Garden Design → Container Gardens→ Indoor Plants
→ water lilies
Water lilies are one of nature’s marvels. All they need to thrive is water and
sunlight. There are two types of water lily; hardy and tropical. When hardy
water lilies bloom, the flower sits right on top of the water, while the flower
of the tropical water lily is on a stem that rises above the water.
Frosts and Water Lilies
Hardy water lilies can withstand quite severe frosts if they are planted about
35 cm or more below the surface of the water. The number of blooms they have is
directly related to the hours of sunshine the plant receives. They need at least
half a day of
to bloom successfully.
When planting water lilies, don’t plant directly into the bottom of the pond,
but into a wide, shallow dish. The benefits of doing this are that you will be
able to give the rhizome the nutrients it needs without affecting the water
quality of the pond. And you will also be able to lift and divide each one,
without risking the loss of your favorite.
If they are all planted hodge-podge in the bottom of the pond the roots- which
grow laterally - will become entangled. This makes it very difficult to remove
the overgrown ones without the risk of losing some. It is also very messy.
Plant your Water Lilies in a Pot
With a pot, all you need to do is lift up the pot and work on it out of the
water, and then replace it happy in the knowledge that you have not accidentally
thrown out the roots of your favorite. Choose a pot that is about 12 cm high and
30 cm wide. Place three slow-release fertilizer tablets in the bottom of the pot
and fill it three parts with a good loam that is not sandy.
Make a hole slightly off-center to plant the rhizome and make sure you pad the
soil down quite hard over the top of it. Then fill the container to the top with
washed sand. This will help to keep the nutrients from washing out and keep your
pond water clear.
When adding water lilies to your pond, you need to allow at least half a square
meter of water surface for each water lily. If you crowd them, they will not
grow well and your fish will be unhealthy due to lack of sunlight. Water lilies
will increase, so should be divided every two years.
Water lilies will flower from November to March in southern states; longer in
the north. You can get white, pinks, apricot, lemon, yellow and even vivid red
flowers in water lilies, so there should be something to suit every taste.