Hey guys I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I have a water lily that is about two seasons old, this year will be the third one in the pond. I have no idea what kind it is - I bought it from Lowe's so nothing fancy. It has beautiful foliage and I can already see leaves growing in the pot this year. Problem is it has NEVER bloomed. Last year I added a couple of those tablets you can buy for pond plants but still no flowers. Should I try repotting this plant or is there a trick to getting blooms that I don't know about? How long should it take to see blooms on these? Here's a picture from last year - this was pretty early in the year and by the end of the year the foliage was much larger. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Very pretty pond & I'm looking forward to the answer as I have the same problem. Your leaves are ahead of mine but mine are coming up - also bought at Lowe's and didn't bloom last year so I'm hopeful this year. Maybe someone has a good suggestion. I wonder if it could be that there's not enough sun? Mine gets about a half a day, maybe that's not enough. Just wondering.
I don't worry about fertilizing because the fish fertilize for me. However, your pond tablets may be high in nitrogen, so that all the foliage plants are doing beautifully. Also, you might check the ph of your water.
When I moved into this house, the previous owner had a water lily in the pond with no pot, so I think you'll have to identify it and check with a wet landscaper. When I buy pond plants that float, they do not come in a pot. The seller just pulls them from his pond, puts them in a plastic bag and sends me on my way. When I purchased a water lily kit at a regular garden center, I followed the directions and ended up with nothing. For indoor pond plants (during the winter), I use a 6-inch diameter sewage connector from the hardware store to keep the plants upright, in place and to protect from the fish. I don't know if this helps.
There is an althea bush to the west of this pond but it should be getting 4 or 5 hours of sun a day in the center of the pond. I'll watch it and try to see exactly how much it is getting once the leaves are on the trees. This photo was from last year it is just barely up out of the pot at this point. Thanks for the help.
Cathy - I guess I am confused about the no pot situation - would the plant just be sitting with no dirt on the bottom of the pond?
Mine flower from May to early October. My waterlilies are potted - I cannot imagine not having them in pot. With pots, you have better control over your waterlilies. I would be afraid of the waterlilies taking over the whole bottom of my pond if they were not contained - I know they are not as prolific as the lotus, but I don't want to take the chance. Additionally, this would pose a problem when I vacuum my pond in the Spring and the Fall.
Waterlilies will need fertilizing every year - they are heavy feeders and division every couple of years - I divide every other year. I tried not fertilizing last year to see what would happen and I did not have nearly the same lilypad coverage or flowers. Cathy mentioned fertilizers high in nitrogen producing more leaves than flowers - she is correct. You want a higher middle number in your fertilizer formula to ensure more flowers.
Fish Knees is right - Waterlilites need SUN to flower - at least 6 hours of sun. Waterlilies will start flowering when your water temps are about 65 degrees. How much sunlight does your pond get?
its funny both the problem lilies should come from Lowes. I decided I was going to have a water lilly in a large container since I dont have a wter garden yet. I bought one at Lowes.. they showed it in a large pot on a deck in the picture on the box.. I get it home and look it up on Plant files... it has a 6ft spread.. its not a dwarf for pots..its for Large ponds..I check all of what they are carrying and they are all the same.. no dwarfs... so I take it back, Then I call corporate and have a long talk with them about the way the vendor is misreprensing stuff and setting people up to fail.. I told them that they needed to hire EDUCATED buyers when it came to stuff like this.. the guy I talked to turned me over to a higher up and he was very interested in what I was saying (thats a first)..
I hope my water lilies look like yours this summer, Carolyn. Mine just started sending up pads in the last week, so I'm anxious to see what it does this summer.
I also have a couple lotus seeds I received from a most generous DGer last fall. I'm soaking two of them now to get them going and see how they do. One is cracking open and I can see green inside, which makes me most happy.
