July 25, 2012

Maintenance and Planting Instructions For Aquatic Plants

Planting Soil- Submersed aquatic plants use a heavy top soil with a mixture of one part sand if needed. Soil from the back yard works well. Do not use light potting soil or humus rich soil. A light soil will not hold a plant secure in the water and a heavy humus will float and add too many nutrients to the pond load.

Waterlilies-

  • Waterlilies are divided between hardy and tropical.
  • Blooms- Hardy waterlilies boom continuously until first frost. Their colors are white yellow pink and red or changeable. Most blooms open early and close mid afternoon Tropical colors are white yellow pink red and blue. Each bloom opens early and will close late afternoon. Some tropical waterlilies are night bloomers and open at dusk and stay open until the next morning.
  • Exposure-Waterlilies need full sun of at least 6 hours a day.
  • Pots- Plant one waterlily in at least an 8 inches diameter container. A pot with no holes will help keep soil from leeching in the pond. A pot with holes will allow root systems to grow in the bottom of the pond .
  • Planting- Plant each rhizome in soil. Anchor the root system but, Do Not Bury The Crown Of The Plant. Add about one inch of sand and gravel to the pot to keep soil from drifting out of the pot as you submerse the pot. ALWAYS BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND. That is fill the pot with water first to let the air escape before lowering the new planted waterlily in the pond.
  • Growing -You may submerse the plant to a depth of 12-24 inches of water. If the leaves are submersed when you sink the waterlily do not worry the plant will eventually send it’s leaves to the surface in a couple of days. Although a bud or a bloom will not survive if lowered to deep before it blooms.
  • Fertilize- Waterlilies are heavy feeders. We fertilize at least once a month and sometimes twice a month during the height of the season. A 10-26-10 tablet can be inserted in the soil of the pot. Pinch soil closed over the tablet to prevent leaching into the water.
  • Winter- Hardy waterlilies, which behave like perennials come back each year Tropical waterlilies should be treated as annuals. Waterlilies bloom from early spring to the first killing frost.
  • Winter the Tropical waterlilies. When they have experienced the first cold snap the lily is pulled from the water and left to dry. After it is removed from the pot, it is placed in a vegetable bag which is held in an air tight container through the winter. The following spring when water temperature will maintain over 68 degrees we wash the lily with an antibacterial soap, rinse the lily, and let it soak in warm water about a week or so until it sprouts again. Re pot the waterlily for summers growth.Some varieties will be easier to overwinter then others.

Lotus-

  • The Lotus we sell are hardy to zone 3.
  • Exposure-Lotus need at least six hours full sun.
  • Pots- Lotus will bloom in a five gallon pot. The larger the pot the increase of blooms.
  • Planting- Plant lotus tubers shallow. Do Not Break Growth Points Of The Tuber. Use just enough soil to carefully cover the tuber . Use a layer of sand to help anchor the tuber. Fill the pot with a few inches of water over the soil. If you submerse the pot in the pond BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND
  • Growing - Submerse the pot in shallow water the first year maximum of four inches of water over the soil of the plant. Lotus may be submersed to the bottom of the pond for the winter months.
  • Fertilize- Begin to fertilize the lotus after the first sign of floating leaves. Start with only one tablet on the first month. Continue to increase fertilizer of one more tablet each month through the growing season until the end of the growing season. A 10-26-10 tablet can be inserted into the soil of the pot. Pinch the soil closed over the tablet to prevent leeching into the water.

Marginals Or Bog Plants-

  • Marginals are divided between hardy and tropical. Hardy plants will live in the pond through the winter months. A tropical plant will freeze and die if left during frozen conditions.
  • Exposure- Marginals can take full sun or shade depending on the species of plant.
  • Pots- Plant marginals in 1–3 gallon containers depending on the total plant height at maturity.
  • Planting- Plant bare root plants at a planting depth of one half to one inch above the root system. Water Iris only like to have the roots buried and the crown left above the soil like a waterlily. Use a layer of sand or gravel to keep the soil from drifting out of the pot when you submerse the pot in the pond. BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND. That is fill the pot with water first to let the air escape before lowering the plant in the pond.
  • Growing- Most marginal plants like the surface of the pond. They should not be sunk any deeper than 2-4 inches below the surface of the pond when first planted. Some lily like marginals will take a growing depth of 6-8 inches depending on the variety( For example: snowflake, water clover, floating heart, mosaic Botswana wonder)
  • Fertilize- Fertilize marginals according the species requirements. Use a tablet to insert into the soil of the pot. Pinch the soil closed over the tablet to prevent leeching into the pond.