Bare-Rooted Water Lilies
Hardy Water Lilies grow and spread from tubers and rhizomes. These soft woody root stocks are designed by nature to store essential nutrients and in late summer and early Autumn, the stems, blooms and Water Lily pads start to decompose adding more essential nutrients to existing nutrient rich pond sludge. Throughout the winter months, the rhizomes/tubers are very much alive and securely rooted into the bottom of the pond sludge/substrate. Water Lilies always have fresh dormant shoots even during their winter dormancy, but are ready to grow as soon as the waters they are planted in, warm up in the spring.
In the UK, Water Lilies can be cut and divided as early as February and a good example of a spring cut Water Lily division can be seen below. The cut rhizomes must always be planted with the aquatic soil/sludge level just above the rhizome covering about one inch of the base of the stems or, about one centimeter on small and miniature cultivars. Water Lilies can be cut and re-planted throughout the spring and summer but I would not recommend cutting later than the end of September. October is still OK for larger growing cultivars, but a definite no for small/Pygmaea Waterlily cultivars.
The Start And Time Of Spring Growth
Water Lilies that are cut and planted April on wards will send out fresh roots almost straight away. These fresh, spring white roots shoot out between the base of the Water Lily stems and the rhizomes and at the same time, the shoots will develop into stems with curled up young leaves that will start to grow upwards towards the surface of the water and open on the surface as floating Lily pads. In warm and hot weather, this process can happen within a matter of a few weeks followed by your first Water Lily flowers 3-5 weeks later. By the time there are flowers, the fresh white roots would have developed into a network of long, strong established roots up to 1 cm in diameter that will feed from the nutrient rich pond sludge.
Water Lilies that are cut and planted as early as February, will simply sit dormant until the water warms up, so if we have a late cold spring don’t be disappointed if you see no signs of life and growth until April or even later depending on UK location. Examples of both spring and summer bare-rooted
Water Lilies cut and ready for dispatch can be seen below.
If you are planting Water Lilies into Aquatic Baskets, to home in new or cleaned out man-made fiberglass and butyl rubber lined ponds, you will need to feed them with some Aquatic Plant Food. Here at Lilies Water Gardens, we have several options available to buy online. If however, you have an established pond with a rich build up of sediment or fish that produce plenty of fish waste high in nutrients, then there will be no need to feed your Water Lilies.
Please visit my website www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk to see over 250 different Water Lily cultivars available to buy online from February on wards with full availability from March, weather depending! Our pond planting accessories and potted pond plants are available to purchase all year around.