Kjuddy: Very pretty pond. Before I read all the other posts regarding their opinions I thought it was too shady in the picture. Everything looks very green and lush. The waterlilly leaves are smallish but without knowing exactly what you bought it's hard to know the problem. There are waterlillys that can bloom with less than full day of sun but you need to do some research on that. Some lillys bloom more than other types and earlier in the season (which is especially nice for zone 5a and colder-at least we have a chance to get a bloom or two or three . . . LOL!
Cathy: Your post made me confused. Either I am up way past my bedtime or we speak a different language about pond plants. Wet landscaper? No pots? I have mine in pots and one that fell out of a pot-both bloom and one is from Lowes. Most of mine are from TWL. Texas Water Lilys has great information on their website. We do see eye to eye on the middle number of the fertilizer tab being the highest number of the three. If you read this please explain in more detail what you meant-I'd like to hear more (maybe I am missing the boat on updated info regarding pond plants)! :)
Mothermole, sorry for the confusion. "Wet landscaper" was my own speak for a professional who installs and maintains water gardens, which are pretty popular in southern Connecticut. They are generally open to the public and sell plants and fish. Around here landscapers do not do water gardens and seldom carry wetlands plants. One local nursery stopped carrying water plants because of the snakes that got into his pool. I've since found places to get plants much cheaper.
Certain plants are sold in pots, while others are put into plastic bags. Water clover and dwarf sweet iris are sold in pots. When I bought the floating water hyacinths and water lettuce, they fished them out of their ponds and put them in plastic bags. Last summer when I bought a papyrus, that seller also fished it out of the pond and put it in a plastic bag. Since I could not afford the water lilies and lotus plants, I just took a shot that since they seem to be floaters they might not be in pots. I have to tie some of the plants in netting to contain the pots under water.
When I moved into my home 5 years ago, there was a very pretty water lily in the pond, but I don't remember seeing a pot or the plant after the first year.
I can't wait till it is warm enough to put out the warm weather plants!
Very interesting information. Funny how things are so different from one location to another. Try Texas Water Lillies (twl) in the future for you pond plants. Way cheaper! At least look at twl's prices for retail and wholesale and you will see that their retail prices are great.Their plants are great as well!
Okay I looked this up and the lily is a 'fabiola' - I wonder why I never thought about how much sun it was getting. I guess because to me it seems to be mostly in the sun. One side of the pond is under an althea tree but the other side seemed sunny, however, I'm thinking that could be the trouble. I guess if I want waterlily blooms I'll have to work on the shade issue:) Also I see that there are some types that will bloom in some shade so maybe I need to get one of those.
Mine don't but I read here all the time about koi rummaging through the planter baskets making a mess so they might eat them. However, my dog eats lotus roots and will stop at nothing to eat them . . .
So I read that water lilies like still water, so not near a waterfall. I bought mine from Lowes last summer and placed them at the oposite end from my waterfall (about 5' away) and they bloomed. I do get a ton of sun so I'm sure that helped.
My lilies are near water movement and bloom but the movement is minimal. Also, hostas "in" the pond do fine in sun. I experimented with a bunch of different hostas from around my yard and they were great 1st year filler plants. I tucked them in and around the edge of the pond and they were in full sun. I don't know what kind of hostas they were-I inherited them with the purchase of the house!
Don't buy water lilies from lowes ,go to a water garden center or better yet look for a pond supply , even some aquarium stores sell pond plants. You can even order them on line. When a water lily comes in a bag , you are supposed to go home and Pot it. with water lily clay or soil and put little pebbles on top of that. you should fertilize your lily s at least every 4 weeks during growing season. my lily's come back each year an will be in bloom in a few weeks I am zone 7 too. throw away your lily in the compost and start over. look on line for directions on potting lily s. also lily's like standing water , so plant away from the waterfalls.
