PLANTING WATER LILIES: POCKET OR POT?
When you create a pond for your customers, do you plant water lilies during the installation process? Your customers will love the added benefit of colorful flora in their new water garden.
Two basic methods exist for planting water lilies. You can incorporate plant pockets within the pond itself, or use Aquatic Plant Pots. The method you choose should be considered prior to pond construction. The actual planting of the lily will be the same, however, regardless of your chosen planting option.
The first thing you’ll want to do when planting water lilies is to determine the size and location of the lilies. Water lilies adjust their growth to the size of the area they’re planted in. Size the plant pocket or aquatic pot according to the size of the pond. As a general rule, your plant pocket should be 16” to 18” wide by 6” deep. If you choose to use an aquatic plant pot, Aquascape’s Aquatic Lily Pot is a great choice.
In a large pond, you may want the lilies to grow larger. Planting them in even larger plant pockets provides them with enough space to grow proportionate to the size of the pond. The size of the plant pocket in a larger pond should be about 24” wide.
If you choose to plant water lilies using an aquatic pot, your hole in the pond should be just deep enough so the top of the pot is level with the bottom of the pond excavation. Allow a little extra room on the sides for folds in the liner. Ultimately, when the floor of the pond is graveled, it will have a flat, consistent appearance with no pots showing. If you are installing a water lily in an existing pond that doesn’t have planting pockets, you should create a ring of rocks around the lily pot to hide it.
Water Lily Placement
Placement considerations are important, too. Water lilies do not like heavy water movement or water splashing on their foliage, so they should not be located close to a waterfall or the base of a stream. Also, the lily should not block the flow of water and debris into the pond’s skimmer.
Planting the Water Lily
After the liner is in place and the pond has been rocked, clean out any gravel that has fallen into the planting pocket. If you’re using an aquatic pot, place the pot down into the hole you created and fill the area around the pot with gravel so the pot isn’t visible.
If you’re planting the lily directly in the pocket, fill it to within one inch of the top with Aquascape Pond Plant Potting Media. Avoid using any type of potting soil that contains other added media, as it will float in the water. It’s also important to make sure the soil has not been treated with any type of chemical that might harm the fish.
Fertilizing Water Lilies
Fertilizing water lilies on a regular basis is highly recommended to optimize their beautiful blooms. Time-released, granular fertilizer mixed into the soil at the bottom of the pot or plant pocket is a great way to fertilize lilies at the time of planting. When fertilizing existing water lilies, tablets are a great option since you simply push them into the soil.
Whichever fertilizer you use, be careful not to put it in direct contact with the plant’s roots. Instead, push tablets against the sides of the pot, away from the plant. Mix granular fertilizer in only the bottom of the pot or plant pockets.
Keeping Plants Healthy
To keep water lilies healthy and vibrant throughout the pond season, remind your customers to remove yellow or dead leaves, along with any spent flowers, on a regular basis. This prevents decaying foliage from sinking to the bottom of the pond and decomposing. Stems should always be pruned back as close to the water lily rhizome as possible.
Water lilies are the jewels of the water garden and are available in an amazing variety of types, sizes, and colors. Be sure to plant these aquatic beauties whenever installing a pond. Your customer will appreciate the Monet’s garden that you’ve started for them.
Author: Bobby Kenyon
Bobby Kenyon is the Creative Solutions Guru for C.E. Pontz Sons who has over a decade plus experience in the Landscape & Water Garden industry . He enjoys long walks on the beach and grocery shopping but has a strong dislike for regular cake and non brand name paper towels