13. Potting Specific Plants


Potted plants are important part of a water garden. Lilies are usually the main attraction in the pond, and care should be taken in planting them. Lilies have a greedy root system that expands rapidly. Use the largest suitable container of 6 inches or more in depth. Plant hardy lily rhizomes with growing point or crown at soil level, exposed to water. The rhizome should be on a slight angle and the crown should be up and as far away from the wall of the container as possible. The plant will grow in the direction the crown points and ample room for growth should be provided. This will also increase the time between re-plantings. If you intend on keeping the lily in deep water, start it out in shallow water. As the plant becomes established, move it a little deeper. Continue this process until the desired depth is attained. Planting a lily too deep too soon can stunt growth resulting in small leaves, poor flowering, and even death.

Potting Pond Plant

Tropical Lilies

Tropical lily tubers differ from hardy tubers in that the tuber is rounded and produces leaves and flowers from the center rather than an end. They should be planted in the middle of the container with the crown slightly exposed. Tropicals require water temperatures of 65 degrees or higher for vigorous growth. These lilies will not survive cold winters and should be protected from freezing in Zone 7 and higher.

Potted Plants Need Soil

Since potting and propagation is an important step in maintaining specific plants, using the best soil cannot go unnoticed. The best soil is heavy loam top soil. Never use manures, peats, and garden or potting mixtures in the planting process. These can kill fish and release nutrients into the water that will cause excess algae growth. Some mixtures are simply too light and will float. It is very important to plant soil tightly, tamping and packing it in all stages of planting.

Another good medium for potting is from Ecological Laboratories.  It contains no pesticides or fertilizers.

MLCAPM Concentrated Aquatic Planting Media, 10#
MLCAPM Concentrated Aquatic Planting Media, 20#

Aquatic Planting Medium

Plant growth and blooming can be enhanced with slow release fertilizer tablets. Use only those designed and manufactured specifically for aquatic plants. Tennessee Water Gardens offers the best. Initial planting, repotting, and each month during the growing season are when your pond plants should be fertilized. Suspend fertilizer applications in early fall and resume in early spring.

Potted Plants and Fertilizer

Fertilizer Tablets
Fertilizer Tablets 10 gram, 10-20-10

Bog and potted plants as well as tropical and hardy lilies and lily-like aquatic plants benefit greatly from these fertilizer tabs. They are very easy to apply – simply push the tablets into the soil on two or three sides of plants. The slow-release 20-10-5 formula encourages blooming and lush vegetative growth. Fertilize all your pond plants at each repotting and monthly thereafter during the growing season. Suspend application in early fall and resume in early spring.

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