Waterlily advice please!

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Waterlily advice please!

Postby aitch on Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:57 pm

Hi,

Have just realised (quick i know - not!) that the waterlilies I have may be too big for the pond (10 feet by 5 feet) as some of the pads get to approx 8" in diameter. Should I be looking to swap for pygmy types? If so which ones?
My current lilies have either pink or white flowers, no names I'm afraid as I inherited them and give a succession of two or three flowers but don't go mad. They are fine but I'd like something more floriferous if possible- smaller flowers are fine.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Aitch
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Postby alison on Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:27 pm

Hi Aitch. Welcome to the forum :P
I think we all have the same problem as you, because we love waterlilies, the bigger the better and then suddenly think "Oh hold on - will I still be able to see the fish if these lilies carry on growing". Sean will probably be the best person to answer your question. I am sure he will be lurking soon enough. He has just posted some pictures of a few of his lilies.
I have two - a pink one which I don't know the name of and a beautiful yellow one which I have just found out is called Colonel A J Welch. That has big flowers and pads. Sean has a variety of small flowering ones as well as his larger varieties. Of course a lovely option instead of going for smaller lilies is to make your pond bigger :P :P If you have seen my website you will know that this is pond 4 and is now 17ft long, and 10 or 12 ft wide (I can never remember the width :shock: ) It started as a little preformed kidneyshaped blue bowl but soon transformed as the bug bit. Anyway I am sure someone will advise you much better than having me rambling on :roll: :smt101
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Postby seanmckinney on Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:09 pm

Hello,
Pygmeas that should be relatively common are helvola, aurora, pygmae rubra, tetragona alba. If you buy from a garden centre expect to pay upwards of £18 unless you haggle at the end of the season. :D
Several web nurseries, hopefully the good ones, have stopped dispatching bare root lilies for this year.
Tetragona alba is an oddity, the proper one, the pygmy can only be grown from seed apparently, two plants are sold as this and the other is not a pygmy. Try a search on the forum koiphen for "Tetragona alba" and I think "Craig P" to get the story, I have the non pygmy and have my eye on what look like two kosher pygmies in the local garden centre but they will be a haggling match later in the year if they are still there.
Re lily size appropriate to your pond, there wont be many that are too big unless your pond is shallow, so you may not need top swap or get rid of your existing plants, besides which you could put them in those flexable double handled buckets sold by places like B&Q, dig those in and you have dedicated lily ponds, the big ones 72 or 90l are somewhere around £6 or £9 in B&Q. I use the next 2 sizes down as lily Q tanks.
I have helvola and aurora and I should have pygmae rubra and can tell you about them etc but I am afraid I am not in a position to trade or give any away yet, sorry
Rubra, if thats what I have, are fairly tough but aurora and helvola seen a little more delicate, I am on attempt no 3 for aurora and this 3rd one looks to have been hammered by leaf mining midges, attempt 2 looks to be dead.
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Postby aitch on Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:55 pm

Hi

Thanks for the suggestions - on the depth front it's only about 1-1.5 feet deep and then goes shallow on to the beach, hence the problem. I had a couple of monster lilies lurking under the water when I cleaned out the pond (pre-beach) - one was 2 feet long - I kid you not - the other about 1.5 feet, then took cuttings and binned the rest. I was so convinced they wouldn't make it I put three cuttings per kidney shaped pot, and guess what - they all made it! :lol:

I do need a spring clean out of the lilies but based on what you said Sean, (unless the haggling works) it will be next year before I can get any replacements. It seems a shame to get rid of healthy ones so I'll also look into those bucket things you suggested.......have to say I had no idea they were so expensive!

Thanks again
Aitch
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Postby seanmckinney on Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:24 pm

You could also have a look for a book called the rock and watergarden expert by hessayon, I dont have it to hand but I think thats right., it lists some dwarf, medium, large and perhaps extra large lilies.
Re the "trug" price thats why I use the smaller sizes :D :D
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Postby aitch on Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:21 pm

:oops: I meant the price of the water lilies not the trugs -sorry!
I had a look at Dr H's book and a few others and took the plunge and ordered a helvola and a Froebeli - the Pyg. rubra flowers sounded very tiny and it wasn't rated by some others, and as I have a limted space (unlike you - lucky thing Sean!) I thought I'd take it slowly.
Thanks to your picture in another thread I now know I have several Attractions in the pond - I might keep some of the existing ones in smaller numbers in case my new acquisitions are shy!

