Gardening with aquatics is similar to other forms of gardening in that you have to be aware of proper soil conditions, kinds of containers, proper planting techniques, fertility needs, and after planting care. What makes water gardening unique is that the plants you grow are growing in a water filled environment. Things like water depth, water temperature and what to do with plants during the winter become a consideration.
Soil used for planting should be damp. If using containers fill them about two-thirds full of soil. For hardy water lilies, the rhizome should be placed so that the growing point is directed toward the center and at a slight angle. Look for buds or “eyes,” similar to what would be found on a potato to determine which end is the growing point. This is done so that it can grow across the center of the pot. After the rhizome is in place, cover it with soil so that the growing point is just barely above soil level.
Timing the placement of plants in your pond is important. Hardy water lilies, lotus and emergent plants are tolerant of cooler water temperatures and can be placed in the pond when temperatures reach about 50 degrees. Tropical water lilies and some floaters cannot tolerate cold temperatures and should not be placed in the pond until the water temperature reaches at least 70 degrees. Placing them out too early can cause dormancy, injury and restrict potential growth of the plant. Hardy water lilies will grow horizontally across your pond. Water lilies start growth faster in shallow water.
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