Tropical Water Lilies – Day and Night Blooming. Tropical water lilies should be planted in pots at least 12 inches in diameter. A 3-5 gallon size should suffice for each lily. Fill the pot half full with a rich garden soil and ad fertilizer tablets. Then continue to fill the pot with soil to about 2 inches from the top. The rhizome should be set upright with the roots buried gently in the soil. Make sure the tip of the rhizome is not buried. Next, add an inch or two of gravel in order to prevent the soil from escaping from the container. Remember to keep the gravel away from the crown of the rhizome.
The plant can now be lowered into the water to a depth of approximately 6 inches. As the plant grows, it can be lowered to a depth of 12 inches. Tropical lilies cannot tolerate cold temperatures and should not be planted until the water reaches a temperature of at least 70 degrees. Planting too early can cause dormancy and restrict the potential growth of the plant. Tropicals bloom from late spring through early fall, depending on the weather.
Hardy Water Lilies.
Hardy lilies are planted in much the same way as tropicals. Hardies grow horizontally across the containers so a wide pot is necessary for planting. The rhizome should be planted at one edge of the containers with the rhizome planted at an angle of about 45 degrees with the crown exposed. Remember to add fertilizer, use a rich garden soil, and top the soil with an inch or two of gravel. The plant can be lowered to a depth of 6 inches to begin with, and then lowered to a depth of 12 to 18 inches as the plant grows. Hardies should be planted in early spring. They bloom from June through September depending on the weather, and become dormant during the coler months. As spring approaches, growth will begin again.
Marginal or Bog Plants.
Marginal plants should be planted in individual containers of approximately 1 to 3 gallon capacity. The marginal plants are grown in 2″ net pots and it is recommended that you plant without removing these net pots as not to damage the roots. Plant as you would the lilies, add the fertilizer, remember you won’t need as much as is needed for the lilies, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. Marginal plants should be lowered to a depth of only 2 to 3 inches. They grow out of the water and are usually found at the water’s edge.
These plants require no planting. Simply place them in the water and they will grow. Floating plants desire tropical temperatures and cannot tolerate frost.
All ponds should have underwater oxygenating plants to aid in maintaining clean and pure water. These plants help prevent algae growth and provide oxygen. Oxygenating plants can be planted as you would the lilies and marginals. A one gallon size pot is recommended. Completely submerge these plants to a depth of at least 12″. They can of course be submerged deeper.