Thursday, October 1, 2009

Planting and Fertilizing Pond Plants

Luis from Florida says: “Any tips for planting these plants (wild rice, fairy lily, and water lily). I have a friend that told me wild rice needs to be in a shady spot in my pond or it will die. Is that true and if so how much shade? From your website I see that the Fairy lily likes full sun to partial shade. If you have any tips on the wild rice or the red attraction I would appreciate it. I am very new to gardening hopefully with a lot of hard work and nice sunny days I may be able to reach Novice status. Thank you for the other 2 lilies and good luck on having your own nursery.”

Hi Luis -

At this time of year I would place the wild rice in full sun. I have an area of my patio garden next to the driveway that can get up to 120 degrees in the summertime. In that case – then yes the plants would get overheated, suffer from sunburn, and die. Plants that grow in small containers can easily overheat the root system. If you place your plants in a pond with nice moving water, then you should do just fine. Wild Rice is a full sun plant… so I would say to place it in full sun and keep an eye on it. If it shows signs of stress then I would suggest moving it. The leaves will grow and die off as grass plants do. It can go dormant in winter and then come back again in the springtime. Plant the rice in a regular 1 gallon container with holes and use pond soil. Fertilize near the bottom of your container.

Pond Fertilizer: Pond specific fertilizer is best. You can buy it at any large hardware store. I purchased mine on eBay. Fertilizer should never touch the roots, but be about 3 inches or more below the root system.

Fairy Lily will go dormant in the wintertime too. Grow in a regular 1 gallon container with holes and use the pond soil. Fertilize near the bottom of your container.

The water lily grows best in a lily basket. I’m posting a new video show about how to make your own. It’s pretty easy… simply take a large butter tub and cut slots on the sides and bottom. See picture below. I could make it look better by painting it black, but not sure how the paint would do in the water. Anyway, with a fully stocked pond the container would not be visible. Plant in full sun with fertilizer near the bottom of the tub. If you fertilize once per month throughout the spring and summertime, you should have lots of flowers and big lilies too.



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