Top Water Lilies for Your Garden

Nymphaea 'Luciana'
Water lilies are breathtaking additions to a water garden. Check out our editor's picks of top water lily cultivars!

Carolina Sunset

Here's a gorgeous peach water lily that belongs in just about every water garden. It makes a big impact -- the leaves are nearly 12 inches across.

Plant spread: To 5 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 4-10

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy and fragrant, day-blooming, peach-color variety.

Blue Beauty

This stunning selection offers huge flowers that are nearly a foot across. The color varies from pale lilac to beautiful deep blue.

Plant spread: To 7 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 10-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a fragrant, tropical, day-blooming, blue-color variety.

Arc en Ciel

We love this variety not just for its lovely white flowers, but also for the delightfully variegated foliage.

Plant spread: To 5 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 4-10

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy type with white flowers and variegated foliage.

Red Cup

'Red Cup' is one of the deepest colored, night-blooming water lilies we know of. It's a heavy bloomer and is graced with an apple-spice fragrance.

Plant spread: To 6 feet

Bloom time: Night

Zones: 10-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a tropical variety with fragrant red flowers that open at night.

Mrs. George H. Pring

This scented, night-blooming water lily can send up four to six blooms per flowering cycle. The big leaves measure up to 16 inches across, making this a great choice for larger ponds.

Plant spread: To 6 feet

Bloom time: Night

Zones: 10-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a tropical variety with fragrant white flowers that open at night.

Colorado

This award-winning beauty offers red-mottled foliage: in addition to its lovely and profuse salmon blooms, it has a lovely scent.

Plant spread: To 10 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 4-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy variety with fragrant salmon-pink flowers that are open during the day.

Afterglow

This cultivar is known for its intoxicating fragrance and mass numbers of blooms over a long season.

Plant spread: To 8 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 10-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a tropical variety with boldly colored coral-pink flowers that are open during the day.

George L. Thomas

This gorgeous, heavy-blooming selection offers rich, double pink flowers to 5 inches across.

Plant spread: To 12 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 4-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy and floriferous pink-flowering variety.

Shirley Bryne

We're fond of this selection because it blooms well even in part shade and has a great fragrance.

Plant spread: To 5 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 10-11

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a tropical variety with fragrant bright pink flowers that are open during the day.

Rembrandt

This compact selection is perfect for container water gardens. It offers boldly colored flowers and a great scent.

Plant spread: To 3 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 3-9

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a dwarf, hardy red-flowering variety for containers or small ponds.

Peach Glow

'Peach Glow' offers creamy-peach blooms that are held high above the water. It also bears red-mottled foliage, extending its interest.

Plant spread: To 12 feet

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 4-10

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy peach-flowering variety.

Luciana

Free-flowering and fragrant, this variety produces large, 7-inch-wide flowers that appear throughout the season above bronzy-green foliage.

Plant spread: To 4 feet across

Bloom time: Day

Zones: 6-9

Fragrant: Yes

Choose It Because: You want a hardy variety with soft-pink flowers that are open during the day.

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