The Best Lily Pads For Ponds & The Benefits Of Keeping Them

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In this article, we’ll look at a few Lily Pads For Ponds that you can use in your pond this year.

We’ll go over a few live, fake, and even solar options for your pond.

Lastly, we’ll show you how to care for your lily pads in your pond, some care tips, and even a few prevention and control options just in case your lily pads get out of control.

With that let’s look at a few of the options you have when picking lily pads for your pond.

Our Favorite Lilly Pads For Your Backyard Pond

Live Lily Pads for Ponds

Live lily pads for ponds are visually appealing and provide a healthy ecosystem for countless aquatic animals in your pond.

These Dwarf Lotus Seeds can help you grow water lilies of mixed colors indoors and outdoors.

With total sunlight exposure, these water lilies can grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall, with their leaves measuring almost a foot across.

Pros

  • They can help keep your backyard pond healthy.
  • They can provide shade to fish.
  • They can prevent algae growth, keeping the pond water clear.
  • They can be grown indoors in an aquarium with daylight equivalent bulbs and a UV water purifier.

Cons

  • They require at least 6 hours of sunlight.
  • Goldfish, koi, plecos, and other fish can eat the roots, sprouts, and leaves.
  • When grown in aquariums, algae growth can be an issue.

Lily Pads for Koi Ponds

In a koi pond, you might find that adding plants can be problematic since they like to eat or nibble at them. To prevent fish from eating your lily pad, you can consider buying an artificial one.

Faux lily pads have the same aesthetic appeal as live lily pads but without the care and maintenance required. These Artificial Floating Foam Lotus Leaves are made of soft and durable vinyl acetate, making them excellent to replace actual lily pads.

Pros

  • They are great for decoration.
  • They retain vivid color, even with direct sunlight exposure.
  • Koi fish and frogs can get around them easily.
  • They do not die in the winter like live lily pads.
  • They are realistic-looking and are available in many colors.
  • Their EVA foam is eco-friendly.
  • Tiny frogs can easily sit on them.

Cons

  • They do not have any benefits for the pond’s ecosystem.
  • They can stick together when in the pond.
  • Color can peel or rub off with certain products.

Fake Lily Pads Great for Frogs to Sit On

The sight of a small frog sitting on a lily pad is not uncommon, but most lily pads cannot bear the weight to support a frog.

However, there are exceptions, such as Queen Victoria water lily, which can grow lily pads for ponds up to ten feet in diameter, being able to support about 70 pounds of weight.

Unfortunately, these lily pads are native to the Amazon River basin.

For your pond, you can consider buying a fake lily pad that frogs can perch on.

These artificial water lily pads allow you to add weight to the bottom, making it possible to support the weight of tiny frogs.

Pros 

  • They have five different colors (rose, pink, purple, ivory, and orange) and sizes ranging from small to large.
  • They are realistic looking.
  • They are made of soft and sturdy foam.
  • They are vivid and durable to sunlight and water.
  • They are excellent as decorations.
  • You can use them to decorate wedding venues.
  • They are low-maintenance.
  • Fish do not eat artificial lily pads.
  • Tiny frogs can perch on the lily pads.

Cons

  • They do not help in regulating healthy water chemistry.
  • They do not contribute to a healthy ecosystem in the pond.
  • They can degrade over time, with materials contaminating the pond water.

Solar Lily Pads

Superdream’s Solar Power Energy Floating Lotus Flowers are an excellent alternative to live water lilies since they do not require much maintenance.

These solar lily pads for ponds can be lit through LED lights and used for decorative purposes.

They are perfect for decorating your pond or pool for parties and events during the nighttime.

Pros

  • They are solar-powered—the battery stores electrical energy after converting it from solar energy.
  • The lamp has a long service life of more than 20000 hours.
  • They are waterproof.
  • They can be continuously lit for 12 hours when fully charged for 8 hours.
  • They do not require any electricity.
  • They light up automatically in the evening.

Cons

  • They can stop working for a few days if they become waterlogged.
  • Some flowers need to be manually switched off to save battery.
  • They do not help maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

Why Do Lily Pads Grow in Ponds?

Lily pads or water lilies thrive in the wet soil along a pond’s edges, which is why they are described as marginal water plants. Water lilies that thrive in the wild have an endless quantity of soil to multiply and spread, making them invasive. They do not need to collect as much water to survive as other aquatic plants.

Lily pads help absorb sunlight for the plant to carry out photosynthesis. In addition, their broad and flat shape allows the leaf to float on the water. Since ponds do not have heavy water movement, they create an ideal environment for lily pads to grow.

Lily pads have adapted to survive in freshwater ponds and lakes, as evident with their roots, i.e., their tubers or rhizomes. These are not as elaborate or deep as other plants, which is why they grow so abundantly in still-water bodies. Stalks sprout from the tubers at the bottom of the pond and reach the water surface for air.

They have adapted to the surface tension present on still-water bodies, using their tiny cilia to stay afloat. In addition, their leaves have a waxy and water-resistant surface, which allows the plant to keep its stomata open for sufficient oxygen absorption.

Are Lily Pads Good for Your Pond?

