Waterlilies won't grow, leaves are small and curled

reneek(GA - Zone 7B)March 8, 2013

Hi all,

I have waterlillies that until a year ago was doing great. I could always depend on the leaves unfurling and expanding but after a really nasty incident where my water turned murky and filled with mud (sorry, not up on the terminology) the problems started.

We cleaned the pond out, changed the water, but the lilies will not grow. They are stunted. Is there a solution for this? Or are they are total loss? If so, where can I buy replacements? I've had those for years and I am really out of the loop on this.

Thanks so much for your help!!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

What was the problem that messed up the pond? If it was flooded by ground water or flood water there may have been chemicals in it that damaged the waterlilies. We need more info.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reneek(GA - Zone 7B)

I really don't know what caused it other than the fact that the pond is surrounded by pine trees. I have installed a shade sail above the pond now (it's been there for one year) but situated it where the pond can still get rays of sunlight. Very few needles fall into it now and the water is clear. I think I will take the lilies out this year and re-pot them...maybe I should have done that from the get go.

The pond is actually elevated from the rest of the yard...it sits at the top of a slope, so it would be difficult for ground water to flow into it. I would have to guess that the dirt came from the pots that the waterlilies were in and the rest came from whatever the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons decided to dump in it. lol Other than that, there was nothing that I could think of....btw, I think my previous description was off the mark.

The water was actually JET BLACK and stinked to high heaven. I don't know how I forgot that! Sorry......

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly_ON(6a Ontario)

Are the lilies in pots that have become root bound? If they are in pots, they should be divided every two to three years or they will start to die as any root bound plant will.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catherinet(5 IN)

Definitely repot them and give them some fertilizer.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

Maybe they were doing well in the highly-fertilized, stinking black water. Now the clean water has no fertilizer in it. Try fertilizer tablets.

The plants in my "dirty" ponds all do better than in the clean ponds.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Waterlilies need full sun. How much sun are they getting with the shade sail? They should have a good 4-6 hours of sun at a minimum. They are also very heavy feeders and should be fertilized.

I have found that if I do not divide my waterlilies that I do start to have problems with them. I divide about every other year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterlily Culture.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like the pond turned over that means that the harmful gases built up all the way to the top of the pond depleting all of the oxygen in the pond. this makes the silt from the bottom go all the way up to the top killing everything in the pond. I think they will recover if re-potted in to a larger pot or split down to smaller plants. And returned to the pond it's still a little early too I think. here's a link that might help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Money Gardening

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with all the above. If they are still alive this spring you can bring them back with the right care. Your lilies need full sun and will do exactly what you have described if they don't get enough sun and are overgrown and need divided. They are also heavy feeders and should be fertilized about once a month to do their best. There are lots of videos on line on how to divide them and repot them if you need that information.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sdavis(z7b nc)

Sounds like the waterlilies have reproduced, made many crowns and become self crowding.

Until they are thinned out and given fresh fertilising, they will continue to choke up with too many crowns.

Some waterlilies are like that, they grow well for a year or two, then choke the pond...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello. My pond is not getting enough sun. Built it not knowing waterliles need sun. It is outdoor but covered and no way I can uncover it.

Is there an artificial sunlight so that my water lilies will bloom.

Please help!!!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 8:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As you have discovered waterlilies don't do well without sun. One of the things you can do is put them in a LARGE pot and place the pot in a sunny location. I sometimes use those 55 gal blue drums and cut them in half so you two pots from one barrel. I make sure the top part has the plugs firmly installed, fill them with water and put the potted lilies in there.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 4:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your advice to repot and move them to a sunny location. What do you think about artificial lighting? Is that possible? I want to make use of my pond. I read online that you can put High pressure sodium lamp above the plants to make it bloom. Has anyone tried this? Please help.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 3:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 3:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my pond. My lilies does not bloom because it is not getting enough sun. Anyone know about artificial sunlight? High pressure sodium light? Please let me know if anyone has tried it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 3:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have experience with high pressure sodium lights. It may work but I think it would be pretty expensive to run enough light to get the results you want.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 1:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Snake is eating my frog--Help!!
I looked out my second floor window and saw some movement...
Can anyone identify these fish?
I have a fair size pond that came with a house I just...
Rubbermaid vs Galvanized stock tank pond
I'd like to upgrade from my little whiskey barrel ponds...
Pond Heat
What is the best method of heating water to 70 degrees...
Need help with my submersible pump.
My Shinmaywa submersible pump is pumping less volume....
Sponsored Products
Set of Five Artois Candlestick Holders
$999.00 | FRONTGATE
Vanilla Metallic - Satin Plum Shade Ovo Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Pre-lit 39-inch Boxwood Cone Tree
Triple Solar Flare 24 1/2" Round Wall Mirror
Lamps Plus
Exquisite Red & Black Border Hand Knotted 8x10 Heriz Serapi Wool Area Rug H6968
BH Sun Inc
Armen Living Halston Loveseat - LC10042PA
$916.00 | Hayneedle
SomerTile 12x12-in Samoan 9/16-in Neptune Blue Porcelain Mosaic Tile (Pack of 10
Bainbridge Glass Dining Table
| Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™