Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

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Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby ColinM » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:57 am

Hi All,

My poor pond has been neglected until yesterday ( see this thread ).

I'm just wondering what everyone grows their Water Lillies in soil (or alternative) wise?

1) - I've tried using normal garden loam with some manure at the bottom - lilies grew great - but I copped a massive explosion of long strand filamentous (long strand) algae.

2) - Reviewing on the web and talking to various water garden outlets - I've been advised the cheapest soil mix, kitty litter, river sand, small rocks.

One source says small rocks stunt the water lilies growth another says they don't.

One source says you need to feed them with aquatic fertiliser tabs - another says they get enough nutrient from the water?

I currently have them in

What's your thoughts and experience on this please?
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby Quenda » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:35 pm

I got several Louisiana Iris mail order last year, potted them into "cheapest soil mix", they kept coming out, soil mix too light, so I decided to re-pot into sand. They are doing well. When I went to re-pot them the soil really stank as well. You could also add a fertiliser tablet in the sand when potting, but I wouldn't bother with the fish you have they should be ok.
My water lily has had a lot of flowers on this summer...it will be re-potted into sand this winter.

I have tried Kitty Litter...wouldn't try it again.

I have tried the garden loam and manure, wouldn't try it again.

I have tried tying small rocks to the water lilies and letting them go. In a pot may work ok, just need to keep an eye on water lilies and split up and re-pot every two to three years or they can take over a pond.

Image

This is my "Stock Trough" pond with the L/Iris planted in the sand.
Image

And my Lizard Tail, split up and re-potted at the end of summer last year, in another pond.
Image

And in summer this year. No fertiliser used in either. The photos are about 12 months apart.

Image
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:47 am

Hey Quenda - thanks heaps for the reply - your pond looks great! :D

Yes, I too have tried garden mix and manure and that too stank and the manure leached out and fed the filamentous (long String) algae which exploded presence wise - so that wasn't desirable - it too stank.

I have tried Kitty Litter...wouldn't try it again.
- what was the problem there?

As for plain sand - by the wound of it, your water lilies thrived and flowered without aquatic fertiliser tabs.

Interesting what you said about not needing the fertiliser tabs - a lot of online sources have stated that the lilies need to tabs as they are voracious feeders.

OH and BTW, where did you source your sand from and what type was it?
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby Quenda » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:23 pm

The kitty litter I used turned into a ...mess. Perhaps it was clay based, not sure, was quite some time ago. I just remember thinking that was not one of my better ideas.

The sand I used....you can source that from your local Mitre 10 store....it is kids play sand, so not really cheap, as sand goes, but very clean. I have had problems with normal sand in ponds...can make the water dirty.

I have never used fertiliser tablets for my water lilies...yet. I am going to split it up and re-pot it as soon as the weather cools, I may try a tab...just to see how it goes next summer. BUT...then again when I think of the outbreak that may occur, maybe I am better off not. Hm....I wonder if the artificial tablets are slow release, so maybe not so prone to releasing large quantities of nutriment at any given time. Thinking along those lines...wonder what a little Osmocote mixed in the sand down in the bottom of the pot would do.

This is my water lily flower...only a small one as pond is small.
Image

My stock trough pond doesn't have a pump or anything on it, I do get some string algae in it but I can control it by hand...and the Taddies eat/live in it when they are present, so I have to be careful when removing it and make sure some is always left for them...for some reason that doesn't seem to be a problem. :lol: The other pond has a dirty water pump on it into a filter. It is under shade cloth doesn't get string algae.
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:39 pm

Great news on the sand then Quenda - I SHOULD be able to source that right here in Mount Barker. 8)

Yes, on the Kitty Litter - you comments unfogged my memory now - I recall using some and it turned into a nasty sludge.

I believe the water lily roots basically wrap around the slow release tabs - not sure how you'd go with osmocote -I think one has to be careful with the elements in each of the fertiliser - even slow release sources to ensure that the filamentous algae feed from them is as minimised as possible and ensure the nutrients are targeted at the water Lilly roots and not leached into the water.

Given that your water lilies obvious are producing beautiful flowers, and obviously very vigorous leaf growth, I wonder if you even need to use fertiliser.

How do you go with the lilies producing flowers in the shaded pond? I did have a large shade structure over my pond (70% shade cloth) and the lilies would not flower.

Thanks heaps again Quenda for your input and feed back :D
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby Quenda » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:55 pm

Yes...you will be able to source the sand local...if they have it in stock when you go in.

I don't have any water lilies in the shaded pond, just the stock trough one. I also have the Louisiana Iris and a Water Hibiscus, that is..fingers crossed..about to flower for the first time....in the stock trough pond.

I have the Lizard Tail in the shaded pond as it likes..... shade :lol:

This is a recent photo of my shaded pond.
Image

And from the other end.
Image

The Baby's Tears have gone mad.... :-?
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby Quenda » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:58 pm

I think you are right and I shouldn't mess with what is working for me, so no added fertiliser for the water lily.
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:58 pm

Quenda wrote:I think you are right and I shouldn't mess with what is working for me, so no added fertiliser for the water lily.


:D
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Re: Water Lillies - Potting Compound?

Postby BenConnah » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:19 pm

Shading the pond will be helpful to lessen the algae problem in pond.
As algae grows more in abundant sunlight.
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