If your pond has sufficient wildlife, including frogs, fish, turtles, etc., lily pads for ponds can create a healthy ecosystem. The lily is because they can provide food and protection for the animals. They also help in casting shade on the pond to prevent water temperatures from rising too much.

For species that cannot survive in high temperatures or droughts, lily pads act as a shelter. In addition, water lilies can help ponds have better water quality. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the water lilies can absorb potentially dangerous heavy metals from the water.

The plant’s rhizomes are high in carbohydrates and sugars in terms of food and are readily consumed by deer, beavers, and muskrats, while ducks consume the plant’s seeds. Moreover, they were often used by Native Americans to create healing salves, snacks, and herbs to treat intestinal disorders.

Despite their benefits, lily pads for ponds can become invasive if left unchecked. In addition, the lily leaves can lead to them potentially blocking sunlight over an entire pond and disrupting the ecosystem.

They can deplete resources by crowding out other plants and consuming light, oxygen, and critical nutrients as they grow. In addition, this shift in the environment kills other aquatic plants and impacts animals that feed on such plants.

Do Lily Pads Oxygenate Your Pond?

Lily pads can produce oxygen to help fish and certain beneficial microorganisms thrive. However, water lilies that grow too densely on the pond’s surface can obstruct oxygen exchange. In such cases, they also use up most of the oxygen in the water, which can kill other species of plants and animals.

How to Plant Lily Pads

If you don’t have access to a pond, water lilies can be grown in a large tub, such as a stock tank on your porch. They can sprout from tubers put in water-filled pots, sending up stems with round leaves and floating star-shaped flowers.

Water lilies favor water that is tranquil and motionless. Therefore, it is advisable to plant your water lilies in the spring or whenever the water temperature gets to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

For your container, you can use this aquatic lily plant pot, which is made of porous material to allow water to pass through but preventing soil from contaminating your pond or water body. It is durable and can be molded to fit tight spaces.

  • Fill to 2 to 3 inches from the rim with heavy soil, such as silt or clay.
  • One rhizome should be planted in each plant pot at a 45 ° angle, with the growing bud pointing upwards and exposed at the surface.
  • To each plant pot, add two to four fertilizer pellets specially designed for water gardens. Push them into the soil.
  • Add 1 to 2 inches of gravel or small rocks to cover the soil, excluding the bud. The gravel prevents the soil from mixing with your pond water.
  • Add a sufficient amount of water to the pot and sink it to the bottom of your pond at an angle.

For hardy water lilies, you should ensure a depth of 12 to 48 inches of water. For tropical species of water lilies, 9 to 16 inches of water is enough.

Video: 5 Tips How To Place Them In A Pond

Will Lily Pads Take Over a Pond?

Lily pads have a reputation of completely swamping a pool of water and covering the surface if there isn’t enough marine life to consume the water lilies. Lily’s can have negative consequences for other wildlife and plant species in the pond. On the other hand, fish and turtles keep the growth of water lilies in control, creating a healthy ecosystem.

Water lilies and their floating lily pads can cover up to six feet of water underneath the surface. In as little as 15 years, a single rhizome can multiply and spread to encompass an area of almost 15 feet in diameter.

Lilies can obstruct flow and clog boat propellers, causing access and recreational problems. In addition, exotic water lilies can eventually overtake native plants, resulting in vast swaths of toxic aquatic weeds that will ultimately require substantial chemical or mechanical treatment to decrease their negative impact on water bodies.

Do Lily Pads Die In Winter?

Although the hardy North American species of water lilies can endure winters in cooler climates, the tropical species should be picked up and brought indoors during the winter.

Hardy water lilies can be kept in the pond all year. The lily will fall off in the winter and reappear in the spring with fresh leaves and blossoms. As long as their rhizome does not freeze, they will not die during the winters, although growth may be stunted.

Tropical water lilies require warmer temperatures to grow, typically 69 degrees. In winter, however, they go dormant and die.

What Will Kill Lily Pads

To remove lily pads from an overgrown pond, you can use physical and mechanical controls, biological controls, or chemical controls.

Breaking their roots and drowning the roots is one sure way of killing lily pads. This can be either through cutting or pulling them out. However, this method can sometimes be impractical.

Since they prefer stagnant water, adding aeration to a pond can kill off lily pads and prevent further growth. This can include water circulators or fountains.

Chemicals To Get Rid of Lily Pads

Beneficial Bacteria products and enzymes like PZ-900 consume available nutrients in the water, leaving them inadequate for plant growth.

Aquatic herbicides, designed to be used in or near water, are an effective and safe way to kill lily pads. When used with a surfactant like:

These are particularly effective at killing lily pads and help in their control. Reward kills the plant upon contact, and Shore-Klear attacks it through the roots.

2,4-D Selective Weed Killer is another effective chemical that can be used to kill lily pads. However, if you’re concerned about the aquatic wildlife in your pond, you can use a safer chemical, such as Glyphosate 5.4.

Where to Buy Your Lily Pads

Whether you’re looking for a plant pot to start growing your lily pad at home, or you’re looking to buy artificial lily pads to create an aesthetic in your backyard pond, Amazon and the Home Garden & Landscape Center have plenty of options. In addition, you can refer to the options listed at the beginning of this article for gorgeous artificial lily pads available on Amazon.

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