Water Garden Containers

Water garden containers are generally of two kinds.

You have your basic plastic pot for growing lilies and you can make your own planter for use on decks and apartment balconies.

For Growing Lilies

For growing lilies, let me suggest you visit your local big chain store and go to the storage bin area. There you’ll find bushel basket sized (or half bushel sizes for small ponds) containers and plants, of heavy, durable plastic that will handle life in the pond. These are one of the cheaper alternatives to more expensive pots sold in garden centers.

Yes, some of them come in blue or red but if you pick the green, black or brown ones, you’ll quickly find them covered with algae and not noticeable in the pond. But yes, do stay away from the brightly coloured ones. :-) If they are to sit on the bottom of the pond, the above colours will not be an issue.

I never used water garden containers with holes in them but I do know gardeners who prefer them. They have to line those containers so the soil does not escape into the pond. I prefer the easier route of allowing the pot to hold the soil rather than burlap that is going to rot away.


These waterproof containers can also be used as mini-water gardens for patio or balcony use but there is a more pleasing look that can be easily created.

Take a large clay or plastic flower pot. Pick something that goes with your décor. It will likely have a drainage hole in the bottom but if you use a glue gun and glue the top lid from a yogurt container over the hole, you’ll quickly make yourself a water-holding pot.

This can be used to grow all kinds of plants. With soil filled to within a few inches of the rim, you can grow bog plants. The water level can be maintained just over the soil line to keep these plants happy (lotus do very well in containers).

Smaller Pots

For water lilies, put another smaller pot of soil (a 10 inch hanging basket is the good option) at the bottom of the larger decorative pot and plant the pond lily in the smaller pot. You can then fill up the larger pot with water. You can quickly see that you’ll require a dwarf lily for this size of pot. Dwarf tropical water lilies are excellent for water garden container growing.

If you are growing other plants such as Japanese Iris, then the soil (acidic in this case) can be specially made and the plants kept quite happy in their mini-gardens.

In short, there is nothing you can’t grow in a water garden container.


I overwinter my plants such as the Iris by taking them out of the pot and sinking them in the vegetable garden. They winter happily there in the soil and then in the spring when it is time to dig the compost into the vegetable patch, I transfer them to pots again for another years growing. Remember that water garden plants do not require water during the winter, keeping them from freezing is the point of the exercise.

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