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Water Gardens: waterlily seeds? is it possible?

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shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO
(Zone 6a)

December 27, 2009
9:09 PM

Post #7402303

Hi all,
I'd like to build a rain-garden on the cheap, is it possible to get seeds from somebody else's waterlilies?
I'm guessing these flowers are coming from waterlilies because they are right there by the flowers. Actually, I know of 2 family members that have a water-pond with flowering water-lilies. I tried a cutting of a water-lily last year and I found out that don't work.
I did a search before I posted this but I didn't see anything come up.
The lilies I'm talking about are hardy, they leave them out all year around. The other ones not in the photo have yellow flowers.
I looked at some of the photos posted up there, you guys have some nice ponds.
Thanks all

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snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 27, 2009
9:58 PM

Post #7402425

Waterlilies do set seeds. The blossoms go back under water when they are finished blooming and turn to a jelly like mass that eventually releases seed (if the flowers were successfully pollinated) under water . The seeds sink into the mud at the bottom of the pond if there is a mud bottom and they germinate. The stem corkscrews when it goes underwater. You can cover the submerged flower head as soon as it goes back under water with fine nylon to capture the seed when it's fully developed but before it's dispersed into the water. Harvest the ripe jelly like mass and plant the seeds just barely covered in a pot of wet clay submerged in about four inches water and wait. It will take four to six months to get a plant ready for potting up and placing it in a pond. Full sun and warmth is necessary the whole time.

The usual, much quicker and easier method is to have a friend give you a piece of waterlily tuber with a growing point. Waterlilies grow quickly and need dividing often when grown in pots or tubs. Cuttings don't work because you need a piece of the tuber itself that has a growing point which you identify by leaves and stem growing from the point. Plant the tuber division with the top of the tuber showing above the soil ( clay) and be careful you dont bury the growing point. Place a small rock over the middle of the tuber to keep it weighted down or else it will float away. In a couple of weeks the tuber will have put down roots and the tuber will stay put on its own. If you get a division in early May you should have flowers by mid to late July.

You mentioned Rain Garden. Waterlilies need to be down in water 18" to 2' deep to best grow, flower and to overwinter, especially in zone5b. Rain Gardens are usually areas that have wet soil at the surface year around and underwater slightly only when it rains. They are not under water long enough or deep enough to grow a waterlily. If you're referring to a Water Tub Garden be sure to select a miniature waterlily that doesn't need a lot of water depth or width. I'd recommend "Perry's Baby Red". It does well in containers like whiskey barrels that have been waterproofed or other similar sized barrels or tubs. Hope this helps.
shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO
(Zone 6a)

December 28, 2009
2:51 AM

Post #7402983

Oh it does help alot, thanks!
I'm just wondering, wouldn't a plastic bag rigged up under or encompassing an expiring flower be good for collecting seeds? Yeah, we call it a rain-garden but we are thinking of a water pond that would have a depth like you say 18" to 2 feet. We want to catch some rain-water because it collects pretty good in this one spot. We would keep it at a full level with the garden hose. We'll want to get a pump going in it so it doesn't stay stagnant and attract mosquitos. Thanks for that depth info. because I was unsure about it too.
If I went at their waterlilies with a knife to divide they'd probably think I was killing their lily..lol
I'll see about that tho because it would be nice if they'd flower like you say.
How do you divide a lily tuber? Can it just be halved with a knife, would that work? Any good diagrams or instrux out there?
Thanks for your reply snapple45,
FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

December 28, 2009
3:49 AM

Post #7403088

Might work, but you can't do it if the area that 'collects' water has any chance of having run off that is exposed to pesticides or fertilizers, ect. Might work if you only wanted plants, and used mosquito dunks, but I don't think you could keep fish in it, if there is any chemicals in the run off water.
here are a couple pages that might help you in taking care of a water lily

http://www.victoria-adventure.org/waterlilies_images/hardy_prop/page1.html

http://texaswaterlilies.com/hardywaterlilies.htm

shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO
(Zone 6a)

December 28, 2009
5:05 AM

Post #7403202

Thanks Frillylily, those are good links.
I see about the runoff, that didn't occur to me. Its just an unused portion of the driveway that gets the standing water after a hard rain. I can't think of any chemicals that would interfere.
We'll see though, I might try some of those hardy "Comet" goldfish eventually. I'd like to get some water-plants in there first tho. We don't do any chemicals in the yard or anything like that, the yard is also connected. I don't think the neighbors use chemicals.
Those around here that have jobs aren't paid too good, I doubt that lawn chemicals are a priority..lol I think I'll make a run at my Aunt and Uncle's waterlilies first, if I can get a successful division that'd be great. Its theirs in the photo up there.
Thanks

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