To divide or not to divide lilies

Discussion in 'Pond Archive' started by Jim, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Jan, your thread on lilies tweaked a question in my mind that I
    thought I would do as a new thread.

    What is the trade off between dividing lilies and just letting them
    grow their tubers?

    We have not divided ours for years. We have a rope jungle in the tubs
    and on the floor of the pond where they have grown out of the tubs.
    The lilies seem to be doing fine and spreading. I will pull the
    tubers on the floor when they have spread as far as I am willing to
    permit. The tubs allow us to give each color its own location (deep
    red, pink, yellow, white) The big-leafed whites from Tom LeBron are
    doing most of the spreading on the floor.

    I am interested in anyone's thoughts about dividing or not dividing.
    Jim, Jul 21, 2011
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  2. Jim

    ~ jan Guest

    My thoughts on dividing. When I don't do it every year it is a much bigger
    job when I eventually do, do it. I'm also selling the babies to afford the
    hobby. Thus I sort of have to get'er done.

    I went to a meeting where I'm sure they hadn't divided their lilies, they
    were bigger than mine and blooming like crazy. If they jumped the pot this
    gives them the ability to keep on growing and blooming. The problem lies
    when they can't jump the pot, and get stifled up against the side of it.
    Stopping most growth and all blooming (so I've read).

    Personally, if you don't have to divide and growing along the floor isn't a
    big concern (isn't trapping debris to the point of being unhealthy for the
    inhabitants) let them go.

    I would think eventually you'd want to get rid of the dead tuber part(s)?
    ~ jan
    ~ jan, Jul 23, 2011
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  3. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Here is what Mastersons says in their online item. I may want to
    divide my colored ones that have not jumped the pot..

    dividing hardy water lilies

    Hardy water lilies should be divided every two to three years,
    depending on the size of the container they are growing in. Early
    spring is the best time, but hardy lilies can be divided any time
    during the growing season.

    Check your lilies. If the pots are bulging out at the sides, or the
    lily tubers are hanging out over the top of the pot, it is time to
    divide. You may also notice smaller and fewer leaves and flowers,
    this can also be a sign that it is time to divide and repot.

    The best container is a five to seven gallon pot that is wide and

    Here are five easy steps to get your lilies growing and blooming

    â– Carefully remove the plant from its existing pot (you may have to
    the old pot away). Gently wash the soil away with a garden hose to
    expose the tuber, roots and growing tips.
    â– Examine the tuber, you will see the newer growth on one end that
    includes leaves, flower buds and roots. Often there will be more than
    one end with good growth and roots. Select the best looking piece(s)
    and cut to 3-5” long with a sharp knife, keeping the end with good
    roots and top growth. Trim off excess roots (leave the white,
    emerging roots), all older and damaged leaves and all flower buds.
    The ‘new’ plant must put most of its energy into developing
    a new root
    system, not making leaves and flowers right away.
    â– Partially fill your container with an aquatic soil or heavy garden
    soil, not traditional potting soil that includes peat and vermiculite
    or perlite. If there are large holes in your pot, line it with burlap
    or weed fabric first to keep the soil from washing out through the
    holes. Push the tuber down into the soil at a 45 degree angle, with
    the cut end down and near the side of the pot. This will provide the
    most room for your new plant to grow. Place three aquatic fertilizer
    tablets, into the soil about half way down, equally spaced around the
    pot. Add more soil as necessary, press it around the tuber and roots
    but do not cover the growing tips. Finally, add a layer of pea gravel
    on top, this will help to keep your fish from digging at the roots and
    will hold the soil in place.
    â– Slowly submerge the pot into your pond. It is best to start it in
    shallow water (6-12”) until the first few new leaves appear, it can
    then be lowered to depths up to three feet. You will likely notice a
    little cloudiness in the water from the soil but this will settle out
    â– Fertilize your lilies every four weeks during the growing season w
    3-4 tablets. Push the tablets 1-2” down into the soil, away from t
    tuber. Remove spent flower buds and old leaves throughout the season
    as necessary.
    Jim, Jul 23, 2011
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