Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of miss-guided information when it comes to planting bare-rooted pond plants and Water Lilies.
What Are Bare Rooted Pond Plants?
Firstly, the definition of a bare rooted pond plant is a plant that has exposed roots. A tuber or a rhizome is a plant that is not a pre-potted pot plant, or in the pond world, not pre-potted into an aquatic basket.
Planting Bare Rooted Water Lilies
Bare rooted Water Lilies are sold as bare rooted rhizomes with fresh spring leaf shoots or with stems, leaves and flowers or buds in the summer. Newly cut rhizomes should be sold with the old roots trimmed off, and once planted, the rhizome will soon develop circular roots around the rhizome at the base of the shoots/stems. This root producing process will only happen when the water in your pond warms up, in early spring, planted Water Lily rhizomes that are planted into cold water can sit dormant for many weeks. Water Lily rhizomes should always be planted with the tip of the rhizome just under soil level. Some cultivar rhizomes/tubers are long and very narrow and these types of tubers should be planted on a 45 degree angle. Other cultivars have stocky, fat, smooth edged rhizomes these are also best planted on a 45 degree angle but can be planted upright. A few Water Lily rhizomes look like pineapples and Pygmaea Helvola is a good example. Cultivars with this type of rhizome should be planted upright.
Planting Bare Rooted Pond Plants
When you purchase bare rooted pond plants, you will either receive plants that have obvious exposed roots or plants that have tubers or rhizomes with or without exposed roots with the exception of oxygenating plants and submerged pond weeds. Pond plants with exposed roots are very simple to plant up. Just make sure the exposed roots are planted below soil level but not too deep or to the point where a spring plant with more roots than top growth end up with its spring shooting leaves buried under soil. Pond plants sold that resemble tuber or rhizomes should be planted just below the soil level on a 45 degree angle, the same way as most of the Water Lily cultivars are planted.
Sold as multiple foliage stems either loose or bunched, many of the submerged plants will produce floating leaves when they mature over the summer months. They are easy to plant whatever their stage of growth and some of these under water plants are sold with little or no showing roots. Plant up with one third of the base/cut end (not growing tip end) under soil level. Submerged plants produce lots of roots and start growing very quickly once the weather warms up.
Please visit our website www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk for a vast range of information on all topics of Water Gardening.