I got the chance to speak at the Home and Patio Show in St. Paul last weekend on container water gardening. It was such a treat. Wonderful gathering of northerners yearning for spring. I think I made a splash.
I will be posting content from my talk over the next few writings. I mentioned that water lilies are often the reason folks dive into retaining water. Intoxicating in their beauty, they perform magic as they reach towards the surface of the water, their little buds growing ever plumper as they ascend.
How am I to go to work, when the water lilies bloom only during the day?
Google Soni Forsman, the queen of all aquatic plants. We in Minnesota are lucky to have her in our own backyard. This lady knows it all. Much of what I know I have picked up from her writings, speakings and chats though the years. A visit to her water haven in Eagan, will get you plants, fertilizer and expert advice. Seek her out.
Dwarf varieties are a great way to go. Water plants are heavy feeders, so I would recommend all-purpose fertilizer tablets monthly. Water lilies take off when the water is at least 70 degrees, so June 1 in Minnesota is about when take the plunge. In containers, lilies need to come in for the winter. I will cover the whats and wherfores of that at a later date.
Generally, dwarf hardy lily pots should live 12 to 18″ below the surface of the water. Achieve this with rocks, cement blocks and overturned pots. When you bring your lily home, you may think it’s going to take forever to get a bloom, but when you begin to see a little bud at the crown of the plant, you will only have 3-5 days to wait.
Lilies like full sun. So does algae, but eventutally the pads will shade the water and the algae will slow down. If you cover at least 75% of the water surface, algae will be controlled. Until that point, gently flush the container with a hose. Out with old, in with the new.