Just need to work out what the white one is now... :?

Thanks again - great to get feedback from people who are living inthe real world and not the ideal world of some authors! :D
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Postby seanmckinney on Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:04 pm

Who from?

I would suggest potting in either Bowers aquatic compost or B&Q'2 john innes no1. Mix in some of the LOOSE miracle grow osomaocte granules, not sure of the spelling, B&Q sell the latter in a 2kg tub, I think tescos do too, garden centres do too but generally charge more.
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Postby alison on Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:26 pm

If my lily has floated out of the pot ( I think it has ) would I be best to pot it up like you say Sean? Would it still be okay to just pea gravel it like the other plants or is it because it needs to have the soil of some sort? When should I attempt it, I was thinking about not doing it until after my buds had flowered.
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Postby alison on Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:03 pm

Well I think drastic action must be taken as the pot is now at the surface as well so it has definitely risen up. If I leave it there will it die as it should be planted at 24-60 inches deep? It is the colonel welch (yellow) variety.
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Postby alison on Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:57 pm

Today I tried with the help of Sonny to pull out the lily.It had risen up to the surface and had come up with the pot. It's just one of those large black basket ones with the little square holes in. Anyway we had thought of just putting some rocks in to sink it again down to the bottom. First one stone went in. then another until we got a big rock and put that in as well. Sonny was stood on the edge of the pond with my washing line prop pushing the lily back down into the deepend with each added rock. No avail. Now it has three large stones and it is still on the surface. :shock: Is it up at the surface because it has outgrown the pot?? Will it survive on it's own or do I have to try again. Is the best idea to actually try to separate the lily and plant it up again.(remembering of course that it is right in the middle of my pond)
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Postby seanmckinney on Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:56 am

Sorry, Alison just seen your problem, I would if possible shred the old pot to save as many roots as possible and repot the lily in a bigger pot. I have used seedling trays, the bottoms of buckets, or the bottom of plastic storage containers as pots. Big perforated pots are too expensive. Get a bucket of garden soil or a bag of Bowers aquatic compost/soil or John Innes no1. Mix in some loose osmocote fertilizer graunles and add water so that the mix is like a stiff pastry dough, lay a bed of the mix in the base of the pot, place the lily with the growing tip pointing into the pot and the old end against the outside of the pot and pack the roots down with soil. Them gravel or stone the surface of the pot.

Lilies need some soil and probably fertiliser as they are "heavy users of nutrients". If you divide it can I have a cutting, ta? I would like to compare it with the one I have from Sam.
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Postby alison on Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:42 am

Thanks Sean. :P How do I know where to divide the lily? I haven't really looked at the roots as when we pulled it up we didn't pull it out of the water we just pulled it into the shallows. I am sure I have only had it this year. It is the first time it has come up and flowered. I planted it in the pot it came in which wasn't very large just the normal one you see with lilies in. Could it have been the weight of the leaves on the surface that caused it to come up from the bottom if you know what I mean (like a lot of balloons rising). :smt017 This time I plant it I will also put a few rocks as well as gravel over it to weigh it down.
Where do I get this osmocote fertilizer from? I think I have a little aquatic compost left so if I do I will mix it up as you suggest.
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Postby seanmckinney on Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:20 pm

Fertiliser I got mine from B&Q, its miracle grow in pkts in a yellow tub, its quite expensive, from memory £8 for 2kg, but slow release which is what you want for aquatics, I think I have seen it in tescos too and the local garden centre. There is a pellet form available as well but thats more suited to fertilising established lilies where the pellet is just pushed into the soil without disturbing the lily.


When to divide, when you deem it too big for its pot, I havent divided any of mine yet although I have one that I might soon. The entire plant is lighter than water so lilies will float given the 'chance', koi may also up root them or suck the mud from the root ball whilst rooting for titbits.
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Postby alison on Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:24 pm

That is something I have wondered. What do you do for lilies that are in a large pond (like Kazzies) where it is hard to reach them, surely at some point they rise up to the surface and yet are supposed to live at a certain depth. Will they still live or will they die off. There are loads of lakes that have lilies in. Hmmmm :roll: :smt120 :smt101
The weather is attrocious here today so I don't think I will be attempting the potting up. I found the aquatic compost though in the shed so I think I have enough to repot the lily.
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Postby seanmckinney on Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:06 pm

The root system holds them down in the mud, the large thick roots are anchor roots, the fine roots are feeder roots
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