Dividing Huge Lily

monet_gMarch 23, 2012

I have a 13x15x3 foot pond and a water lily that has gotten too large. It covers about a 4x4 foot area. I've been using a hack saw to cut off the edges (pond is mostly drained). It's a mass of rhizomes (mostly) and roots. I can't get any further with the hack saw. I thought of using a chain saw while in the pond, but I'm concerned about the liner. Not to mention, maneuvering is very tricky with the slick muck.

The best solution would be to pull the lily completely out and use a chain saw, but I can't figure out how to do it. I can't get under it and I think hooks would pull loose. Plus, the mass is extremely heavy.

Does anyone have any ideas of how I can proceed further?



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I have never had an issue that extreme. I am wondering if a flat bladed shovel might work. I have used my T handle shovel to divide various plants that were in large pots. I would think that the T handle would help you stableize yourself while steping on the shovel to get started.

I am assuming that the lilly roots don't grab onto the liner. I was just removing an overgrown clump of sweet flag and found that it attaches like ivy. It was in my stream and I had to remove stuff around it and stand on the liner. Not anywhere as large a problem as yours, but surprisingly difficult.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Thanks chas,
You've given me an approach to think about - kinda like dividing hostas. Now I just have to decide what to put under the clump to protect the liner.
(Fortunately, the roots didn't grab or penetrate the liner.)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:25AM
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I didn't realize that you could get under the clump. If so I might sugest a small section of linoleum to wall rubberized liner, or a slightly flexable tile. Most of these shovels are not really very sharp. I was suggesting you just not press too forcefully.

also if the whole thing is loose, I would suggest that you could hook it with a rope or chain to pull the whole thing out with a come-a-long . That is a ratchet device like a pulley.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:05PM
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WOW! That is one BIG lily!!! How long have you had that lily that grew to such a monster?! I WISH I had your problem!lol! I bet you have a few pics you could share of some blooms? plz!?!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:20AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I have always found it far better to keep all aquatic plants in tubs . While it doesn't elimanate the problem it does slow it down. Just today I drained my above ground
where I keep a potted Blue Godddess. in a 24 square pot
Had 24 separate plants and so heavy I couldn't pick it up lol It was repotted just 3 years ago!!! Good luck with your project gary

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:15AM
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Chas, I thought of a "come-a-long". Are they as easy to ratchet as I've heard?
Calamity, I think the lily has been in there for 5 or more years. I like the crowded look when the leaves stand upright. However, last year I noticed I could no longer see the blooms. (I lost my last pics in a computer crash.)
Gary, it was in a tub. The tub is now embedded in the clump; the rhizomes grew right through, up, over and around it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I haven't used one for a long time, but they are very easy as long as you have something solid to hook onto at the other end like a tree or a deck or the house. They are not very expensive; or just borrow a neighbor's or borrow the neighbor.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 2:05PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

What you describe is one reason to divide every year and also to choose varieties that don't grow that big....:)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Sooo what color is this beauty!? Have you got it out yet?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:54AM
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You can never have too many plants, can you? :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 1:53AM
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