlilies should be positioned in sunshine but away from constantly splashing water such as a fountain or waterfall.

They will go dormant in the winter months and show no leaf on the pond surface. Hardy water lilies are considered perennial aquatic plants and will survive the winter provided the rhizome does not freeze.

They will send up new leaves in Spring when the water temperature is consistently warm and may need feeding to encourage flowers later on. When the first leaves reach the surface of the water, push an aquatab into the soil surrounding the rhizome. Water lilies in baskets can exhaust their nutrient supply by the second year. If their leaves turn light green or yellow or the flowers become small, they might benefit from an aquatic fertiliser. Use the feed tabs throughout the summer - these are simply pushed into the soil around the roots and will not upset the nutrient balance of your pond.

Waterlilies provide much needed shade to the deeper water areas. They keep the pond temperature constant and algae growth low whilst providing colourful waterlily flowers on the pond surface. Each waterlily bloom will last for a few days and should be removed if possible before it rots and releases exess nutrients into the pond. The aim should be to cover 70% of the water surface area with plant leaf growth in the height of summer. If your pond is newly planted this will be hard to achieve with waterlilies alone so boost the plant cover by using annual surface cover plants in the short term.

A waterlily can be propagated and repotted any time it is actively growing.  See How to repot a waterlily in our Tips and Advice pages.

Many surface cover pond plants are unavailable during Autumn and Winter as they are vulnerable to frost and ice on the water surface so either die (annuals) or drop down out of sight (British Native pond plants). They become available again after the last frosts in Spring.

Native floating pond plants avoid the winter cold by dropping down below the surface of the water to overwinter as dormant buds in deeper water, away from the ice. These floating plants will then reappear in Spring as the water temperature warms up (Stratiotes aloides - Water Soldiers and Hydrocharis morsus-ranae - Frogbit). Both are sold bareroot(or loose).

Some floating plants are invasive and not recommended as once added to your pond are very hard to get rid of. These plants, such as, duckweed and fairy moss grow quickly and can completely block out light to the depths of the pond and are best avoided. We do not sell these.

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