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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Water features in Ireland, including all aspects of water gardening.

Growing Water Lilies

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:52 am    Post subject: Growing Water Lilies Reply with quote

Growing Water Lilies
By Erin Taylor

A garden pool filled with water lilies is a spectacular sight.
With elegant flowers that open their blooms each morning to greet the sun, and then closing again in the evening, they are exquisitely beautiful.

Although many gardeners are nervous to try growing these beautiful water plants, the European varieties are extremely hardy and very easy to grow.

Tropical water lilies require a warm climate to grow, preferring a sunny position, and flowering all year round.
These varieties produce large scented flowers on tall stems in colors ranging from white, cream, pink, apricot, rich cyclamen, yellow and many shades of blue through to purple.

The hardy European varieties grow and flower in all climates.
A sunny position is best for these plants, but in extremely hot climates some dappled shade is recommended.
Once established, they produce flowers over a long periods, with colors ranging from white through pink, red, apricot, and the yellow spectrum.
Sizes vary, from the exquisite miniature water lilies, to those with extra large leaves and flowers.

Water lilies should be planted in a soil mixture of three parts loam, to one part well rotted cow manure, blood and bone, bone meal, or slow release fertilizer pellets, mixed through the bottom layer of soil.

Photo / pic / image of a water lily.

Larger varieties do well planted into squat pots about 20-25cm in diameter.
Make a few extra holes low down on the sides of the pot, because water lilies do best when their roots are not contained.

In very large ponds, plant two or three different varieties in larger pots to create an impressive display.

With the exception of the miniature varieties that should be planted with 10-18cms water above the pots, water lilies should be planted at depths of 20-40cms.
Soak the soil in the pots very well before placing into the water, and cover the top of the pots with a good layer of stones.
This will help stop the potting soil washing out of the pots. The stems and leaves will find their own way to the surface.

Plants grown in smaller pots will need to be divided every two or three years.

If you are looking for some water lilies you should be able to source some here..... Water lilies

Fish are an important part of a ponds lifecycle as are oxygenating plants.
If you like Koi Carp, do not place them in a pond with tropical water lily plants as the Koi will eat them.

Koi will leave the hardy varieties alone, especially if the fish are no longer than eight to 10cm.
Aggregate stone's around the plants will prevent the fish from uprooting them.

You can also grow water lilies in deep half barrels or tubs lined with a heavy plastic.

It's important to ensure that the pots remain submerged all the time, as water lilies must never be allowed to dry out.

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 29 Jul 2008
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Location: Co Sligo

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very few of the lakes around here contain wild lillies and I cannot get the tame ones to grow in my pond either .
I think I read that lillies do not like to be in a current . My pond does have a flow thru' it but the lakes do not . Presumably that makes the pH the prime suspect ? Can anyone advize on this please ? Many thanks .
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Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Mutated waterlilies Reply with quote

I have a water lily in my very small garden pond. Its been there more than 5 years.

It started out as a dwarf water lily but seems to have mutated into a far bigger plant. It now swamps my pond with the leaves coming out over the sides.

Is it possible that the lily has reverted from a dwarf to a standard? Is there anything I can do about it or should I replace the plant with a new dwarf lily?

I've done nothing much with the plant in my pond apart from cutting back some fading leaves.
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Rockworld Water Features
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Location: Kildare, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donadea Park in county Kildare has a large lake with hundreds of water lillies. Its well worth a visit.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How I planted my water lilies this year. (Don't know whether I did right or wrong but they keep flowering.)

Got hold of some plastic burger bun trays that are used to deliver burger buns to take-aways. The trays are approximately 30" by 15" and 6" deep. Lined them with newspaper and filled them with clay subsoil, no fertiliser. Warning! They are quite heavy when filled with clay! I have moved them around under the water with a boathook!

I think they appreciate the room that they have in the burger bun trays, to expand.
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