Water Lilies and Lotus
The waterlilies are separated into 2 general groups, hardy & tropical. The tropicals are divided further into the day & night bloomers.
The hardy lilies exude every shade of red, yellow, pink, white, and recently, peach or sunset. The blooms usually float on the water and have 25 or more petals with subdued or no fragrance. The pads are usually stout & green. These lilies can tolerate cooler temperatures. In the North Central (NC) states, May 1-15 & water temperatures of >60F signal the onset of hardy lily season.
Tropical lilies also display a spectrum of red, yellow, pink, white & orange, but they are also the sole source of all shades of blue to purple. The blooms sport fewer petals than hardies, but they are held 6-10” above the water and they emit subtle to strong & heady fragrances. A few exotic individuals refrain from opening until night when they rapidly unfold to reveal absolutely fluorescent colors, necessary to be noticed in the twilight. The thinner pads attract just as much attention with scalloped edges & a wide variety of maroon to purple patterns. After May 15, or when the water is 70F or warmer, the tropicals can be put in the pond, & with proper fertilizing & care, they will produce a rapid & more profuse bloom than the hardy lilies.
Lilies can be set in ponds in their original pot
or they can be repotted in any round (>10” diameter) shallow
container to increase the spread of pads & promote
more & larger blooms. Patience is a virtue with lilies. Adhere strictly to
the >60F for hardy & >70F for tropical lily water temperature rule.
Lilies can be displayed in any pond or container that provides at least 6-12” of
water over the soil. Customers will have an easier time handling the shorter
petioles resulting from the 6-12” depth. The petiole will elongate rapidly
to accomodate the customers’ varying pond depths.
*Note all water lilies are regulated in MN. Check with your local Agriculture Department or DNR for listings.
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