How do I fertilize lilies growing on cement?

Discussion in 'Pond Archive' started by Phyllis and Jim, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Our lilies have jumped the pots and as THRIVING on the pond floor. In
    fact, they do better there than in the pots. But they are not
    flowering a whole lot. Any ideas about fertilizing them? Or
    otherwise makeing them bloom?

    Phyllis and Jim, Apr 2, 2007
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  2. I had this problem. I had one water lily that in about 30 years had
    taken over our entire pond which is about 15' x 45'. A couple years ago
    in the fall I took the entire lily tuber out. I broke it into healthy
    sections about 8" to 12" long with crowns. Much had to be thrown away
    because it had soft spots. I then planted 12 pieces in pots and am
    tending them to keep them in the pots. I will add the once-a-year
    fertilizer spikes in May. They are doing very well in pots and are
    blooming their heads off.
    Stephen Henning, Apr 2, 2007
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  3. They are doing very well in pots and are
    How did they do when they were on the loose? Lots of blooms to go
    with the leaves?

    I will be very interested in how they do with your fertilizer!

    Phyllis and Jim, Apr 3, 2007
  4. Phyllis and Jim

    Gail Futoran Guest

    "Phyllis and Jim" wrote in message
    I did a mini-experiment (read: too lazy
    to repot a large hardy lily) a few weeks
    ago. The potted lily in one of my above-
    ground ponds was growing way out of
    the container (a dishpan). I divided it
    (don't ask how...), moved the pot with
    about half the lily to another container,
    left the free-floating (?) remains in the
    pond in which it had been growing. Large
    roots sticking out and about. So far it
    continues to put out new leaves. Still a
    bit cool for flowers.

    I stuck one of those season-long fert
    sticks in the midst of the mass of roots
    which might work or might not.

    IIRC the original hardy lily (now in
    three different ponds) came from a local
    nursery where it was just hanging around
    a metal stocktank, not even potted.

    I'm also a "minimalist" gardener - water
    or soil. I'll report on what happens to my
    mutilated water lily.

    near San Antonio TX Zone 8 USA
    Gail Futoran, Apr 3, 2007
  5. Hi Gail,

    Nice to see you here.

    I look forward to hearing about your result.

    I was thinking about mine, it now covers about a 4 x 6 area. Might be
    hard to fertilize that much!

    I haven't approached it as it is entwining a bunch of milk crates that
    used to hold up the lily dishpans.

    Phyllis and Jim, Apr 3, 2007
  6. They had fewer blooms when the tuber ran all over the pond than when I
    just had 12 pots. I didn't fertilize the pots and I still got blooms.
    This year will be the first time I fertilized since I just found the
    once per year spikes.
    I am interested also. The spikes came in the mail yesterday, but I am
    waiting until the pond warms up a little before I put the spikes in.
    Our last killing frost date is May 15.
    Stephen Henning, Apr 3, 2007
  7. Phyllis and Jim

    ~ jan Guest

    I'm working real hard towards this type of gardening. ;-)

    As in my big flower pots out by the front door, instead of the usual soil
    and annuals, I put water in them and my iris that winter in the koi ponds.
    When the cannas take their place in the koi ponds, the iris go in these
    pots with a small floating island that holds plants that can handle soggy
    soil. We have drippers set up to keep the water level up. ~ jan
    ~ jan, Apr 3, 2007
  8. Phyllis and Jim

    Altum Guest

    I run my tiny pond much like an aquarium. I fertilize the water with
    the same mix of bulk potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate, potassium
    sulfate, and hydroponic trace element/iron fertilizer that I use in the
    indoor tanks. Phosphate in the water column makes the WH and canna
    lilies bloom like crazy. I don't see why it wouldn't do the same for a
    bare-root lily.

    Altum, Apr 4, 2007
  9. Phyllis and Jim

    Hal Guest

    That's interesting.

    It does sound suspiciously like it might contain the same stuff as a
    numbered soluble fertilizer like 15-30-15, that I find at Walmart. I
    don't know where these chemicals come from, or if they are in
    combination with potassium but my understanding is they are simply
    nitrates, phosphates and potassium.

    What is the difference in using a mix of bulk potassium nitrate,
    potassium phosphate, potassium sulfate? Sounds like potassium comes
    with everything and I wonder why, and if it works better?


    Hal, Apr 4, 2007
  10. Phyllis and Jim

    Reel McKoi Guest

    "Hal" wrote in message
    Some come with trace elements. I'm experimenting with Miracle-Grow and
    products like it right now. It's not toxic to fish that I can see. The
    5-10-5 for gardens works well in the water I grow pond plants in. It
    doesn't seem to bother the frogs but has no trace elements listed on the
    bags. I think I'll add MG next time and see if there's a difference.

