Hardy Water Lily, Waterlily 'Colorado'


Family: Nymphaeaceae (nim-fee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nymphaea (NIM-fee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Colorado
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under 6 in. (15 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California

Santa Barbara, California

Stockton, California

Clifton, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Dallas, Georgia

New Orleans, Louisiana

Frederick, Maryland

Mason, Michigan

Lindstrom, Minnesota

Maryville, Missouri

Denville, New Jersey

Ithaca, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Hixson, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Hockley, Texas

Fort Valley, Virginia

Petersburg, West Virginia

Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 13, 2020, Magritte from Santa Barbara, CA wrote:

I agree this lily is shade tolerant. With only 5 hours (at most) of dappled sunlight on my pond, I had given up on ever having a flowering lily. I'd get maybe one or two flowers the entire season from my tropical. When I got this in November, it immediately took off and within 3 months, quadrupled in surface pads. It's been blooming non-stop since May. I'm blown away. This lily has transformed my pond.


On Mar 12, 2013, wagtail from DENVILLE, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

The most "tropical" hardy I have ever owned! Holds flowers high abiove water, some fragrance, large blooms, stunning color, blooms well ONCE ESTABLISHED. Some folks say it takes 2 years to establish. I got mine to bloom in August with a May planting by buying a live plant, not a tuber, and platning in rich soil and fertilizing with high-phos tablet every 3 weeks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


On Sep 22, 2010, visualgardener from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

THE BEST hardy water lily I have ever grown. In my pond, with all of 5 hours of direct sun, it has consistantly out-performed tropicals and other hardy lilies. The flowers are magnificent, large, and relatively long-lasting, for hardy blossoms. From a more professional perspective, I have not once, in five years at Lilypons, had to take back one of these plants for any reason. A winner, in every sense of the word, good for beginners and experienced enthusiasts both. If you only have to pick one, pick this one, you won't regret it.


On Jul 19, 2007, hart from Shenandoah Valley, VA wrote:

I've had almost constant blooms from this waterlily for weeks now. It has been very hardy here in zone 6. Color is a delicate peach, very pretty.


On Jul 13, 2007, loduggan from New Orleans, LA wrote:

The "Colorado" is a new lily for our pond and it is doing very well this summer. There are blooms almost daily!


On Aug 4, 2005, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

It is appropriate that it does very well here in CO...
Mine is huge. It is overtaking my little 6' circular horse trough that I call a pond, pushing aside all other lilies. I think they will have to move out!

My notes on it: Heat/sun make the plant grow faster, but fade away the leaf variegation, barely fading the flower which appears more orange and less pink in cool weather. I notice it is the first to leaf and bloom. I second the shade tolerance, as I used ot have my 'pond' East of the house, where the other lilies didn't recieve enough sun to bloom, but Nym. 'CO' went on blooming. I am getting five flowers a day from a two-eye rhizome, and the heat here helped grow one of those tiny Lily-bulb fingernail-pinch-off plantlets (you know what I mean) into a bl... read more


On Dec 28, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a beautiful medium-sized waterlily that I purchased in 2001 or 2002. The salmon colored flowers appear on stems about 4 or 5" above the water and the plant will take a little more shade than others.

It is usually one of the first to bloom - usually mid June here in Central New York State and sometimes continues to bloom until frost in October. The pads are a mottled green. It is a slower grower than some of the others and I have had to divide it only once since purchasing. I fertilize with a waterlily "pill" in May, and in October when I "close the pond," the plant is cut back to the pot and sunk to the bottom of the pond - foliage and flowers discarded. That's all the care it needs.


On Jul 17, 2003, NestEggFarms from Alachua, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Colorado hardy has salmon colored blooms & also boasts a long blooming season. New leaves are mottled & fade to green. Spread is 4-6 feet.