Water Lilies-Pond plants-Marginal Plants
All Plants will be supplied well rooted and with plenty of shoots.Our Water Lilies are grown at Cascade from very strong stock, They are pot grown until ordered then root washed and trimmed for Postage direct to your door.Our water lilies and marginal plants should be re-potted into Baskets using Hessian or Foam Liners, Aquatic Compost and Marginal and Lily Plant Fertilizer and topped of with Coarse Gravel.
Apart from their beauty and lovely scent, water lilies provide much needed shade not only for fish and their spawn but help to reduce solar light levels. This reduction in sunlight helps to reduce algae.
All water lilies need a sunny spot to flower well, and will only open their flowers fully when the sun is shining. Since they naturally grow in still water, avoid fountains, etc. The best time to plant is from April to September. They need to be repotted before being immersed in the pond.
Varieties differ in their planting depth requirements from 15cm-1.2m (6in-4ft) deep. Introduce plants to the correct depth gradually over a period of a few years, especially if the species is one of the deeper dwellers. Do this by initially placing the potted basket on some bricks in the pond (take care if the pond has a rubber lining. Also cover the soil surface with a layer of clean gravel to prevent the water washing out the soil. In large ponds the water lilies can be planted directly in the mud in the bottom. Once established, the plant will need little maintenance beyond the removal of old leaves in the autumn.
Small lilies growing in shallow water that is likely to freeze, may need protection in winter. Provide an insulating cover on cold nights.
Plants may take a while to settle in before flowering. Planting too deep is the most common reason for prolonged non-flowering. Remove flowers during the first year to allow the plant to establish and settle in to its new environment. After that, it is unnecessary to remove dying flowers as they soon get hidden from view (the blooms last about three to five days and, as they fade, the stems start to twist and coil, pulling the closed flower underwater).
Feed twice a year with fertiliser tablets made specially for water lilies. They are pushed into the soil at the base of the plant.
Placing a water lily in a basket
The traditional container for a water lily is a plastic mesh basket, lined with hessian or sacking and filled with good quality soil. The newer louvre baskets have very fine slits instead of hessian.
Place good quality garden loam or aquatic compost in the bottom and check for depth.
The water lily should be planted with its growing point at soil level. Firm in the soil.
Finish off with a thin layer of gravel over the surface to prevent the soil from washing out.
Water lilies need dividing every five years or so, by which time they usually show leaves rising above the water surface, obscuring the flowers. Lift the whole plant in the spring and wash off all the soil. Use a sharp knife to detach a piece of rhizome with a vigorous growing point and pot up separately. This can then replace the old plant.
Pests and diseases
Water lilies are fairly trouble-free. However they may suffer a few pests and diseases but these are mostly superficial and will do little permanent harm to the plants.
Be wary about using chemical controls if you have fish in the pond. If aphids attack the leaves and flowers, blast them off with a hose. The fish like to eat them.
The China-mark moth can be a nuisance during summer by laying its eggs near the edge of leaves. They hatch into larvae that cut oblong-shaped pieces of the lily pads that they use to surround their body. They continue to nibble away while inside this protective coat, and eventually consume large chunks of foliage. The leaf-mining midge shreds the foliage but is a less common pest. Both the China-mark moth and the leaf-mining midge can be picked off badly affected leaves and fish will also help reduce their numbers.
Crown rot is the most serious disease. Leaves turn red, curl up and go crispy. Young plants are worst hit, and the only method of control is to dig up the plant and soak it in a bucket of fungicide. After treatment, wash the plant thoroughly before returning it to the pond.