    Frugal ponding since 1995.
    rec.ponder since late 1996.
    My Pond & Aquarium Pages:
    Zone 6. Middle TN USA
    ~~~~ } ~~~ }
    Reel McKoi, Apr 4, 2007
  11. Phyllis and Jim

    Altum Guest

    Yeah. I'm really into planted aquaria and someone here advised me to
    treat my little pond/water garden the same way. Imagine my surprise the
    first time I added my aquarium fertilizer with the phosphate and every
    single WH bloomed!
    The stuff at Walmart generally contains ammonium nitrate. The first
    number in the N-P-K fertilizer ratio isn't nitrate, but nitrogen.
    Ammonium nitrate is the most common source of it for fertilizer. You
    can get away with burying a fertilizer spike with some ammonium nitrate
    deep in a pot, but of course you wouldn't want to add ammonium to a pond
    with fish. If you find a brand without any ammonium, I'm all ears!
    I use the bulk chemicals because 1) they're wonderfully cheap and 2) I
    can tailor the mix to my individual tanks and pond depending on my water
    change schedule and fish load.

    The nitrate and phosphate have the potassium counterion (K, potash)
    because aquatic and pond plants need a lot of it. Potassium is the K in
    the N-P-K number. The chemicals are set up avoid adding undesirable
    sodium and chloride to the water. Some people don't even need potassium
    sulfate when they use potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate. I find
    my plants do better with some extra potash so I add the potassium sulfate.

    BTW, people in softwater areas also add calcium and magnesium to the
    fertilizer. My water is hard so I don't worry about it. I doubt it's
    too much of a problem in most ponds since everyone tends to add coral
    and/or oyster shells to harden the water a little for koi and goldies

    I saw mention of algae blooms with water column fertilizers. My 3
    half-barrel pond has a LOT of plants and very few fish compared to a
    typical formal koi pond - it's practically a veggie filter. LOL! If I
    don't fertilize the water, the WH goes reddish, chlorotic, and straggly
    and the algae grows like crazy. When I fertilize well, the WH gets lush
    and green, the cannas bloom, and algae is much less troublesome.

    I would expect a lot more algae bloom problems in systems with more fish
    and fewer plants, since there are often traces of ammonia in the water
    until it passes through the filter. Ammonia + iron + sunlight = instant

    Altum, Apr 4, 2007
  12. Also consider:

    ammonium nitrate
    ammonium phosphate
    ammonium sulfate
    Stephen Henning, Apr 4, 2007
  13. Phyllis and Jim


    Jim now that your lilies are in the ground as they should be your
    plants will not only thrive they should flower with no fertilizer at
    all. You fish waste and the such is all the lily needs to stretch its
    roots. In fact if you dont fertilize, it should break down the waste
    quicker. Most lilies need sun light to bloom. also if you just
    transplanted it may take a while longer or miss a cycle to bloom.

    , Apr 5, 2007
  14. Phyllis and Jim

    Altum Guest

    Umm... I was talking about fertilizing water in a pond where there are
    live fish. You don't add ammonium to the water.
    Altum, Apr 5, 2007
  15. Phyllis and Jim


    i would say the time release capsules that you normally use for plants
    like impatients and wild flower seeds works and fish ignore it.
    , Apr 5, 2007
  16. Phyllis and Jim

    Altum Guest

    How can something that contains ammonia not be toxic to fish??? Ack.
    Even tiny amounts of ammonia in the water can stress fish and affect
    their health and growth, whether or not you see an immediate toxic effect.

    Altum, Apr 5, 2007
  17. Peter,

    The lilies are on the bottom, on bare cement. They do catch fish

    I am interested in how they will or won't bloom.,

    Phyllis and Jim, Apr 5, 2007
  18. The fertilizers mentioned contain ammonium, not ammonia. Really close, but
    _much_ less toxic.
    But I tend to agree with you, anyway. I haven't fertilized since my very
    early water-gardening days, and I get more blooms than ever.
    Derek Broughton, Apr 5, 2007
  19. Phyllis and Jim

    drsolo Guest

    how deep are the lilies? they dont like it deep. the lower they are the
    more energy to get leaves and flowers to surface. also, blooms at the
    warmer surface water, earlier and more. Ingrid
    drsolo, Apr 5, 2007
  20. How deep would you consider deep? Five feet is not too deep for most
    non-dwarf hardy lilies.
    Not in my experience. I start all my lilies shallow, and sink them as the
    leaves reach the surface. Once they have a few pads on the surface, they
    don't have a problem getting enough energy to push more, and they are able
    to spread out. My deep lilies always produce more blooms than my shallow
    Derek Broughton, Apr 5, 2007
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