Water lilies are generally easy to maintain and grow provided they are planted in the right conditions. Here is a checklist of things to consider if your lily is not blooming or flowering:

  1. Is it in or near moving water or being continually splashed by a water feature? If so move it to calmer water where it does not get splashed;
  2. Is it planted too deep? Check the depth guides for each cultivar and decrease depth. Immature lilies in particular should be taken down to their ultimate depth in stages, and remember shallower is better than too deep;
  3. Is it still in a solid pot? If so repot into an aquatic basket and add some slow release fertiliser;
  4. Does it need feeding, especially if in a less mature pond with little sediment in the bottom?;
  5.  Is it in too much shade during the day? Most lilies need 6 hours sun per day (when it’s out!) -although see notes on growing conditions for some of our cultivars which will tolerate less than this;
  6. Does it need splitting/repotting? If the leaves are congested and standing proud of the   water surface and flowering is poor this is a sure sign that the lily is too crowded in its basket. Repot to a larger basket size, refresh the soil and feed with slow release fertiliser tabs;
  7. Is it under attack from aphids or other lily pests such as the China mark moth or diseased? See notes on Water lily pests and diseases;
  8. Is the rhizome buried too deeply in its basket or the pond bed?;
  9. Is it dead? If no new leaves are being produced in the growing season, pull the plant from its basket and check the roots and rhizome. If the roots are sparse and brown not healthy and white and the rhizome is soft and mushy it may well have had it.  If there are signs of  life from a growing tip and some roots cut back any brown soft rhizome back to hard creamy tuber and repot. You never know you may be able to resurrect it!