Choose a country to see content specific to your location

Skip to main content
A picture of a Water Lily

Water Lily

Nymphaea spp.

Nymphaea nouchali (2) by Flora Tang (CC BY 2.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Frequent watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









    • spring
    • summer
    • autumn
    • winter

    More images of Water Lily

    A photo of Water Lily
    A photo of Water Lily
    A photo of Water Lily
    A photo of Water Lily
    A photo of Water Lily

    Water Lily Overview

    Nymphaea is a genus of deciduous, aquatic, perennial plants in the water lily family, Nymphaeaceae. They are commonly known as Water Lily (or Waterlily). The floating 'lilypad' leaves are rounded and heart-shaped, and the summer flowers are showy bowl- or cup-shaped. They come in a variety of sizes, colours and forms and are held on, or just above, the water on sturdy stems. These lovely exotic plants have been extensively cultivated as ornamental pond plants across the world - not only to look decorative but also to provide shade - preventing overgrowth of algae and shelter for aquatic wildlife. Water lilies need a water depth of between 30cm and 1.5m - depending on the variety - and a position in full sun. They can be frost tender or hardy. Nymphaea should be planted in aquatic baskets filled with aquatic compost or a low nutrient, stony garden topsoil, with gravel or pebbles on top, before submerging.

    Common problems with Water Lily

    Can be susceptible to water-lily beetle, brown china-mark moth and false leaf-mining midge. Possible diseases can include crown rot, brown spot and water lily leaf spot.

    How to propagate Water Lily


    When you divide the rhizomes every 3 or 4 years, save some sections to replant in spring or summer - or share with friends!

    Special features of Water Lily

    Attractive flowers

    Attracts useful insects

    Other uses of Water Lily

    Grown for their floating, usually rounded leaves and brightly coloured flowers.


    About usCareersPrivacy policy

    Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

    Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

    © 2023 Candide

    Made in Bristol