PlantFiles: Hardy Water Lily, Waterlily Nymphaea 'Lily Pons'
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Spacing: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm) 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Other details: Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
On Sep 22, 2010, visualgardener from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
I haven't grown this in person, but as a Pond Tech at Lilypons Water Gardens, I think I can speak a small volume for this cultivar.
The Lily Pons is currently named for the opera star, around the turn of the century, but used to be "Perry's Double Pink." Charles Thomas, Lilypons president at the time, took a liking to it asked a favor of Perry's Water Gardens to get the name changed, and it's stuck.
It is a BIG blossom -- it easily hits 7" in the open ponds every summer -- but it is an infrequent bloomer. It can be expected to have a petal count over 100, and all those petals take an awful lot of work to make, so I wouldn't expect more than one blossom at a time on any one plant, especially the first year. If you give it extra space (at least a 5' round area for it to expand into) and extra fertilizer, and put it in a really big pot or in an open-bottom pond, you will both see and smell this one from a fair distance. If you can grow it, DO. It is worth the effort to have this aquatic peony in your pond.