Water lilies are easy to maintain and provide a great focal point for a pond or garden. However, like other aquatic plants they are also susceptible to pests and disease.
Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, beetles, midges and China mark moths. Remove these by hand if they become a problem and treat the plant with insecticide.
Water lilies need feeding on a regular basis to keep them healthy. Using plant tab-type fertilizers is simple and inexpensive; you can find them at your local garden center or pond supply store.
The right amount of fertilizer depends on the type and brand you buy, but a typical ratio is 10 grams for every gallon (3.8 L) of soil. Read the directions on the fertilizer package carefully and follow them exactly.
When feeding, make sure the fertilizer is added at the appropriate time of year based on the instructions on the package. For example, use an aquatic feed tablet in the spring or a granular annual fertilizer in the fall.
Water lilies are easy to care for, as long as you give them plenty of sun and water. They bloom best in ponds with warm, relatively still water and will not thrive in a bubble fountain or a cold spring-fed pool. They also do not do well in very deep water or with strong currents.
Water lilies need warm water, and they are best positioned in the sunniest parts of the pond, away from pumps, fountains and moving water. They are also more sensitive to pests and disease, so it is important to keep an eye on them.
Water lily care includes trimming and repotting them as needed. This promotes healthy, vigorous leaves and flowers throughout the season and reduces plant matter that sinks to the bottom of the pond.
For hardy water lilies, you can also overwinter them indoors and then repot them in the spring. Tropical water lilies can overwinter outdoors, but you may need to move them into plastic pots or store them in an area that stays around 50 degrees F.
To plant a new water lily, fill a large planting tub with a mixture of loam/clay-loam soil and an aquatic potting soil. Add a thin layer of fertilizer, if needed. Lastly, add a rocky top layer to prevent fish from kicking up dirt and clouding the water.
Water temperature is an important factor for most aquatic organisms because it determines their ability to survive. The minimum temperature needed for survival is different for each species.
Tropical lilies need water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees to thrive and produce blooms. They also require a stable temperature and adequate lighting to encourage growth and flowering.
Hardy lilies can grow in colder climates, but they must be removed from their water during winter unless you live in Zone 9. This can be done by draining the pond or placing it under ice and keeping the lily in a container in a cool place.
Tropical lilies are often grown indoors for overwintering purposes, which involves placing them in a tank with a controlled temperature. They usually go dormant during this time and only come out in the spring when temperatures rise.
Water lilies are an important component of ponds and lakes, providing food and shelter for many aquatic animals and contributing to nutrient uptake. They’re also an attractive plant addition to manmade waterways, promoting beauty and creating a naturalistic balance for the aquatic ecosystem.
Water lily care tips include planting them at the proper depth and fertilizing them regularly with an aquatic slow-release plant food, such as fish emulsion or liquid feed. These nutrients can help them bloom more frequently and grow larger.
When potting up water lilies, use a planting crate or basket that’s filled to around 2/3rds full with heavy garden loam and pack well down. Lay the rhizome horizontally in the centre of the container and then pack more soil around it until just the top third of the rhizome is exposed.
Top dress the plant with a layer of 1-2cms washed pea gravel. Submerge the pot until the surface of the gravel is 15-20cms above the water level. Leave a space in the gravel for the plant’s growing tip, which should be level with the soil.