What's a good water plant fertilizer?

SongMom(N UT)August 10, 2005

Hi again. I've been wondering which fertilizer works best? I don't want to add extra nitrates or especially phosphates... but none of my plants seem to be blooming, so I'm thinking they need SOMETHING. Of course, some of them might not be getting enough sun, either, but even the water hyacinths which sit in the sunniest part of the pond don't have any flowers. Is it possible to fertilize the plants and not add to the algae growth? Or is it all a matter of "balance"?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
imaginators(z6 KY)

I have read that the tablets are the best because they go right to the roots of the plant. Also frequent fertilizing promotes blooming from every 2 to 3 weeks. Some water lilies take 2 years of maturity before they will bloom. Many of the aqua fertilizers do not promote algae growth. Just read the bottles. For me my hyacinths are not blooming this year but are multipying quickly. I have 8 new hardy water lilies, of them only 2 are blooming. One is the Yellow Queen and the other is unknown with yellow blooms. Also I have read water lilies require at least 6 hours of sun. Also if they are directly in the sun, they can not get splashed by waterfall because the leaf pads can get sunburn. They tend to like calmer waters. For me, my hardy water lilies get part sun and part shade through out the day and I still get blooms.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lynn_d(Z5 PA)

A good all around fertilizer is Osmocote, you can put it in the pot when you divide/repot in spring and it can carry you thru the summer season. My water lilies bloom heavy, my Colorado usually has 4-6 blooms at a time, Joey Tomacek is always in bloom. I fertilize the heck out of them! I use osmocote when I pot them up and once I have a few pads I start adding Jobes Tomato spikes, adding one every other week or so till they start blooming then I double it, 2 per pot every other week. They reward me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
samisweets(z5 - GR, MI)

Fertilizer tabs or spikes are great for the lilies, but if you want to fertilize your hyacinths you can always pull them out and soak them in a bucket of miracle grow solution. Mix it up per the directions and then just soak them in there for a few hours. I always rinse the roots before putting them back in the pond just in case. This works great unless you have a very large quanity of of them.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just plain ol Muriate of potash and iron chelate. I use 1TB of each once a week, allthough im going to cut back on the iron a bit, it caused me an ugly algae bloom, but after 4 days, its under control again.

My plants are litterally going nuts! its like catnip for clones.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lefd05(z5/6 westCO)

Yes, potash is good, particularly for the floaters. Osmocote is good and lasts all season when you repot. I like to use the Jobe's tomato spikes on the lilies. You can also use fruit tree spikes busted up into small pieces.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Songmom, I just noticed you were from Utah, im not sure what part of Utah you are from, but in the salt lake area, you can buy the muriate of potash at IFA, it comes in a huge 50lb bag for around 20.00. well worth it and will last you forever, or at least it should =)

They also sell 50lb bags of fish pellets for 17.00. I dont think ill ever run out of either.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LEFD05, you mentioned that you used Jobe's tomato spikes for the lilies. Can I assume that there isn't an increase in algae or any effect on fish? I was planning on using them for our lily.

Also, could you use any kind of spike? I have lots of the regular Jobe's spikes that I could use.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
SongMom(N UT)

Wow, I never would have thought of using TOMATO spikes... wow! I have used other Jobe's spikes, for houseplants & for my Meyer Lemon tree. Why the tomato spikes, BTW?

So, Jbob2k, you live in UT, too? I'm in Ogden, and there's an IFA not too far from where I live. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tnflower_lover(z 7 TN)

Where can these be purchased, iron chelate and Muriate of potash? I would love to try them but do not know where to start looking. TIA

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
queensizeponder(z6 KY)

Jobe's Tomato Spikes are wonderful!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the best place to start looking for the muriate of potash and iron chealate (chelated iron) is your local farm supply store.

And so you dont get funny looks and get made fun of (like I did) potash is pronounced POT-ASH ran together not poe-tash

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie_M(z5 CO)

I did the same thing with poetash a couple of years ago
:-) Felt like a dork.
I am now concerned about the pronunciation of Chelate - per Merriam-Webster it is said like key-late. Would that be correct?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tried everywhere I could think for Muriate of Potash all they sell here is Sulfate of Potash... go figure.

Do you all add Potash and Iron weekly??

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought 3 boxed "dormant" water lily plants this April. I potted my plants in composted sheep manure and peat moss and placed them in the pond. The peat moss is not a good idea if you don't want your water to turn tea color. Activated charcoal helps. The composted sheep manure is great fertilizer for the first couple months.

The water lilies and everyone else came up really fast as soon as the weather got warmer. I then gave each pot 4 house plant spikes (more like half pencils) that were high in phosphorus (20) with about half that in nitrogen (8) and potassium (10) every 3 weeks. The water lilies have been blooming with multiple blooms and all the time so I have from 2 to 8 flowers open in the day from 3 waterlily pots.

