NYBG reflecting pool
Mick Hales, The New York Botanical Garden

Waterlily and Lotus

Waterlilies (Nymphaea) and lotus (Nelumbo) are jewels of the aquatic world. They are celebrated for their beauty and immortalized in art and religion. Many of them are easy to grow and reward the gardener with fragrant and sumptuous blossoms from June until October.


Carolina queen waterlily
John Peden, The New York Botanical Garden

Types of Waterlilies

There are two main divisions of waterlilies: hardy and tropical. Hardy waterlilies will survive our winters if planted below the freezing line in a water feature, while tropical waterlilies need to be stored over the winter or treated as annuals.

Shown here: hardy lotus (Nelumbo 'Carolina Queen')


Tropical waterlily
John Peden, The New York Botanical Garden

Planting Tips

Plant waterlilies in large plastic containers or baskets specifically designed for aquatic plants. Line the baskets with burlap, landscape fabric, or newspaper (so that the soil does not fall through the cracks).

The containers should be large enough to allow the rhizome room to spread. Because the rhizomes creep across the surface of the soil, a wider pot is preferable to a deeper one.

Shown here: tropical waterlily (Nymphaea ‘Ruby’)


Shell Faux Stone Planter
Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

Pond Alternatives

Don't have a pond? A whiskey barrel or planter is a great alternative. In fact, this planter (at 13 inches high and 23 inches in diameter) is a striking ornament for your outdoor garden.

Make sure to research the ultimate size of your waterlily. A waterlily with a 6-foot spread will not thrive in a whiskey barrel or a small tub; but there are plenty of options available on the market.

Shell Faux Stone Planter
$498
Available at NYBG Shop


Dramm Watering Accessories
Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

Color Your Garden

If you do have a pond, add more color to your garden with these beautiful new watering accessories. Dramm offers durable, high-performance options in a variety of colors. How about a purple hose to go with your pink waterlilies?

Dramm Watering Accessories
Prices vary
Available at NYBG Shop


Giant waterlily
John Peden, The New York Botanical Garden

Guaranteed Blooms

Each flower on the waterlily lasts 3 to 5 days. They open during the day and close at night (unless they are nocturnal). Once the flower is finished, it will slowly sink into the water.

To ensure many blooms, cut the dying flowers as they sink below the surface. Follow the stem down as far as it goes; also clean off dead or dying leaves.

Shown here: giant waterlily (Victoria 'Longwood Hybrid')


Lotus
Mick Hales, The New York Botanical Garden

Love Your Lotus

Lotus will be hardy if the tuberous rhizomes do not freeze. Plant the containers so that the soil line is below the freezing mark in your pool. This can be 6 to 18 inches deep, depending on the size of your water feature. Lotus, like waterlilies, prefer 6 or more hours of sunlight.

Shown here: lotus (Nelumbo 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum')


Waterlily pads
Sara Cedar Miller

Lotus Care Tips

Lotus die back at the end of the year. Cut them down to a few inches above the rhizome. Be patient with them in the spring as they are late to emerge. They prefer warm weather and will start to grow once the water temperature has risen above 70 degrees.

Shown here: waterlily pads


Victoria Regia Portrait
Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

Picture Perfect

This dramatic portrait of the gigantic South American waterlily, by Walter Hood Fitch (1817-1892), is from the Rare Book Collection of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at The New York Botanical Garden.

Victoria Regia Portrait
$288
Available at NYBG Shop

--Sonia Uyterhoeven, garden expert, The New York Botanical Garden


Printed From:
http://www.myhomeideas.com/outdoor-living/gardening/easy-late-summer-water-gardens