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too bright/hot for water lilies?

Posted by adamharbeck WA Aust (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 22:26

Hello forum,

I am trying to grow water lilies in ceramic potted water gardens here in Mandurah, Western Australia. We have a 'Californian climate', with long, hot summers and cool wet winters. I have attempted a few varieties with mixed success, but am having issues with one pot in particular. Nearly everything I have read states that water lilies need full sun for at least 6 hours a day. I have a large, earthenware pot witha volume of approx 125 litres (very simmilar to this that I am struggling to keep plants in. I originally had a hardy 'Indiana" which would grow leaves which would melt when they reached the surface, so I moved it to a very shallow position 9-10cm deep) in a large pot that recieves more shade and stays quite cool on the advice of an aquatics nursery, and it's now leafing very happily. (This bigger pot is about a metre deep and gets nealry full sun, but has a bit of shade from a guava bush and has tall cannas and Tradescentia growing around it which shelter the sides from the sun. The small yellow lily in there seems to to quite well, provided it's positioned quite close the surface).

I gave the pot a full clean out, refilled it and purchased a tropical 'fireglow' and hardy 'gloriosa' for the pot, and both looked fine for the first couple of days, until the leaves on the 'Fireglow' started to appear bleached and a bit mushy at th edges. I shifted it into my deep, cool in-ground pond where it should hopefully recover, but have left the 'gloriosa' in place as it doesnt look too bad. Do lilies actually need some protection from the sun in a hot climate like this? The pot gets diect sun, and the sun beats down from the west in the afternoon. Could the water be too hot? It does appear very stratified and warm. Could this be the issue as opposed to the sunlight? I am considering moving the pot to a position where it will be more shltered. What do you all think?

I feed with fertiliser tablets every couple of months, and all thd pots are stocked with Rosy barbs to controll mosquitos.

Thanks in advance for your advice,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

I live in s. florida in the US so know a bit about heat lol
Mine are in an above ground 5x10x 3 foot pool..Gets over 6 hours but is some afternoon shade.. . I do have some type of worm that chews the pads resulting in some damage but pushes new pads so fast doesn't seem to bother it.
I do think it's important for the pads to have enough room to float as when the pads stack up the uppers tend to die rather rapidly. I grow only tropicals as I wanted blue flowers . "Blue goddess/ panama pacific and there really isn't room for more lol Have no experience with temperates though I suspect they would be more sensitive to heat?? Hope you solve the problem gary

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

Thanks Gary,

I bit the bullet and relocated the pot where it gets shade from the neighbours ficus in the afternoons. The water is cooler and the fish look happier, so I'm assuming the lilies will be too.
I think the issue here is the dry heat. We have been told that even though every online article and book says to put them in full sun, we need to grow our Lotus in the shade because they just scorch straight away. We have a very dry heat here, with extreme UV, so I think some shade is necessary. I noticed this morining that the gloriosa has sent up a bud, hopefully that is a sign that it's happier in its new spot.

Do you keep fish in the pond? Aapparently they help control those grubs.

" Caddis Fly and your water lily
Caddis Fly is a moth like creature whose larvae can cause great damage to water lilies. These larvae use pond debris and water lily stems to build cases in which they move around the pond, mostly at night. Generally the first sign of Caddis Fly infestation in your pond is the appearance of lily stems, leaves and flower buds that appear to be cut cleanly off the lily plant. If you head out to your pond at night with a torch you can often see the Caddis Fly larvae moving around the pond, they appear as moving sticks on the base of the pond and on lily stems. Once the Caddis Fly larvae reach this size they are usually too large for Goldfish to eat. The best way to control Caddis Fly is by keeping a good number of fish in your pond. If you have a small pond with small fish you may need to manually pull the Caddis Fly larvae from the pond."

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

For most of the ponds life(1981 ) have kep . tropical fish
mostlyt swordtails , tetras some barbs. A freak cold spell in 09 eended that ,so went to GF which I feared couldn't handle the heat but have done very well too well actually , have had to thin several times.
Anyway the lilies seem to make it through the bugs but does look terrible a couple months per year
What's a few bugs among friends ?? lol
Thanks for the info!! gary

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

You might have good success with a bowl lotus .

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

what is a bowl lotus?

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

Yup, hot midday sun will be too much for waterlilies where the sun can heat the water over 95°f, both hardy and tropical waterlilies can go heat dormant.

Trop lilies tend to turn to mush and survive as tubers, hardies will quit flowering, send up smaller pads

Midday shade, or increasing surface coverage with floating plants can moderate water temps.

BTW lotus are less heat tolerant than waterlilies

RE: too bright/hot for water lilies?

Thanks sdavis,

I had not seen naything about heat dormancy until now. Makes perfect sense though. Just had a heatwave (2 days in excess of 43C/109.4F), but they seem to be ok. The shade is definately helping. Unfortunately my lotus which were under 70% shade cloth scorched in the heat.

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