Early Spring Hardy Lily Questions


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Hi all -

I guess the winter has me thinking ahead. Always exciting when March is coming as mid March is when I usually start things up. I like getting a jump on the nitrifying bacteria so they can build back slowly, un-net the pond and fire up the engines.
I haven't attempted putting Hardy Water Lilies in my pond in years as the koi love digging into the pot, get sand and pea gravel all over the bottom and in the drain. Looking for potting suggestions as the koi are 15" to 28" in size and love to dig.

My pond is 44 inches in depth so I usually set 2 extra pieces of liner under 2 stacked cinder blocks. That puts the pot still
about 20" + below the surface including the pot.
Liliies.jpeg
So .... has any one configured the pot in a way that the koi can't dig in and play so the lilies can get some profuse blooms. I was thinking of a huge pot, possibly giving me space to put large rocks like 2" + size
rocks on top of the sand.
Any suggestions .... Thanks so much !!!
 
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addy1

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I only have goldfish, but I have heard of putting large rocks on the potting soil. But the tuber won't grow well, it needs room, imho. I read that someone put netting over the soil so the tubers growth could grow up and out of the pot through the netting, but the koi can't reach the soil.

Good luck!
 

cas

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@barryian I am still trying to figure out the right size rocks to add to my water lilies to keep the koi from moving the kitty litter out and still have room for the lilies to get through. I swear the one koi waits for me to put fresh kitty litter in. I hadn't thought about netting..... Good idea @addy1 . I am just thankful that they leave the leaves alone (for now).
 

Meyer Jordan

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If a Koi suspects that there is a juicy tidbit underneath a rock, it will do everything possible to move that rock. I have actually seen my Koi team-up and move rocks as large as 10". Needless to say, no lilies in my pond. They even move the edge rocks.
 
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I use plastic netting over my lily pots. No soil, just a couple of heavy rocks to keep them on the bottom.

All the above sound good. The plastic netting with large sporadic rocks might allow the shoots through.
So you don't use a sterilized soil? I'll give it a shot. Thanks all... Would like to know about the " No Soil " though.

@ Meyer, have your koi been exposed to radiation? lol ... How large are they that they can move 10" rocks? Yikes!
My pond border is made up of 75lb'ers to may 200 or 300lbs each. I can't even move them ....hahaha But I know how
they dig until they've made a mess.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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I may have exaggerated the size slightly. I am an old-time fisherman. Probably closer to 8" rock, certainly not much smaller, if at all. This is about a 25 lb rock. They move them around the bottom of the pond pretty much at-will.
 
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I may have exaggerated the size slightly. I am an old-time fisherman. Probably closer to 8" rock, certainly not much smaller, if at all. This is about a 25 lb rock. They move them around the bottom of the pond pretty much at-will.

Still, they must be big boys !!!
 
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cas

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Would like to know about the " No Soil " though.

I tried that past years and my lilies didn't grow much and I lost all my blooms. Early last year I put the tubers in pea gravel but when the lilies were fertilized, the nutrients went straight into the water and I had an algae bloom. The middle of last year I replaced the pea gravel with kitty litter topped with stones. This way the kitty litter absorbs the fertilizer and gives the lilies time to use it and I didn't get an algae bloom. (PS - kitty litter was suggested by addy and she has gorgeous lily blooms.)
 

Smaug

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The past 3 years my lily had come out of its pot and was growing free in the water. My biggest koi are about 18" and they weren't stunting it at all once they knocked them out of the pots. That said and done I removed all my lily's at the end if this past season because the muck that was accumulating was causing water quality issues. I will miss the near 100% surface coverage and profuse blooms but it will be nice to actually see my fish!
 
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The past 3 years my lily had come out of its pot and was growing free in the water. My biggest koi are about 18" and they weren't stunting it at all once they knocked them out of the pots. That said and done I removed all my lily's at the end if this past season because the muck that was accumulating was causing water quality issues. I will miss the near 100% surface coverage and profuse blooms but it will be nice to actually see my fish!

Hmm, I'm vacillating now! A bit of trepidation!
 
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addy1

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I divided a tuber, put one in kitty litter, one tied to a rock. Side by side as close as you can without causing issues. The potted one grew bloomed has extra tubers. The non kitty litter tied to a rock one did nothing except grow some leaves. I might not have enough fish poo to support free growing lilies. My bog sucks a lot of nutrients out of the water.
 
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Ok newbie responding so feel free to laugh at what I was thinking :) what about a milk crate over the pot, allows the lily to start but fish can't reach the pot? Again I'm the guy building his first pond so no knowledge at all just trying to brainstorm as I will be addressing the same hopefully soon.
 

Smaug

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Not a bad idea to the above but the blooms are usually too big to go through such small openings and you would end up with quite a few leaves trapped as well. I still have a lotus in a pot that's doing pretty well. I used shards of broken pottery stood up edgewise in the dirt to deter my slimy monsters and it works .
 
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addy1

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Ok newbie responding so feel free to laugh at what I was thinking :) what about a milk crate over the pot, allows the lily to start but fish can't reach the pot? Again I'm the guy building his first pond so no knowledge at all just trying to brainstorm as I will be addressing the same hopefully soon.
The way they grow, first shoots head up right near the tuber. If you could have the crate right over tuber, inches,, the shoots would go through the holes. Find some sort of crate at walmart, dollar store etc with bigger openings, if possible.
 

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