Water lily care questions


Mmathis

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@addy1 and anyone else who has input.

I will soon be dividing and replanting my water lilies. In the 4-5 years of having my pond with lilies, I've never had any that needed to be divided....not so this year. Advice appreciated.

  1. The current plants are over growing their pots. When I divide them, I won't be able to keep ALL of the tubers in the pond, but I definitely want to keep the healthiest. Is there a way to know which parts/tubers are the best ones to keep? I have this fear that.......I'll do the wrong thing and end up with a dud lily in the spring :cry:
  2. Of the plants I have, one is literally :eek:crawling out of the pot -- it's creepy looking [see pic -- not the best pic, but if you look you can see where the growth is coming from]. Is the external, "creepy, crawling" part OK to use? Is there anything different you do for that?
  3. Do I plant one tuber per pot, or can I keep 2 in a pot?
  4. Should I trim roots?
  5. What do I do with / how do I store the pieces I won't need? I would like to be able to re-home them, but with our humidity here, I'm afraid they'll rot before I can do anything with them. Could I put them in some kitty litter and sink them in the pond with the other lilies?
  6. If I'm going to send tubers out for re-homing, is there a best time to ship them?
 
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Mmathis

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Picture, what picture......? Oh, yeah, oops! Sorry! That post was made BEFORE coffee, so I have a legit excuse!!

You can see the pot. There is one bunch of growth at top, center, but the creepy one is -- well, it starts at the center of the pic and is crawling down to the lower left. The calico fantail is right on top of the meatiest part, and the comet is swimming over the growth coming from it. The picture doesn't do it justice!
image.jpeg
 
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wow. that's cool, now you have 2! or more! :)

from my experience, the bigger ones are the healthier one that have more store energy and will be able to flower faster next season. Even a tiny bit of the tuber can grow into another plant :)

I nicked off a little part from my night blooming one that i sent to T last year and put it in my indoor tank, and it grow! (just a little smaller than my thumb nail) until it got eaten by my crayfish that is :) So keep the one you want. dont worry too much, keep the bigger ones though.

And if you ship, i'll take some (oh wait, i have no space left in my pond for more!) :cry:

For tubers you dont want, you dont have to put them in any clay. Most of my lilies are bare roots, just rocks on top of them. they grow fine, but didnt flower much. I know they like it better with clay but it's not necessary if you just want to keep them until you know what to do with them.
 

addy1

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I usually use a serrated knife, chop off the tuber I want to keep, usually the one with good growth, stick it back in litter. The tuber growing out of the pot is usually the best one, free floating roots, easy to cut off good growth.

I used to use a garden hose to separate the roots, very careful not to harm them. Any more chop........... The lilies don't care.

Excess lilies, get net bags from veggies, toss them in the net bag, sink until you decide what to do with them.

I have planted lilies in the fall in the spring all grow great.
Yes you can have more than one lily per pot.
 
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j.w

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Every piece of lily that you want to grow must have a growing eye on it (lily pad leaf sprouting out) or it will just rot. Make sure you wear gloves unless you love the color purple :smuggrin:
 

Mmathis

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Every piece of lily that you want to grow must have a growing eye on it (lily pad leaf sprouting out) or it will just rot. Make sure you wear gloves unless you love the color purple :smuggrin:
Oh..... So look for an eye or leaf bud? So that big creeping hunk that's down there now.....if the only place on it that has evidence of growth is the tip [the thing is a good 12"+ long], then that's the only part I can use? Can I cut off and discard the rest of it?
 

addy1

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The eye is the gold of a lily. I cut off huge chunks of tuber and just toss if there is no eye.
 
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Mmathis

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Anyone have a picture of the eye? I had to cut mine down as well and would love to be able to do it better next year.
I tried Google, but no pics. I did find one reference, and from reading that, it sounds like what the eye of a potato looks like. Said it was a "bump." Guess I'll find out this w/end [if it doesn't rain] 'cause that's my target date to get in the pond and take care of these guys!
 

addy1

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Anyone have a picture of the eye? I had to cut mine down as well and would love to be able to do it better next year.
The eye, to me, is where you see leaves, stems. Sometimes they are real small, sometimes big. If there is no growth I toss the tuber.
 

Mmathis

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If you find the eye take a picture.
And good luck, we are expecting rain... LOL
So are we, but I may be in the pond anyway if there's no lightening. This is the only w/end I'll be able to do it and that means that I'll have my Hubby there to help. Not sure how my feet will handle getting in and out, so don't want to be by myself.
 
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j.w

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Hmmmmmmm, I don't know for sure if it matters but usually when I had mine in pots I would do it in Spring and Summer only. Hey it's still Summer and it will make those little eyes sprout better so you can see where they are. Heck why not? You are in a warmer climate too so I don't think it would hurt.
 

Mmathis

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Hmmmmmmm, I don't know for sure if it matters but usually when I had mine in pots I would do it in Spring and Summer only. Hey it's still Summer and it will make those little eyes sprout better so you can see where they are. Heck why not? You are in a warmer climate too so I don't think it would hurt.
They are starting to shut down for the year. I know that light [and possibly water temp????] is the trigger for this, but wasn't sure if adding fert at this time would be harmful. I guess, since I will be dividing, it would give the newer roots a chance to take in a little nourishment.
 
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j.w

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Yep I think now would be ok but I wouldn't add any more after this till next Spring as they need to rest like any plant that flowers and then goes dormant in the Fall/Winter.
 

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