Water lilies are a favorite pond plant! Here are some quick tips on getting the most from yours this season!
Water lily care:
Lilies are heavy feeders! This means they need a good supply of fertlizer during the growing season to make flowers.
To feed your lily, purchase some aquatic plant tablets: slow release, fish safe fertilizer tabs.
Once a month, gently poke your finger into the soil near the water lily base. Push a fertilizer tab into the hole. (The tablets tend to fall apart in water so you can't just set it on the soil surface.)
Lilies also prefer full sun. They would prefer 10-12 hrs but will bloom with less sun too, just not as often.
Trim any dead or yellow leaves from your lily to keep it looking sharp. You can pinch the stem below the water or use scissors to remove the dead leaves.
Occationally, water lilies become lunch for aphids. If you see small black or greenish tiny bugs on the leaf surface, you can wash them off with pond water. This usually knocks down the aphid population sufficiently in an outdoor pond.
If your lily is crowded, you can lift the pot and split the tubers or discard pieces. Replant any tubers (big chunks of root like stuff) that have small white roots and green shoots attached. Plant them in pots of soil at a 45 degree angle. After replanting the tubers, put a layer of sand or small gravel across the soil surface to keep pet koi fish or goldfish from digging the roots up. (Pond fish tend to nibble on plant roots.)
When water lilies are happy and healthy, they will bloom and grow!
To purchase your own hardy water lilies, please visit our plant ordering page!
For tips on overwintering hardy and tropical water lilies, click here.
How do you keep a natural pond clean with no mechanical filtration? Two different methods are discussed.
We get many request for natural pond care to keep them looking clean and beautiful. This type of natural pond, found in your HSA or near a parking lot, typically doesn't have a rubber liner and doesn't have any mechanical filtration systems.
With no mechanical systems, how do you keep a natural pond clean?
Below are two methods to maintain a natural pond in 2020 including some ball park prices. The main difference is speed: think in terms of "microwave speed" or "crock pot speed". Each method has its good points and bad points.
Want to build a pond? Should you use big rocks or smaller rocks? Take a quick picture tour of several ponds built near Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN using a machine versus setting rocks by hand.
Building a pond is a fun way to spend time outdoors! Whether you hire it done or do the work yourself, an important question to ask before you begin is "How do I want this to look?" By answering that, you will know whether you should use rocks that require a machine to set or if you will be using smaller rocks, set by hand.
Generally, basketball sized rocks can be moved by man power and larger rocks will require two men or machinery.
Ponds built by hand
You will notice several different sizes of rocks in the pond pictures below but most of them are smaller than a basketball. A mix of sizes makes the pond look more natural. The most common rock used in Minneapolis is glacier field boulders, shown below as the rounded grayish rock.
Ponds built using machines to set the rocks
The ponds shown here also have a mix of rock sizes but the bigger rocks are much larger than a basketball and easily weigh 200-500+ lbs! Glacial field boulders, limestone cubes, and other types of rock are used to create natural, chemical free ponds.
Waterfalls with smaller rocks
Small waterfalls are perfect for backyards. Pondless waterfalls don't have to have large rocks to be beautiful! Several different rock types are used in these waterfalls built in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul metro area.
Large waterfalls built with machinery
These waterfalls and streams were built using large rocks of many different types. Generally, the stream will look more natural if only one type of rock is used to build it. Once the rocks are in place and the water is flowing, the rocks don't look as big. (Example: Picture #2 is the before shot of picture #4.) Big rocks give the waterfall a timeless feeling of "it's always been there".
If you are interested in a pond or backyard stream or waterfall, please contact us for a free quote!
Jeff Chudek has been building ponds and waterfalls professionally since 2005. As a kid, his favorite time of year was spring, because the spring thaw created so much mud and puddles, and all the trees and plants were waking up. He loves figuring out the best way to use something, and fixing things that are broken. He's good at coming up with ideas, and helping choose the best idea for you.