Waterlilies generally sit on the bottom of the pond (except in very deep ponds, where they may be placed on shelves) and their leaves grow upwards to float on the water surface. The blooms of traditional hardy waterlilies float on the water surface along with the leaves, but the blooms of tropical or subtropical waterlilies stand up above the water. Some modern waterlily varieties have been created by crossing hardy species with subtropical species, to create plants which thrive in our climate but whose flowers also stand up, giving the pond an exotic look.
Waterlilies need a sunny position, where their leaves will not be splashed by moving water from things like fountains. In order to grow and flower well, they also like plenty of space for their roots, so if you are potting them choose a good large container - do not put them in small or cramped pots. For potted waterlilies, we recommend fertilising them once a year, and dividing or potting them on every two to three years.
Planting depths mentioned on these pages refer to the depth of water over the crown of the plant (which is approximately the same thing as the depth of water over the soil level). Do not plant your variety deeper than this recommended range or the plant will not perform as well or may even not survive.