What Do Water Lilies Eat?

water-lilies-eat Credit: pontla/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Water lilies are aquatic plants that should be fed an aquatic slow-release fertilizer. If planted in an aquatic basket, the fertilizer should be added to the compost or soil when the water lily is planted and adjusted throughout the growing season following the manufacturer's instructions.

Native to the eastern half of North America, the water lily is a popular ornamental plant in many parts of the world. Consisting of pink or white flowers surrounded by large, round green leaves, the water lily grows in silty sediment in water up to 7 feet deep. Water lilies prefer calm, still water and full sun. The best time for planting is late spring or summer.

Flowers appear on the plant from June to September. They rise from the water on long, solitary stalks until they are slightly elevated above the surface. The blooms open in the morning and close in the afternoon and last from 2 to 5 days.

Although they provide excellent cover for aquatic wildlife, when water lilies become too dense they can create areas of water with low oxygen content. To reduce this problem, water lilies should be cut and collected. Complete removal requires regular harvesting as water lilies reproduce rapidly.