Q&A: How do you plant a waterlily in a soil-less water garden?

| August 30, 2013 | 2 Comments

Question by Rino M: How do you plant a waterlily in a soil-less water garden?
Do you make a pot with soil and plant a waterlily in it, and then put the pot at the bottom of the pond?

Do you use coconut fiber pots?

Best answer:

Answer by Nancy S (om Samir)
I’ve only seen it, in American water gardens, and on TV shows about water lilies is to plant in pots.


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  1. Dereck-n-Brit says:

    yea im not a gardener but….i think i have a solution to your problem to grow these you must first start them i piece of glad stick and seal when they reach and appropriate height seal them around the base of the lily sealing in all soil. you may also tie a kite string around it at the base but not to tight and put the plant where you want it

  2. Rob E says:

    There are special plastic ‘basket’ like pots that you can plant water lilies in, which allow water to completely enter the pot, and thus keep the roots wet and provided with oxygen (that’s dissolved in water) etc, that might be absent in more closed pots.

    They tend to be flexible too, as waterlily roots will get bulky over time, often protruding from the pots – though you can divide your plants, thus propagating them and increasing the numbers that you have. There’s an example of this type of pot here: http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/11785/product.web There are various sizes, allowing you to choose whether to plant individually, or in small groups. I prefer individual planting, as this prevents one plant from dominating others.

    You can also buy special soil made for ponds, which is less likely to dissolve into the water, and thus retain nutrients for your lilies. It’s usually a heavy clay type soil, and you shouldn’t need too much of it. The same retailer as the baskets also stocks soil – http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/11788/product.web Though I’m sure you could find it at lower cost than this, as it seems on the high side!

    Cover the top of the potted roots with a fine gravel, which will also stop the soil dissolving.

    If soil leaks into the water, its nutrients will cause Algae growth, meaning that your water garden may appear less attractive. Algae is fully natural, but some types can become invasive, such as blanket weed, and they will compete with your plants for light and nutrients. Some other oxygenating pond weeds will compete with Algae, so it’s worth considering the addition of these, as they also improve water quality.

    Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob

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