WATER LILIES:

 

Hardy water lilies are true perennials.  As long as their rhizomes do not freeze over winter, they will survive dormancy in the pond.  Hardy lilies over-winter best at a depth of 2ft or more.  If the pond is too shallow, they can be successfully over-wintered indoors in a cool, dark, frost-free place.

 

Typically, hardy lilies are reliable bloomers with cup or star-shaped flowers that float on the water.  In recent years, hybridizing efforts have produced several stunning varieties that hold their blooms high (e.g.  Colorado, Joey Tomocick).  Lily blooms usually appear by late spring, opening by mid-morning and closing by mid to late afternoon.  They come in a variety of shades including white, pink, yellow, red, and salmon/peach.  Petals may be stellate (star-like) or cup-shaped, and vary in number according to the variety.

 

Hardy water lilies require full sun (8-10 hours) in order to bloom, however, a few varieties will bloom with less than five.  Hardy lilies require12 inches of water over their crowns - they may be deeper, but should not be shallower.  It is important to take note of each hardy lily’s potential to spread:

 

Small spread   - 3ft-4ft in diameter

Medium spread          - 5ft-7ft in diameter

Large spread   - 8ft or more in diameter

 

Hardy water lilies must be fertilized each year at the start of spring with slow releasing fertilizer (see fertilizer page 35).

 

The table below describes our most popular hardy water lily varieties.  They are available in 8” (2gal) pots for $38.99 (fertilized).  Please enquire about other varieties.

 

Name

Description

Comments

Pink

Sensation

Smooth, rich pink.  20 petals.  Cup-shaped 5”-6” blooms rest on water.  10” green leaves open purplish.

4ft spread.  Blooms stay open until late afternoon.

Pink

Opal

Coral pink.  26 petals.  Cup-shaped 3”-4” blooms held high above the water.  9” green leaves open bronzy.

3ft spread. 

Charles de

Meurville

Dark-crimson red with pink outer petals.  22 petals.  Stellate 6”-7” blooms rest on water.  8” leaves.

5ft-6ft spread.

Attraction

Deep garnet red; some flecking.  26 petals.  Stellate 6”-7” blooms rest on water.  10”-12” leaves open bronzy.

4ft-5ft spread.  Blooms with as little as 3hrs sun.

Charlene

Strawn

Rich yellow with lighter outer petals.  27 petals.  Stellate 6”-8” blooms held high above water.  9” mottled leaves.

3ft-5ft spread.  Most fragrant hardy lily.

Chromatella

Creamy yellow.  22 petals.  Cup-shaped 4”-5” blooms rest on water. 

6” leaves blotched with burgundy.

3ft spread.

Marliacea

Albida

White.  23 petals.  Cup-shaped 5”-6” blooms rest on water.  9” leaves open slightly bronzed.

3ft-4ft spread.  Abundant bloomer.

Odorata

White; outer petals pinkish.  24

petals.  Stellate 4” blooms rest on water.  6”-7” leaves.

5ft-6ft spread.

Comanche

Yellow-apricot-gold-orange-red changeable.  22 petals.  Cup-shaped 5” blooms rest on water.  11” leaves.

5ft-6ft spread.  Showiest of the changeables.

Colorado

Salmon-apricot.  Prolific bloomer.  Stellate blooms held high above water.  11” leaves.

6ft-7ft spread.

 

 PLANTING HARDY WATER LILIES

 

Hardy water lilies are usually sold potted, and vary in age from two to three years.  Containerizing them keeps their invasive roots restrained.  For maximum growth and blooming, transplant lilies into a 15in tub at the start of their second season in a pond.

 

Mature hardy water lilies can produce up to two or three crowns every few years.  Divide them regularly between May and August.  Start new crowns in 8in diameter tubs.

 

To plant a hardy lily, you will need a tub, fertilizer, aquatic soil mix, and a spade. 

 

1.           Fill the tub with an inch of soil and put the fertilizer stick on top (prevents leeching into the water).

2.           Continue to fill the tub to about the half-way point.

3.           The rhizomes of most hardy lilies grow sideways, so position the rhizome at the edge of the tub, with the growing tip (crown) towards the center. 

4.           Backfill with soil, being careful not to get any on the lily’s crown (where the stems meet the roots).  Shake the tub to settle the soil and lily.

5.           Spread about an inch of pea gravel over the top to hold everything in place, and to prevent the soil from clouding the water.  The crown should still be visible.

 

It will take 3-4 weeks to see new growth.  It is completely normal for some of the outer leaves to turn yellow – simply remove them.

 

TROPICAL WATER LILIES:

 

Tropical water lilies are considered to be the biggest and showiest of all water lilies.  They are strictly annual and thrive in a pond from June through to first frost.   Since they are very sensitive to the cold, they are usually not put in a pond until the water temperature has reached 21°C (70°F).  Tubs should be submerged in the pond, with about 6” - 10” of water over the crown.  Tropical lilies require eight to ten hours of sun a day in order to bloom to their full potential.

 

The flowers of day bloomers open by mid-morning and close by late afternoon.  The flowers of night bloomers open early evening and stay open throughout the night.  Sweetly fragrant blooms often reach 10” - 12” across.  Tropicals hold their blooms on long stems, high above the water.  They are free flowering; often with multiple blooms at one time.  Petals may be stellate (star-like) or cup-shaped, and vary in number according to the variety.  Most have beautiful centers of yellow stamen.  Some tropical day blooming lilies are propagated from nut-like tubers and some varieties form tiny plantlets that form at the intersection of the leaves and stems (viviparous).

 

The table below describes a few of our day and night blooming varieties.  They are available in 8” pots for 59.99.  During June and July we have a super special:  buy one at $49.99; buy two or more at $44.99 each.

 

Name

Description

Comments

Albert

Greenberg

Day bloomer. Blooms are yellow, pink, amber and melon in colour.  Large, round green leaves have heavy purple mottling and wavy notches along edges.

Spreads 64sq.ft.

King of Siam

Day bloomer.  Double deep-purple; star to flat shaped petals.  Dark green oval leaves with purple flecking on new pads.

Spreads 30sq.ft.

Tina

Day bloomer.  Deep violet-purple flowers.  Sepal color outer two-thirds purple, base greenish.  Flower size 4.5”-6”.  Very nice fragrance.  Leaves are green.

Spreads 20sq.ft.

Jennifer

Rebecca

Night bloomer.  Deep pinkish red 4”-5” blooms that are very fragrant.  Large reddish brown leaves with wavy edges.  Very free flowering.

Spreads 24sq.ft.

 

  PLANTING TROPICAL WATER LILIES

 

In most cases it is more convenient to treat a tropical lily as an annual, and simply buy a mature plant each year.

 

To repot a tropical lily, you will need a tub, fertilizer, aquatic soil mix, and a spade.

 

1.           Fill the tub with an inch of soil and put the fertilizer stick on top (prevents leeching into the water).

2.           Continue to fill the tub to about the half-way point.

3.           The tuber of a tropical lily should be centered in the tub.

4.           Backfill with soil, being careful not to get any on the lily’s crown (where the stems meet the roots).  Shake the tub to settle the soil and lily.

5.           Spread about an inch of pea gravel over the top to hold everything in place, and to prevent the soil from clouding the water.  The crown should still be visible.

 

It will take 3-4 weeks to see the new growth.  It is completely normal for some of the leaves to turn yellow – simply remove them.

 

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