Water lilies made easy

Friday, May 28, 2010


 Amazon lilies are growing and
have produced the first bud.

Come on in, the water’s fine. It has warmed up for the tropical water lilies that are making beautiful displays in various pools around the garden. The marvelous Victoria amazonica (Victoria amazonica x cruziana ‘Longwood hybrid’) already has a flower, and many others are showing lavender, blue and white flowers.

Ken Neugent, conservatory and special projects manager, says planting water lilies isn’t complicated. Use garden soil that contains no Perlite and mix it with builder’s sand (not salty beach sand), he

Lovely in its symmetry.

directs. Plant the bulbs in the containers. You can pack sand on the top to keep the soil from washing away, or use pebbles. The container can be set in a pond or a large ceramic container, with anywhere from six to 18 or even 24 inches of water above the top of the pot.

Water lilies require a lot of fertilizer to look good. Neugent uses aquatic tabs or slow release tablets. Large lilies need new tabs weekly; smaller ones can thrive if you renew the tabs once a month. Be sure to remove the yellow leaves to keep your water lilies beautiful. And don’t plant them with large koi. The koi will nibble them to death.

Tropical water lilies bloom either during the day or at night, so if you want to see them after the sun goes down, plant pots of both.