How do you keep tropical water lilies in colder climates?


Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
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Hi everyone! I was wondering...how do you keep tropical water lilies in a cool climate, such as my native zone 5? I understand that temps below 70 fahrenheit will send most tropical water lilies into dormancy, and summer nighttime temps up here frequently dip into the 50's (and I'm using container ponds). So far the only option I have come up with is to use a large aquarium heater during the growing season (from about May 15th to September 15th), but I was already told (on this forum) that these heaters are not equipped for the temperature shifts of Spring and Fall and thus I do not know how if they would work properly even in summer. Any other ways to keep a water garden consistently above 70 degrees from mid May to mid September? Thanks :)
 
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I keep tropicals in the pond - we just don't put them in until near the end of June. We also treat them as annuals - one season and they're done.
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
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I keep tropicals in the pond - we just don't put them in until near the end of June. We also treat them as annuals - one season and they're done.
Ah...that's a painfully short season. Maybe I'll stick with hardy lilies then. I may still try to heat the 'pond' to the low 70's from May 15 to September 15th to get more consistent results from the hardy/less fickle plants I keep, though. Perhaps a large (about 300 watt?) titanium aquarium heater? I've seen those recommended for small water gardens like mine, and they seem to be much more resilient than their glass counterparts.
 

addy1

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I had tropical lilies one year, bloomed great, fall came tried to over winter doing all they say. The next summer they hardly grew and did not bloom. So done with them. There area lot of beautiful hardies, I stick with them now.
 
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It's really not that short of a season when you consider zone 5. We don't get much in the way of blooms from our hardy lilies until mid-to-late June, so adding a tropical that's already full of nice big pads and blooms isn't that far off the time line. And ours continued to bloom almost until the first of November this year. The only thing that finally took it out was the freak snowstorm we had on Halloween. Had that not happened, we would have gotten a few more weeks out of it as we had a very temperate fall past that point.
 

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