Lilies need fertilizer with phosphorus or water with lots of phosphorus to flower and fruit as do all plants, aquatic or terrestial. Potassium helps root growth and nitrogen grows leaves as well as algae with the help of excess phosphorous. Remember the hue and cry about phosphates in soaps and detergents?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a tiny 5 gallon container garden. I have one 4" dwarf papyrus, two small water hyacinths, and today I added a very tiny pygmy waterlily. This is probably overkill. I have a small spitter in there too. The waterlily is in a 4" pot. One tomato spike in each of the pots every two weeks? Plus soaking the water hyacinth in Miraclegrow? Is that right? It's getting about 5 hours full sun a day.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shane(5a Ont. Can.)

no one ever answered if tomato spikes or miracle grow will harm fish. SO i thought that id try to ask again eh.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jan2(z5 Illinois)

For the past 17 plus years we've had our pond, we've used Pond Care Aquatic Liquid Plant Food. You mix it in a bucket and pour it in the pond. Does not cause algae, hurt fish, frogs, snails or any sort of aquatic life. When I divide and repot lilies in the spring, I do put a plant tab in each pot.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lefd05(z5/6 westCO)

Hmmm, I usually answer posts but I guess I missed this last summer.

Do not use Miracle Grow directly in your pond! It is good to use it in buckets, tubs, etc. and put your floaters in for a few days. Wash it off thoroughly and return the plants to the pond.

Tomato Spikes do not harm fish. They work well on liliies because they have a higher phospherous content which helps promote blooming. I use one per lily every month during growing season. Some ponders use fruit tree spikes busted into smaller pieces. I admit that I have even used the Jobes spikes for houseplants. They seem to work particularly well on the marginal/bog plants.

Osmocote is good to use when you repot. Especially good for those ponders whose lilies are in deep large ponds and difficult to fertilize on a regular basis. Place it in the bottom of the pot and then fill with your dirt, etc. It will last all season

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am wondering if Osmocote/Osmocote Plus is a safe pond plant fertilizer for fish and cats? Cats drink from pond. At the moment I do NOT have fish, but when I get my algae problem under control, I was thinking of getting some.

Eugene, Oregon

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

IMHO, a lot of ponders use Jobe's tomato spikes because the proportions 8-24-8 (nitrogen-phosphate-potash) are exactly the same as in Jobe's fertilizer spikes for aguatic plants and are probably more readily available than the aquatic plant spikes. Makes sense to me anyway.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
norah_s(Z5 NH)

I guess I'm the only silly one still using pond fertilizer tabs. Just haven't tried the tomato spikes because I wasn't sure how much to use. The Ag-Safe brand is cheap online, and they also sell once-a-year spikes. I am trying them for the first time this year. My lotuses are currently budding like crazy. I like that these contain trace nutrients as well as the big 3. (Jobes tomato spikes might contain them also; I haven't checked.)

I've also been experimenting with potassium nitrate (stump remover) and liquid iron (which contains other trace minerals as well). I figure these are for the foliage and underwater plants that I am using to keep the water pure for the fish and to compete with algae. I am careful to check nitrate levels the day after applying the potassium nitrate, and they have not been readable, let alone high.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any comments on miracle grow indoor plant spikes (6-12-6)?
I've put a spike in the lillys and in the rocks where plants are planted. I've noticed is the lily pads turning brown, I have some flowers that have bloomne and looks like a couple more in a few days. The impatiens, morning glories(growing but no blooms,yet), and twotypes of mint, all dong well. The WH are getting huge, but no blooms.
The irsi are okay, the pickeral rush varies between yelloish leaves to green leaves and has bloomed to some extent. They were doing this prior to the spikes - the spikes have only been in about 10 days.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL I cna't imagine fertilizing water hyacinths....geesh I can't keep up with their growth as it is...threw away about 3 bushels away this week! You can almost watch them grow.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where is the cheapest place to get AG Safe online?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just an FYI, but Job's also makes a fertilizer stake made specifically for pond plants.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Yep, it's pronounce kee-late.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joyceny(z6 NY)

I have some potash from a few years ago and was wondering if it would still be any good?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just try it and see. Use it on a plant that you have more than one of and seperate it from the other. That way, you can compare the differences.

Happy ponding,

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tootseug, I'm from Eugene too..

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glad2garden(5, Chicopee, Mass)

I thought I would revive this post from last year as I'm looking for a fertilizer for my lilies. So I'm going to try Jobe's tomato spikes. Seems a lot less expensive than pond tabs, and I can use them on my tomatoes too. (No more extra $ to fool around with!)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bumping this up and wondering if you add fertilizer around this time of yr???

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:43AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pond Heat
What is the best method of heating water to 70 degrees...
My fish is sick - treating for dropsy
Am attempting to treat one of my fish... classic dropsy...
My ponds with no liners
I dug these ponds with a rented bulldozer 30 years...
Snake is eating my frog--Help!!
I looked out my second floor window and saw some movement...
How To Get Rid of Pond Vegetation
I had a small pond deepened and it is great except...
alameda/zone 8
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™