This lily is potted up not in the net bag it came in. I trimmed back the althea above it and moved some things around trying to give it more sun and I gave it a good dose of fertilizer as well as splitting it, so we'll see if it blooms after that. If not I won't get rid of it because I still like the way it looks in the pond. Thanks everyone for the advice.
my pond is in full arizona sun. One year none of my lillies bloomed(neither the lillies of my friends). It turns out that the water that year did not get hot enough for them to trigger flowers. Your looks healthy. perhaps as the summer continues, yours will bloom later in season compared to our AZ season. Mine have just started to bloom--it is very hot here now.
Just an update here I cut down my althea tree this spring because it was making a mess in the pond. All those flowers all summer long just made a huge mess plus it was too close to the pond to grow properly. And then guess what after years with no blooms I came home Monday to my FIRST EVER Waterlily bloom.
Color me excited - I think maybe it wasn't getting enough sun:/ I should have known you experts knew the answer all along!
Hey Carolyn. those fertilizer spikes you recommended. I got them last fall so I would be ready. When I took them out of the blister pack, each stake was tightly enclosed in a plastic wrapper. I tried to take them off but decided they were supposed to stay on and maybe dissolve. Is that how yours work?
I always take off the little plastic sleeve. There is also a little black round sticker at the top that I take off. I just assumed it was supposed to come off, but as I think about it - I think it has to come off so the fertilizer disolves through the holes in the spikes.
Crumb. They don't mention the clear plastic either way. That's what I though too. How was the fertilizer supposed to come out. I will fish out a few and see what happened. Surely hope the plastic dissolved. I figured the fertilizer is a times release and it would leach out through the little holes. You can see the fertilizer pellets in there and they are rather small, sort of like osmocote but much smaller.
I finally found the instructions. I feel like an idiot. They printed the 'remove clear plastic cover' in very light ink UNDER the spikes. I never even saw that. Crumb. Guess I better get them out and dig out the spikes. Probably no loss in time. We are sitting at 32F this morning so the water isn't all that warm. There is a little growth from what the plants could pick up from the water. Oh. I saw one instruction that said to push the spikes in 'up to the plastic cap so I am thinking that the plastic cap is supposed to remain on.
Yes, Mary - I leave the plastic cap on, but I take off the little round sticker on the top of the plastic cap. I don't push the spikes in all the way to the top because my pots are not deep enough for me to do this. I do push the spike in as far as it will go and the holes in the spike are generally buried into the pot.
Carolyn I really love your waterlily picture-what kind is it? Also, I posted last year that my koi don't eat my lilys well that was last year . . . this year all the basket were turned and eaten-I have nothing left except one lotus that I am growing elsewhere. My fish are mostly 12-20" long sop maybe they just need to be bigger to destroy the pond. Also I cut down on their food as last fall there was a ton of poop at the bottom - even with my bottom drain . . . I will have to figure out something for next year to get lilys back in my life and in the pond.
Not sure which waterlily you are referrring to, but I have a bunch of different kinds of waterlilies and only know what 2 of them are LOL. What kind of Waterlilies do you have? I know that we had the same problem with the tropical waterlilies that you are having. I came to the conclusion that the tropical waterlilies must taste better than the hardy waterlilies. Another thing - if you are using the unscented clay kitty litter to plant your waterlilies, the koi will go after the clay. They love clay. My fish are larger as well and are do not tear up my hardy waterlilies.
I gave up on the tropicals the first year-not a long enough hot season for me to enjoy anything. I have had multiple hardy but the koi flip the basket over . . . I have had them in clay but stopped that cause it messes up the pond and the bottom drain. Now I just cover with large rocks. Fish push the whole pot over. And my dog. . . he eats lotus' . . . crazy animals. I will have to build out a shelf for the lilys (with barb wire) . . .
Mary, we winter in CB, would be happy to bring you a big one in October when we return. You could drive due east until you hit ocean, we are between ocean and Banana river. I could send you a smaller one now if you want. I am looking for Sempervivens to make a Living Wreath. I do have the common hens and chicks but would love some cobweb house leeks.
