Water lily alternatives?


Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! Long time no post :) I did not set up a water garden this year...I was really depressed and barely even took care of my fish tanks for months. Fortunately I am doing much better now, the fish are getting the needed care, and I feel comfortable having a water garden or two again next year - one for breeding fish, one for raising small live foods like Daphnia.

Now here's my question; I've never had good luck with water lilies. Even with monthly fertilizer and six hours of direct sunlight, they never grow well for me, much less bloom...so, what other handsome blooming plant or plants can I use as a replacement? They don't need to look like water lilies...I just need a plant that has impressive foliage and/or blooms and that grows well in a water garden. Any ideas? Plants that have unambiguously done well in water gardens for me in the past include Canna lilies (which have very impressive blooms), hornwort (which is more functional than cosmetic), and water lettuce (whose blooms are not particularly spectacular but are very practical for floating cover). Thanks!
 
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cas

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Have you ever tried forget-me-nots? Real easy to grow and have small blue flowers.
They are on the right in the picture below.
plants - blue flag iris and forget me nots 2018-6-17.JPG
 

j.w

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What about Water Hyacinth and Parrots Feather? No blooms on the Parrots Feather but still a pretty plant.
 

Joshaeus

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Thanks for the responses so far :) Parrot's feather is a banned noxious weed in my state, but the other two are definitely good options.
 
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We have a plant called floating heart in our pond - they look like small water lilies and the blooms are really pretty. Ours bloom yellow, but I think there are some that bloom white. They spread easily but are also easy to control. Here they are growing in front of the irises in my pond this spring. Not a great photo, but you get the idea!


IMG_2027.JPG
 
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Joshaeus

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Thanks! I forgot about floating hearts :) One species is banned in my state (I forget the species, but it has yellow flowers) so I will have to find one carefully if I go that route.
 

Joshaeus

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Nope! I live in zone 5...and waterlilies still do not thrive for me, regardless of type.
 
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Wait. I'm in zone 5. We can buy floating hearts here... although to be honest I haven't seen them for a long time, so maybe not! haha! If you were close I'd hook you up!
 

Joshaeus

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Nope...I'm in New England, and that is exactly the water snowflake that is banned in my state. Thanks for the offer, though :)
 
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Now that I check the list, I see it's prohibited lots of places - I can see how it would easily become invasive!
 

addy1

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I have some of that in my hot tub pond, yellow flowers everywhere. Bought it at the fish hatchery. It is pretty
 
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I love it! We saw it in a pond on a pond walk before we had even built our pond and I thought it was a mini water lily. It does like to spread, but it's really easy to pull and toss. I like it because it starts putting up "pads" early in the spring before the lilies get growing. Gives the fish a little coverage early on. And the yellow flowers are so pretty!
 

addy1

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Does yours have the little feather edges? I love how it looks
IMG_3404.jpg
 
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Good question! I would have answered no, but now I realize I've not looked at it that close before! I have some about to bloom today, so I'll have to check and see!
 
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j.w

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Love those pretty little Floating Hearts and do they have to be potted or do their roots just float around freely?
 

addy1

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Love those pretty little Floating Hearts and do they have to be potted or do their roots just float around freely?
They float with runners hanging down, roots etc, if the root finds dirt it anchors itself.
 
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