Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Pot Water Lily Plants

The Pond Plant Girl Store

Water Lily Planting Instructions
Water Lily is easier to grow than most may think. An important rule to remember before planting any aquatic plants is that large fish (such as koi) and turtles will destroy your plants and eat them down to a nub. Therefore, water lily and other pond plants must be protected from destructive pond life. Water depth may be 18 inches to 5 feet deep. The prime depth for water lily is 2 feet deep. For best flowers, full sunshine is a must.

Natural Earthen Ponds: If planting in a natural earthen pond straight into the ground under the water, pot your lily in a biodegradable container, such as a cow pot. See www.cowpots.com . The water level should never go below 18” deep. So, if planting in a natural earthen pond, be certain to plant at a level where the water will still be deep in the summertime. Pot your lily and simply drop it into the water. Even if the water is 5 feet deep, the lily will continue to grow until it reaches the water surface.

Container Ponds and Water Gardens
Pot your water lily in a 1 or 2 gallon no-holes container. Place aquatic fertilizer at the bottom of the container and fill container with loam. The crown of the lily may be slightly exposed. Tropical Water Lily must be planted at the edge of the pot with the growing tip pointing toward the center of the pot. A slight 45° is recommended (slight angle) but is not an exact science. So, do not worry about exact measurements. Hardy lily may be planted at the center of the pot. If you are not sure if you have tropical or hardy, a good rule is to plant your lily tuber at the edge of the pot like a tropical water lily.


Over Wintering Tropical Water LilyIf you are in a cold region where your pond freezes solid, it is best to over winter your tropical water lily indoors. Here is a link from my water garden expert and friend that will help you succeed: http://www.oregonaquatics.com/Overwintering%20tropical%20lilies.pdf

Potting LoamA perfect recipe for potting loam is 1 part decomposed granite (DG) and 1 part bagged steer manure. Keep in mind that water lily are big feeders. However, too much fertilizer or too much steer manure and the lily plant will expel the unneeded nutrients in the water; which may cause added algae growth. DG can be purchased at any sand and gravel yard. I do not recommend purchasing bagged aquatic plant medium. It is far too expensive and is also too light weight and will make a mess. If you do not have access to DG, I am happy to ship it to you at cost in a flat rate mailer.

Growing Large Lilies
To produce large lily plants and large flowers you must have a pond that is at least 3 feet deep. Use a dark colored 20 gallon Rubbermaid tub (such as black or dark blue). Place a generous amount of fertilizer at the bottom of the container. Fill with potting loam and carefully sink down inside the pond. The pot will be very heavy. So, you will need 2 or 3 people to help sink a large potted lily.

GARDEN BLESSINGS,

GAiL

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Grow Water Herbs

The Pond Plant Girl.com

All the water herbs grow well in partial sun and prefers still shallow water (about 10"-12") over deep or moving water. In hot dessert-like growing zones (such as zone 9-10) it is important to hang a "woven" shade cloth over the pond during the hot summer months. I am located in zone 9 and use 40% shade material. This grade cannot be purchased at the local garden center, but is very affordable at http://www.shadeclothstore.com.

All herbs can be potted in either a 1 gallon black plastic container or a ceramic terra cotta container. The best planting medium is loam; which can be made with equal parts decomposed granite (DG) and bagged steer manure. If you do not have this available, then plain clean kitty litter (with no fillers or perfumes, not litter used for oil spills) will also work well. If you have access to heavy clay soil, this is also a good choice. I do not recommend purchasing potting loam from the garden center. It is far too light weight and messy too. To prevent the soil medium from spilling out the bottom of the pots, place news paper at the bottom of the pots. It will eventually decompose, but will stay intact long enough for the soil to swell.

Only use fertilizer that is manufactured for aquatic plants. I have some excellent fertilizer in my eBay store, including fertilizer stakes that is temperature activated and lasts for 1 full year. This is far better than using fertilizer pellets or tabs, which must be applied monthly.



Water Mint grows pretty purple puff flowers and comes back each year. Use for cooking or in tea. Eliminates the pungent pond smell from decaying leaves. Helps to keep away harmful pests such as snails and slugs.



Variegated Water Celery is very hardy and comes back each year. It is also eatable and can be part of your dinner salad. Its attractive pink and green leaves rise about 4-5 inches above the water. Comes back each year. Cold Weather Pond Plant - Zone 8 and up. Plant in 5"-12" of water or in-ground as border plant. May be potted or allowed to spread as low landscaping


Pennywort is known for its medicinal properties and helping with some types of arthritis pain. The young leaves are the best and taste good alone or in a salad. Comes back each year. Very easy to grow, it can free float or be potted in river sand. Will grow and cover your pond. Makes a natural spawning environment for fish. Zone 6 and up.


Water Cress is an edible, broad leaved pond plant. Grows by spreading its roots freely from runners. Small white flowers in spring. Prefers moving water and partial shade. Excellent for use in plant filters. Comes back each year. Cold Hardy Pond Plant. Grows 1' tall. Zone 4 and Up.