Such beautiful lilies! I bought a lily from Lowe's last year and it did nothing. Never again. A friend gave me a hardy lily last year and it bloomed all last summer. Today, I had 5 blooms. This is the most at one time. I hope to get a pic of it in the morning. So glad the spike fertilizer question came up. I have never removed the plastic at the top. Maybe this is why I don't have the foliage and blooms others seem to have. I am going the check the package for instructions. Mine are in full sun. Can someone suggest the best place to purchase the tropical lilies and if it is possible for me to overwinter them indoors? It would be great to have a night bloomer. I love the lotus but they are so expensive here. They usually run around $80.00. I would love to try the seed. I am in zone 6.
Phyllis- please don't spend $80.00 on a lotus. Go to Texas Water Lillies and pre order your lotus. Better yet call them and discuss your weather and zone and they can make recommendations. They also have plants not on the website -just ask them -they're are a great couple. I live in the Chicago area and they recommended plants that will get going quickly in my short summer season. I kept buying "pretty plants" without results cause my season tends to be too short. Now I am doing better with their recommendations. With your $80.00 you can buy a lot from TWL . . . :) Isn't that what we all want? lol!
I have some extras in a 5 gallon bucket right now. We divided some for my nephew and had some extras so rather than put them back in the pond, we put them in the bucket. I believe the creamy yellow one is Carnea. The other is pink. Mme. W. Gonnere or Hollandia, not sure as it isn't blooming right now.
MotherMole, thanks for the great info. I have been ordering from TWL several years now with mixed results. Never occurred to me to call them and discuss what would work best in my zone - short and cold. I will do so before ordering for next. year.
Thanks so much for the information. I will definately keep this info and call them. I will probably wait till spring to buy the Lotus since I would have to overwinter them inside. I understand some people do this. When is the best time to order Lotus for the next spring from TWL? I like the fact that I can call and discuss my planting zone, pond conditions etc. Have you bought tropical lilies from them?
Is that a tropical night blooming lily? I worked today and couldn't get a pic of my hardy lilies. It looks like I will have 6 blooming tomorrow! I am so excited to see that many blooms. If they are in bloom before I leave tomorrow, I will post a pic of them.
When you all talk about lotus. Are they the ones that grow wild here in ponds? Bloom is about 6 or 8 inches above water. After blooming they get a very hard pod on them full of very hard seeds.
Florists use them often in arrangements. Just wondering cause I'm close enough to a pond that is loaded with them and thought about wading in and yanking a few out to put in my ponds. These are all yellow blooms. All around the edge of a pond in the middle of town. Guess I would have to ask permission to get a few first. Don't care to make the newspapers. LOL
Bonnie, lotus have circular leaves held high above the water level. Lilies' leaves float on the water's surface, are round and have a notch cut into them. Lotus produce beautiful short-lived blooms (2 or 3 days at most) and then, a seed pod forms. That's what florists use in their arrangements. It is said that lotus seeds will remain viable for decades. Mine are in full sun and warm water. I give them fertilizer pellets once a month. They are known to grow wild in Florida ponds.
If anyone here is willing to exchange excess water lilies for proven lotus seeds, please send me D-mail.
Bonnie, if you do go dig out some lotus, be sure to be very careful when digging the rhizomes. Although the rhizome themselves are not all that fragile, the growing tips are much more delicate.
All my water lilies are hardy and over winter in the pond. Pond depth in the middle is 3.5'. I just push all the container to the middle in October. It freezes over but doesn't have any effect on the plants or the fish, they just go dormant.
My pond is also 3.5 feet deep also. When the ice freezed over, I used a pot of boiling water to melt it in one area. Last year was the first winter for my pond so I was worried about the fish and lilies but they did very well. I love gardening but ponds and water plants are new to me. I joined DG and have learned so much. I appreciate all the advice everyone has given me.
Can someone tell me why my foliage isn't as green as others pics I have seen? It has rained everyday for 3 straight weeks. The pond is in full sun. Today is suppose to get to 95 and no rain.
