Planting Water Lilies
Our plants have been dipped in an antiseptic/anti-parasitical that is completely non-toxic to your fish!
Your water lily (or lotus) bare root tubers will do best in good quality soil, though they will grow in pure sand or gravel. Some garden centers sell water plant potting mix. Gravel at the bottom of your pot will help sink the planting container and one-inch gravel at the top will keep foraging koi out. Be sure your pot or soil has no insecticide/herbicide residues or they may leach out and kill your fish!
Unpack your water lily/lotus tuber carefully and pay particular attention to the fragile growing, pointed, tip. Leave the growing tip just above soil level and be careful not to break it off. Another will grow if you do, but you will lose a couple weeks of growth. Elevate the pot in the pond to expose the growing tip to sunlight, and, as the lily grows, you may lower the pot until you reach the desired depth (1 to 3 feet)
Some of our lilies already come with leaves. You can anchor the tuber/root ball into the soil of the pond bottom or planting container, using 1 inch or larger rocks on top to keep the roots down and the koi out!
If your pond has little available nitrogen (few fish or abundant plant life), fertilize when the lily produces leaves. Slow release tablets made for ponds are great, but you can use 15-15-15 or similar by wrapping it in some newspaper and inserting it just under the soil level. If the tuber is planted in the pond bottom mud or if you are using the plant for biofiltration and nitrate removal, supplemental fertilization is usually unnecessary.
The more direct sunlight, the healthier the plant and the more blooms you'll get! There should be a minimum of four hours direct sunlight.
If aphids begin to gather on the leaves, hose them off with water or use a fish-safe insecticidal soap.
Trim away older leaves and buds as desired. Pollenated buds will feel round and solid; they will grow into new plants if left attached!
Optimum temperature is between 70º and 90º F. As winter approaches,
you will see the leaves die and the tuber will go dormant. Unless your pond
freezes to the root level, your lily will survive and wake next Spring. If you
think the pond bottom will freeze, then dig the tubers out and put them indoors
(33-45 Deg F) or even in your refrigerator! Plant in the Spring when the water
warms to at least 50 Deg F.
You may also be interested in:
Technical Bulletin #1 Water Plants and the Nitrogen Cycle.
J & J Aquafarms Water hyacinth and Aquatic Plants!
Technical Bulletin #3 Bacterial Infections and Using Medicated Feed
Technical Bulletin #4 Planting Sacred Lotus
Technical Bulletin #5 Your Pond and Swimmer's Itch
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