Water lily varieties to naturalize in a "wild" pond?


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I want to have a large multi-acre pond teeming with water lilies and wildlife but I worry the wildlife (especially crayfish) will just eat up the lilies. How do I prevent this? I've heard of people using chickenwire around the lilies, but I'm not sure I'd be able to afford enough wire for the whole pond and I don't like the idea of such intensive management of a pond meant to be "wild" and self-sustaining. Does the wire need to be permanent or can I get by with just using some in the early days? Are some lily cultivars prolific enough to withstand the pressure from wildlife?
 
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If you fear cray fish then attack them, fight the source of the problem not the effect.. Make a trap or several of them reduce there numbers. And i would be willing to bet the next question is how. i would say like a lobster trap and i would be willing to bet you can buy traps for crawfish as they call um down south
 

Jhn

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You can plant the lilies first and give them a growing season to get going before adding crayfish. Once the lilies take off it will be next to impossible for the crayfish to decimate them. Most lilies grow out of control once established, then can withstand foraging.

You can also add a rocky area or logs in the shallows for the crayfish to hide around, away from where the lilies are growing. Once there are predators in the pond the crayfish won’t venture far from their hiding spots.

I had crayfish in my pond before I moved, they pretty much left the lilies alone. Granted it was only 5000 gallon pond, with maybe 5-6 crayfish but the crayfish had no predators in it.
 
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Wouldn't a turtle do the same job
 
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Jhn

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Wouldn't a turtle do the same job
For the crayfish to hide under :unsure:......Anyhoo, if OP dumps predator and prey into the pond together, unlikely they will have an over abundance of crayfish in the pond, to decimate any plants. Crayfish seems to be on the menu for everything in the ecosystems they live in.
 
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If you choose a variety that is native to your area, they will co-exist. We have the American white water lily growing in native ponds in our area and I guarantee you the ponds are full of all kinds of wildlife. Nature in balance is exactly that - balanced. Some lilies get eaten, some thrive. Likewise the crayfish, turtles, fish, etc.

When you say you "want to have a large multi-acre pond" is this a reality or a future dream?
 
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You can plant the lilies first and give them a growing season to get going before adding crayfish. Once the lilies take off it will be next to impossible for the crayfish to decimate them. Most lilies grow out of control once established, then can withstand foraging.

You can also add a rocky area or logs in the shallows for the crayfish to hide around, away from where the lilies are growing. Once there are predators in the pond the crayfish won’t venture far from their hiding spots.

I had crayfish in my pond before I moved, they pretty much left the lilies alone. Granted it was only 5000 gallon pond, with maybe 5-6 crayfish but the crayfish had no predators in it.
Thanks. I'll definitely try to give the plants a while to establish.

Wouldn't a turtle do the same job
Yes, but I won't be deliberately stocking large numbers of turtles.
 
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For the crayfish to hide under :unsure:......Anyhoo, if OP dumps predator and prey into the pond together, unlikely they will have an over abundance of crayfish in the pond, to decimate any plants. Crayfish seems to be on the menu for everything in the ecosystems they live in.
I was considering giving the crayfish time to establish before adding fish. Was afraid the fish would eat them before they had time to build up a self-sustaining population.
 
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If you choose a variety that is native to your area, they will co-exist. We have the American white water lily growing in native ponds in our area and I guarantee you the ponds are full of all kinds of wildlife. Nature in balance is exactly that - balanced. Some lilies get eaten, some thrive. Likewise the crayfish, turtles, fish, etc.

When you say you "want to have a large multi-acre pond" is this a reality or a future dream?
What species are the common cultivated water lilies in catalogues?
 
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What species are the common cultivated water lilies in catalogues?
No clue honestly, and I'm not sure you can even buy lilies that are native to an area. You may want to check and see if you can find a pond that you could harvest some from - something privately owned would be my suggestion.
 
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