Phyllis - the lily pads will yellow as they age. You can either clean them out of your pond with your fall clean up or get them now as they will sink and rot at the bottom of your pond. Oberon is correct - you need a pond heater in the winter to allow a gas exchange. If you don't have a hole for the gas exchange,it can kill your fish.
We have also had little sun and lots of rain and my lily pads are small and wimpy. I put in some new fertilizer pills even though I also have the all summer spikes in them. I think we just need warmer weather and more sun. I do see a couple of lily buds down there. Now a race to see them bloom or freeze first. lol
The first five years we ran an air stone to keep the pond surface from totally freezing over. One winter the pump died and we didn't replace it. The pond totally froze over. In the spring everything was fine, the fish survived and so did all the plants. Now we just take the filters and pumps out and let nature run it's course. It's been ok for 25 plus years.
We remove our pump in winter and plug in a small "floating-rock" heater. It doesn't heat the water. It just creates a hole in the ice to let the gases escape. It has an automatic thermostat that kicks on when the water temperature is below 35 degrees. We've never lost a water lily or fish because of ice. Our pond is only 3 ft. deep in the center.
It is indeed nice. Love the iris around the edges. So it has a bog area on the inside of the path then more iris in soil on the outer edge? It is amazing that your fish can survive. Yeah, that's the next question Carolyn. How many fish share the oxygen over the winter.
I will certainly look into the floating rock heater. Thanks for the info. I think of my fish like babies lol. I couldn't stand the thought of losing them. I only have 9 at the moment. We take our pump and filtration system out in the winter. Our whole pond is probably closer to 4' deep. Last year we only had the pond freeze over a few days. It was a very mild winter though.
I take out my pump and filtration systems for the winter as well. They spend the winter in my cellar and I have 2 heaters that I use. Last winter was barely a winter for us too - not that I am complaining about that. Better safe than sorry I think.
The fish population started with 25 feeder fish and gradually grew over the years to 75 plus, It's hard to get an accurate count when they are swimming. We do have raccoons and Great Blue Herons. So they disappear from time to time. At last count I got up to 35 before it became too confusing. The biggest fish at the moment are 7"- 8". There are lots of dark ones which I don't count as they blend in with the rubber liner. I'll try to get some more pictures of the pond today. I really need to thin out the water lilies but it is such a chore.
mittsy, your pond is soo beautiful.OMG you are into everything. I want yout energy.
Started on this site as we have a large pond here in NJ where I am now as you know. If you have any water lillies to trade for fabric or perhaps some indoor plants i am hoping... Helene
OHHH Mittsy you are the best. ll take pix of our pond next week. Getting the CD to install the camera on the lap top. (forgot mine in FL) then i'll be able to post pictures.
gladly pay for the bulbs. Turning to water gardening as the deer eat everything inlcuding house plants that are against one wall outside. We have over 5 acres here too $$$$ to fence in. Hostas, SalomonSeal other stuff all gone DD planted a lot of annuals, all gone, so sad.
yes, just as mittsy says, pond is in NJ. yes all natural spring fed. Connie just like CT. I used to have a summer house on Candlewood lake CT. lived in NYC and then queens NY when we had he summer house. Yes we have fish/ frogs and other stuff. No koi natural replenished fish.
those houseplants are dessert for the deer here. She also has about 15 A violets inside. She is just like her Mama. The begonia that was eaten by deer can be grown from leave.
I finally have one brave little lily bud surfacing. Thanks to three days of sun and warmth after a week or so of steady rain. Course when I got up this morning it was raining again. Figures. Our state fair starts this week.
I've got mine in part shade and they do well. Of course the trees are parallel to the sun at least during the morning they get about 4 hours. Maybe the extra 2 come from the afternoon? One thing I've noticed. I'm monitoring the water's temperature and the lilies seem to stop flowering then the water is in the 80's. 70's they bloom like crazy. This is the Nymphaea Attraction variety. Not sure but I think all water lilies need 60's-70's.