Friday, March 30, 2012

Learning Lotus and Lilies

I've been gardening for a long time.  Because of this is it really weird to be working with a group of plants that I feel absolutely clueless about.  I'm experiencing this now with the water plants for the pond.  A couple of weeks ago I ordered a few plants to try things out.  I ordered 1 hardy water lily , one tropical water lily (Director T. Moore shown above) and 1 lotus (Thousand petals).  They came the other day along with an additional tropical lily called "Imperial".

I immediately panicked when I opened the package.  Basically they were water lilies set in giant baggies with a tiny bit of moisture in there.  The directions said plant immediately.  Okee Dokee no problem, how do I plant them?  The site I bought them from (Texas Water Lilies) had some really great directions.  I didn't skim them either which is why I was able to quickly observe that the tropical lilies want pond temperatures of at least 65 and preferably 70 degrees.  On the day the lilies came, it was 37 degrees outside.  I checked the pond and it was 61 degrees.  Surprising.  I decided that the 61 degrees wasn't going to last too long with the air temps being down so I had to figure out another plan.  The internet saved me here in that I was told to stick them in a big pot inside.  So that is where the tropical ones are now.
I'm a little concerned about T. More.  One of the leaves turned black.  It seems to be very sensitive to touch, bruises easily.  The bloom opens every morning and closes each night but I don't think this plant is happy.  I hope the weather gives me a bunch of heat soon so I can get this outside.

I'm toying with what to do about the lotus on the left.  It is just coming out of dormancy.  I have no idea if the stems it is showing need to be in the water or are OK above it.  I'm thinking of putting this in the pond this weekend.  The thing that gives me pause with all of this is that these were not inexpensive plants.  If they croak I am out a decent amount of cash.  I probably should have started with something cheaper, but I wanted to go to most pretty right away.  :P

The hardy water lily is in the pond.  I was worried that adding a pot full of clay would make the water cloudy.  It didn't at all.  I'm glad to get these started.  Plants in the pond, eat the nutrients in the pond.  Keeping nutrient levels down is a great way to keep algae suppressed.  Between that and the UV I turned on this past weekend.  I am hoping to avoid green floaters completely.  Except for those I want of course.  Hang in there T. Moore!


spurge said...

What a beautiful purple flower! Those are going to look awesome once they get established. My only attempt at growing water plants was in my aquarium, and it didn't last long because my fish ate them!

Stacy said...

LOL. I have a few concerns about that as well. Some people say that koi and plants don't mix. However, I'm not inclined to follow a lot of rules in the garden so I'll be introducing a few koi once my filtration is up and running.

Lorenzo Caum said...

The photo of Director George T. Moore looks great. Its a strong bloomer and can tolerant cold better than other varieties of tropical water lilies.