Protecting Waterlilies from Koi

nwj629February 10, 2009

I looking for any ideas on how to protect waterlilies from koi, large or small, for an article I am writing for our clubs newsletter.


Genesee Valley Pond & Koi Club

Newsletter Editors

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The best way that I have found is: prepare the plant as directed, then cover the pot with a layer of pure clay cat litter and then small rocks, up to silver dollar sized, several layers deep. The plant will still poke it way to the light and the fish will leave the tubers and roots alone.

I have successfully used this method with both Koi and my large catfish.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Some people swear by lava rocks in their lily pots, since fish don't like to root around with the sharper edges.

I use a strip of plastic poultry fence stapled around the upper lip of the pot, and then I staple the top edges of the fence material together. The holes are wide enough for the lily pads and stalks to grow through them, yet the fish can't reach the roots.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:03PM
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sdavis(z7b nc)

Having a pond separate from the koi will make a difference, growing the waterlilies up to a decent size in early Summer before risking them with aggressive grazers, a safe place where you can move a lilypot to, to recover if turtles or fish are doing some damage.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:56AM
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My koi don't mess with the gravel but they actually bite them off at the stem. I see they sell water lilly koi protectors that are a coned shape net and then a floating noodle. You could probably make your own if you are handy.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 3:07PM
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newbirdman(7 b NJ)

My Koi are about 2 feet long and dont bother any of my plants . My lilies grow so large I cant even see the fish . They cover the surface completely and I have to go in the pond to trim the leaves as they turn brown . I wish they would eat my plants . By the way , my pond is 8' x 20' and 3000 gallons.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 3:26PM
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I would like to thank all of you for your response. I will be using your ideas in writing my article for our club members. In all my research IÂm not sure there is one solution to this problem. Koi size and pond size all play in to this problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Genesee Valley Pond & Koi Club

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:42AM
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Hi Norm, We've used this method with success.
Take a wire hanging basket, the kind with the moss in it. Remove the moss, invert the wire pot over the lily pot and wire it to the lily pot. The lily grows through the wire and the big bad boys can't dig in the dirt.
They can swim over it, circle it, and bump into it all day
long, but can't dig up those yummy roots.
You have my permission to use the photos in the article.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our web page.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:48AM
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Great idea, with the basket over the pot. Love the photos.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 4:38PM
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Interesting, I was thinking of using some wire mesh(those with larger holes, but the wire pot would do fine(I just have to stick to budget cuz my mom is paying). I also think the size of the koi is a great factor in this, if its big and slow or small and lively(can't really confirm this cuz my koi are all still small and active, and everyone i know who has koi does not keep any plants in the pond...-.-).


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 3:57AM
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