Potted Water Lilies


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Each year it seems that there are always a few Lily plants which need re-potting. We started out using a purchased aquatic soil mix but it's expensive and often hard to even find. Last year through this forum, I discovered using plain clumping kitty litter (clay) as an alternative and other than the water going cloudy for a few days after the re-pot, the lilies seemed to do ok last year.

This year, we did another round of re-potting and we decided to mix some old potting soil in with the clumping litter. This time, we mixed the whole thing together like a wet dough and covered the top with gravel. We even soaked them in an external tub before putting them back into the pond to try to minimize the poof of cloudiness the clay caused the previous year.

However this year, our Koi are finding it fun to dig through the pots and we're not sure why. In some pots most of the gravel has been removed by the pesky buggers and in other pots it looks like we've lost half of our soil and the lily tubers are practically exposed entirely. And of course, every time they find another pot to massacre, it's two more days of cloudy water.

Anyone else have issues with Koi making a mess of their lily pots? What kind of soil are you using to grow them in?
 
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mrsclem

mrsclem
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My koi do everything they can to get at the lilies. I put plastic mesh fencing overtop of the pots. It helps some. Make sure you are using non-clumping litter!
 
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My koi do everything they can to get at the lilies. I put plastic mesh fencing overtop of the pots. It helps some. Make sure you are using non-clumping litter!

Nice idea with the mesh fencing. Although I was surprised to see you suggest non-clumping. Clumping litter is mostly clay, which is why I thought most people used it as an alternative.
 
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Be sure to use non clumping basic clay litter. I zip tie deer fencing over my lily pots !
 
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I used to be able to plant lilies directly in the pond bottom, but my koi are large enough now that they will damage them so I put everything in pots & put welded wire fencing over the tops. So far, so good...
And, yes - you want NON clumping, 100% clay litter.
 
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Thank you all who mentioned non clumping. (I was sure the only clay litter was clumping!)

My solution was to move the pots away from where the koi live until the plants mature. I had no idea they liked digging in the pots!
 

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