Will you help me pick out some water lilies?

jennyb5149(3b)May 4, 2010

Hi everyone!

Once again I'm going to defer to the experience of the wonderful ponders on this site.

I'm finally ready to add water lilies to my new pond but really have no clue where to start.

I've read that some lilies can spread up to 6 feet across! My pond is not that huge! Maybe 8 x 10 with the rock shelves (I remodeled my pond this year to make the shelves around the border wider and deeper per cliff and joann's suggestion).

I'd like to have at least 2 varieties of lilies for color variation but am not sure what to pick. I don't want my lilies to overtake the pond and completely cover the surface area. It would be nice to see the fish I'm going to add also.

My pond is in partial shade in the mornings and gets the full southwestern sun from about 11 am to 5 pm right now which will probably increase as the days get longer.

I'm also thinking a tropical night blooming lily would be nice as I work days and would like to see the blooms once in awhile. I realize that where I live in zone 3b I'd probably have to treat it as an annual unless I bring it indoors in the winter. But, I will defer to the advice of more experienced ponders here if it is a totally ridiculous idea.

Any suggestions and/or advice would be REALLY appreciated!

Thanks for your time and patience with all my questions!


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hi there
miniature & dwarf waterlillies are perfect for you, I would say.
joanna pring(mid to pale pink)
nymphae tetragona (a small as a matchbox flowers) in white
perry baby red (almost crimson)
nymphae hevolva (palest yellow)
all these are only 1/2 to 1m accross
As far as I know all the night bloomers are a lot bigger in spread.

google is your best friend
I might add that I am in australia so i don't get the cold here where I am . so some of these may not be suitable for you. But iam sure that if you did some research on the internet for your area you will find what you are looking for . I purchased all of mine through the internet and they have been great , Sorry my computer is playing up at the moment so I cannot post pics successfully.

some of the usa people may give you a few others that would do well in your area


    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:45AM
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A link to my favorite lily site is below. I particularly like it because in the individual plant descriptions, it lets you know which lilies are the more prolific bloomers. The prices are also reasonable.

When you get to the site, on the left of the screen, there is a red sidebar of categories which includes Pond Plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquariumplants.com

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 1:42PM
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Fantastic website Nancy! Thanks! I've picked out Andreana and Red Flare. Can't wait to get them growing!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 2:15PM
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hardin(7 SE OK)

Hi Jenny, I was in the same boat, having never grown waterlilies and having a pond that is just a little bigger than yours. I couldn't decide which color I wanted most, so I chose a changeable. I chose a Clyde Ikins waterlily. I received it last fall right before fall arrived. I left it in the bottom of the pond, and a few weeks ago when it started sprouting new leaves I fertilized it. I love the color of the leaves and have 5 blooms getting ready to pop to the surface. I can't wait. Here are some pictures.

Waterlily in the pond:

The color of the leaves:

The first of 5 buds still under water:

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:12PM
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Mazela, I had no Idea you were in Australia. Wonderful. I knew we North Americans had a lot of UK visitors but never knew that of you.

I'm curious, what do people do with their water lilies when they add or divide. After a while do you just give some away?

I ask because I have a pond that is two pools, upper & lower, with the lower being larger in depth and surface area... I call that my lily pond. It is about 17 ft x 12 at the widest dimensions... I figure it is about 150 square feet.

My hardy water lilies are:
Marliacea Albida
Moon Dance
Joey Tomocik
Texas Dawn
one unidentified

Yeah, they're all white or yellow flowers.

I've divided some and have about nine now. They could stand to be re-divided if the clump emerging from the large, shallow container is still the case, as it was last autumn.

What specifically do you do with your extras? Do you stop dividing?
If you trade, where do you trade? How?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Hi Vickie

Your pond is gorgeous! The more pictures I see of it, the more pond envy I get! LOL

I love the color of the leaves on your lily! Here's hoping the lilies I ordered on Monday will do as well!

Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:02AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Jenny,
If I were you, I'd start out with just 1 med-large lily. My "pond" is 5x5 and one lily completely fills it out and could even stand more space. Or....go with 2 small ones. But whatever you choose, I'd get just one the first year and see how much space it takes up. I had 2 med-large lilies in one 5x5 pond and it wasn't pretty. They just get too crowded to be attractive.

I've grown tropical lilies here in zone 5 and had good luck in the summers that were VERY hot. however, last summer was cool (in 70's) and they did very poorly. They really need alot of heat over several months.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:52PM
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lefd05(z5/6 westCO)

My recommendation would be the hardy Paul Hariot.
Its a smaller lily, blooms really well, and the flowers stay open later in the day for me. I've had mine in smaller container water gardens in morning shade and afternoon sun.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Liz Margoshes

Last season I ordered some waterlilies online, can't remember from where. They were healthy but in the very first stages of growth, and it wasn't until August that they really looked good. So I'm a little questioning of the internet approach.

That said, I may have to rent a car for over $70 to drive to Long Island where there are actual waterlily stores! (I am not a car owner).

(Unless you were just looking at that site to get ideas of what type you want, but will be buying them elsewhere?)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Thanks everyone for the info on the water lilies!

I did end up ordering some online since I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest greenhouse that would have any sort of decent selection is in the Minneapolis/St Paul, MN area which is 2 1/2 hours from my house.

Interestingly, though, I do live within 20 minutes of 4 HUGE greenhouses. One has a limited selection of pond plants. SO, thanks for the heads up Liz on the internet lilies. I just might pick up a lily that is already growing from the greenhouse (though it hurts my heart to pay $31 for a plant!!).

I'm within a week of getting the pond completely finished and up and running. I'll be sure to post some pics here when it FINALLY is done!!! :-)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:14PM
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