Miniature hardy water lilies, easier than you think!

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Miniature hardy water lilies, easier than you think!

Post by Robert » Fri, 10 May 2002 17:20:01

I thought I would take an opportunity to perhaps introduce something
new to some people out here... mimiature hardy water lilies!

First, for those who do not know, hardy lilies are perenials that grow
from a horizonatal tuber and are frost tolerant. New plants can be put
out in the pond in early spring even if the weather is still cold, and
they can be left in the pond all winter when they go dormant. They
flower from May to September depending on the weather, and each bloom
typically lasts 3 to 4 days. Tropical lilies do not survive cold temps
and should not be put outside until the water is at least 70F...

Anyway... miniatures... There are several hybrids that have lily pads
only 2 to 3" in diameter with small brightly colored flowers that may
only be as big as the pad. Because of their small size, they are ideal
for small tub gardens, or container-barrel gardens, but they look just
as pretty in larger ponds and much more unique looking than larger
varieties. Here are some examples:

Joanne Pring, Pink

Joanne Pring, Pring 1942, Small sized lily, Free flowering. Flower
shape is cup like. Tiny deep pink flowers, wide petals, tips lighter
in color. Dark green leaves 2-3" in diameter. Slight fragrance. I'd
like to put these all over my patio!

Helvola, yellow miniature

Helvola (syn yellow pigmy), Marliac 1910, miniature size lily (pad 1
to 2" diameter) Very free flowering. Miniature bright yellow flowers.
Flower shape is cup like, then star like. Mottled foliage. Very slight
fragrance. Tolerates partial shade

Berit Strawn, Orange

Berit Strawn, Strawn, 1990, small lily, Very free flowering. Small
light orange cup shaped flowers. Heavily mottled leaves.

How to plant:

Use a 6 to 10" pot. If it has holes in the bottom, cover it with river
rock gravel. Then add potting soil or clay gravel, (which provides
I use Schultz clay conditioner, or Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil) Fill
about half the pot. Insert 2 Pondtabs or some other NPK fertilizer
tablet and push it down. Put the lily in the pot so that the tuber is
horizontal angle with the end that has the plant growth higher than
the opposite end and put more clay gravel around the tuber. When you
have enough clay gravel, (or if you are using potting soil) to almost
reach the top of the tuber, stop! Add regular gravel the rest of the
way but leave the area around the very top of the tuber and plant
growth exposed. The gravel will prevent the soil mix from leaving the
pot in the water. Position the pot so the base of the plant is not
more than 6" deep from the water surface. After 3 or 4 weeks when the
plant has grown more, it can be up to 12" in water depth. If it is a
bare tuber with no growth, you definetly do not want it more than 6"
below the water surface. Thats it! If you buy plants with buds, like
what I have, it should blossom within a week!

These are very pretty flowers that will attract butterflies and really
add grace and beauty to your garden.

Robert Hudson