Water Lillies

Water Lilies are the most popular pond plants of all the aquatic plants. Their ability to spread numerous leaves across the surface of the water and to flower throughout the season make them a sought after addition to the pond. Lily pads provide shade for fish to escape the summer sun. Lilies come in a variety of flower colors, shapes, and sizes.
 
There are two basic methods of planting water lilies in your Colorado Springs pond – the use of plant pockets, or aquatic plant pots without holes. Plant pockets are built into the bottom shelf of a pond during the construction phase before the liner is placed. To plant a lily, take the lily out of it’s original container and place it in the planting pocket or aquatic pot. Keeping the crown of the lily at or just above the soil, fill the space around the lily and within 1″ of the top of the pot with heavy topsoil or special aquatic planting soil. (Avoid using potting soils that have other medias added to it.) Add small gravel on top of the soil to keep it from washing out of the planting pocket. To plant in an aquatic pot, remember that the lily will grow to the size of the container so the bigger the container, the bigger your lily will grow. Slowly add the container to the pond to avoid uneven sinking that could cause the planting pot to tip and dump out the contents into the pond.

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Fertilizing water lilies on a regular basis will encourage more frequent blooming and larger flowers. Do not put fertilizer in direct contact with the plant’s roots. You need to push tablets towards the sides, away from the plant. In early spring as the water temperature begins to warm up, begin to fertilize once a month until the water temperature is 75 degrees. Once the water temperature reaches 75 degrees you can fertilize every two weeks. In early fall, when the plant growth slows, stop fertilizing.
 
Hardy water lilies need to be cut back after the first frost in Colorado Springs. Cut the plant back to 2″ above the top of the pot. The lily will then go dormant in the bottom of the pond. Tropical lilies need to be treated as annuals and need to be replaced each spring.
 

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