Night-Blooming waterlilies usually open around dusk and will close about 10:00 am to 11:00 am the following morning. Cooler autumn days will likely cause them to stay open longer as will an overcast day. Night-bloomers are best placed outside when the water temperatures are 75 degrees F or higher. Otherwise cooler water temperatures may cause them to go back to dormancy. They are heavy feeders so these plants must be fertilized every 10 to 14 days. They often grow large with leaf pads of 10 to 15 inches in diameter. Night-blooming waterlilies are ideal for pond owners who work all day and need to enjoy their ponds in the evening.
N. ‘Red Cup’ – This waterlily features red cupped shaped flowers with red pads. The flowers are 4 to 8 inches wide and have 18 to 20 petals. It has a medium spread. The red leaves can grow to 13 to 18 inches. It was created by Kirk Strawn in 1986. N. ‘Juno’ – This night bloomer features white flowers with yellow stamens. The flower can grow to 6 to 10 inches. The leaves are green and can grow to 13 inches. The hybridizer is not known but it was first offered for sale in 1906.
N. ‘Wood’s White Knight’– White night bloomer which can produce flowers up to 12 inches in diameter, with 28 to 30 petals. The leaves are green and can grow 12 to 15 inches. This is a cross between N. ‘Sir Galahad’ and N. ‘Missouri’ created by Jack Wood in 1977. Good bloomer!
N. ‘Emily Grant Hutchings’ – This waterlily produces dark pink, cup shaped flowers which can grow 6 to 8 inches. The leaves are bronzy green and can grow to 10 to 12 inches. This cultivar blooms earlier in the season than most other varieties; it is also easily propagated. N.’Emily Grant Hutchings’ was created by George Pring in 1922.
Victoria cruziana – one of the giant platter waterlilies. This species of Victoriais found in Paraguay to Bolivia. It tends to grow at cooler temperatures so it is better suited for our cooler, shorter New York summers. The leaves can grow 4 to 5.5 feet in diameter and feature rims which are 5 to 8 inches high. The flowers open creamy white on the first night and then change to pink on the second night. The flowers have a strong pineapple scent to them. These are heavy feeders and best fertilized weekly.