How to Setup your Water Garden: How and where to plant your lilies and marginals.
Planting Water Garden Plants
Some tips on how to plant your water garden.
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TROPICAL WATER LILIES: Day and night blooming tropical water lilies should be planted in pots at least 12 inches in diameter. A 3 to 5 gallon size should suffice for each lily, however a larger pot will produce a larger lily. Fill the pot half full with a rich garden soil and add 2 to 4 fertilizer tablets, then continue to fill the pot with soil to about 2 inches from the top. The rhizome should be set upright with the roots buried gently in the soil. Make sure the tip of the rhizome is not buried. Next, add an inch or two of gravel or sand in order to prevent the soil from escaping from the container. Remember to keep the gravel away from the crown of the rhizome. The plant can now be lowered into the water to a depth of 12 inches. Tropical lilies cannot tolerate cold temperatures and should not be planted until the water reaches a temperature of at least 70 degrees. Planting too early can cause dormancy and restrict the potential growth of the plant. Tropicals bloom from late spring through early fall, depending on the weather.
HARDY WATER LILIES: Hardy lilies are planted in much the same way as tropicals except that Hardies grow horizontally across the container so a wide pot is necessary for planting. The rhizome should be planted at one edge of the container with the rhizome planted at an angle of about 45 degrees with the crown exposed. Remember to add fertilizer, use a rich garden soil, and top the soil with an inch or two of gravel or sand. The plant can be lowered to a depth of 6 inches to begin with, and then lowered to a depth of 12 to 18 inches or deeper as the plant grows. Hardies should be planted in early spring. They bloom from June through September depending on the weather, and become dormant during the colder months. As spring approaches, growth will begin again.
MARGINAL OR BOG PLANTS: Marginal plants should be planted in individual containers of approximately 1 to 3 gallon capacity. Plant as you would the lilies, but when adding fertilizer tablets, use 1 tablet for 1 gallon size pots and 2 tablets for 2 to 3 gallon size pots. Marginal plants should be lowered to a depth of only 2 to 3 inches. They grow out of the water and are usually found at the water edge.
FLOATING PLANTS: These plants require no planting. Simply place them in the water and they will grow. Floating plants desire tropical temperatures and cannot tolerate a frost.