View Full Version : Chat on Plants Saturday Night

08-18-2004, 11:31 PM
I'm going to try to post some information here before Saturday night, so check back often!

The previous chats have been hosted by "experts in their field". I'd like to say that I'm not an expert. However, my lilies do well and I'd like to help others to enjoy growing these awesome plants. I can't think of another plant that can surpass their beauty and fragrance.

If I don't know the answer to a question, I'll do my best to find out and post it here after the chat.

Anyone who wants to "chime in" and help, please feel free to do so.

This weekly informational chat is a great resource. I don't want it to go by the wayside.

I'm hoping to have some information to add tomorrow night!

08-18-2004, 11:36 PM
Sounds like a good one Sandy!!!

08-18-2004, 11:37 PM
I'll be there :) :) :)

gray cat
08-19-2004, 12:02 AM
ME TOO !!! :D :D :D

08-19-2004, 12:08 AM
I hope this will be saved because I usually don't get home until midnight or after on Saturday nights.
Sandy, I would like to know more about overwintering tropicals. Different methods, please. :D

08-19-2004, 12:23 AM
Sandy, can you define the chat a bit. Will it be mostly lilies or hardy or tropicals. Don't feel you have to cover everything in one chat.

People could perhaps post their questions to help define the chat.

08-19-2004, 01:28 AM
my lilies do well and I'd like to help others to enjoy growing these awesome plants.

How much more defination does one need???

I am not positive here...but my guess is the chat will be on water lily's... :rolleyes:

Randy Yeh Mon
08-19-2004, 07:54 AM

08-19-2004, 08:08 AM
I like Lilyzz

08-19-2004, 08:18 AM
HEHEHE!!! The whole family wantsta be there for this un!

08-19-2004, 08:38 AM
I'll be gathering information all day today and hopefully posting it tonight. I'm going to try to post some pics tonight also.

We will definitely cover tropicals, hardies and lilies. With a little help from my friends, we can cover some of the bog plants, also. I don't know much about the bogs.

I can't wait to do this! :D It's going to be great fun!

Don't forget, if you have a specific area you want to cover, post your questions so I can be sure to cover that topic ;)

08-19-2004, 08:48 AM
I hope it is a great chat session, Sandy! I won't be there but I know that you all will have an informative session!

08-19-2004, 10:20 AM
Sandy - interests would be overwintering the tropicals and propagating lilies and lotus.

08-19-2004, 09:15 PM
I'll be there with bells on.And if I can help in any way I will.I only know what works for me.but, It does work. I also have a passion for the plants.Hopefully, We can all learn something and share.Sounds fun.Maybe I should tie a string around my finger to help me remember.

Gary, Don't let me miss this one.O.K.


08-19-2004, 11:30 PM
Thanks, Lawanna, I'll need all the help I can get!

This is very long, so take your time to digest all the info! :D

Watergardening is an art, not an exact science. There is no right way or wrong way; it’s whatever works for your situation. Everyone does it a little differently.

The basic “general” components are at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, still water, water temperatures approximately 70°F, water depth of approximately 18”, and a container large enough to accommodate the plant.


Lilies and lotus are heavy feeders. There are several different fertilizers used, choose the one that suits you best. There are monthly fertilizers, 6 month fertilizers and “land” plant fertilizer.

Monthly fertilizer stakes are the most labor intensive. When I used this type of fertilizer, I used 3-4 stakes per pot every month. Just push the stakes down into the soil around the perimeter of the pot. They will not pollute your water or cause algae blooms.

6 month, which equates to yearly, fertilizer stakes are used the same as monthly. The growing season for a lily is only about 6 months, depending on where you live therefore, you only have to fertilize once a year.

The fertilizer I prefer is “land” plant fertilizer. I use a combination of blood meal, bone meal and a time released fertilizer with a “large middle number” for extra phosphorus which produces more blooms. I use ColorBurst because it’s less expensive, but any brand will work.


This is where it gets really tricky! Everyone has a different method so do whatever you’re comfortable with and works for you.

Most prefer to use those solid black pots that nurseries use. They put newspaper or plastic in the bottom to cover up the holes. I prefer to use the hard, black plastic, square mesh pots filled with cat litter. I’ll get to that later.

I’ve tried every type soil there is and I haven’t been happy with any. Most people recommend using heavy clay right out of they’re yard. I found this makes the pond a mess and after a month or so, the clay is VERY BLACK AND STINKY. My plants didn’t do well in this.

I tried using sand. It also turned black and stinky but the plants did a little better with this medium. The sand inevitably leaked out of the holes in the pot and left the lily bare rooted.

I used the Aquatic Plant Soil that you can buy prepackaged. This was awful. My plants barely survived in this. It was very expensive.

This year, I replanted every plant in CAT LITTER. PLAIN, UNSCENTED, 100% BENTONITE CLAY CAT LITTER. $1.97 for 20 lbs. at Wally World. Every plant is flourishing.

Here’s MY procedure:

In a large tub, soak the cat litter for about 15 minutes. Using the mesh pots, I put about 3” of cat litter then sprinkle about ¼ cup each of bone meal, blood meal and ColorBurst. Fill the pot with cat litter and plant the lily. I’ll describe how to plant the different types of lilies in their respective sections.

Tammie from Hawaii was gracious enough to let me post her planting procedure. Everyone knows the exceptional quality of her lilies. Thank you, Tammie.

Let’s see... when I'm potting lilies for me to keep I pot them in 2 gallon pots. I put
newspaper on the bottom to cover up the holes. I only use kitty litter for
potting. The super cheap, no scent stuff. I've never had a problem with it
swelling up like other people have... Fill 1/3 of the way, put in 4 fert.
tabs in, cover with kitty litter, put in the lily, add more kitty litter
around the roots and up to the crown of the lily. Gently hose all, add more
kitty litter, press down to firm around roots. Add more kitty litter if you
need to. I also start with the kitty litter wet. That way when you put the
pot in the pond it stays in the pot, doesn't float out. Make sure you wet
the pot all the way thru and firm the kitty litter around the roots. I tell
everybody to make sure that when they put the pot in the pond that they tip
it sideways, wait for the pot to fill with water, then lower it.
I fertilize once a month, adding 2 tabs to each pot.
For "sale" lilies I do the same thing, only they're in 5" squat pots.


Tropicals grow in zones 3-11 and are the most fragrant and prolific bloomers. Their flowers stand 8-10” above the water’s surface. Tropicals range in color from white, pink, purple, red, blue, orange and yellow.

When planting tropicals, plant in the center of the pot. Do not cover the crown (tip) of the plant. Firm the soil around the plant and GRADUALLY lower into the pond.


If you live in zone 9 or higher, you should overwinter your tropicals indoors.

If you live in the North, stop fertilizing your tropicals in August. In the South, fertilize through September.

If you have a greenhouse, remove the lily from the pond and place the pot and plant in a container filled with pond water. Remove the leaves as they die and keep the container filled with water. Even though all the leaves die in the winter, new leaves will emerge in the Spring. Don’t fertilize during these winter months.

I built a SMALL pond in my greenhouse just to overwinter tender plants. It is very simple and small, maybe 3x3x1. I used left over pieces of 2x12 and scrap liner. You don’t need pumps or filters. Put in a couple of goldfish or minnows to keep out the mosquitoes.

In the Spring, when the WATER temperature reaches approx. 70°F, move the lily back to the pond. I like to place mine on blocks so the lily crown is about 4-6” below the surface. Once the leaves start emerging and the water warms up, I lower the plant to the bottom of the pond.


Hardy lilies range in color from white, yellow, pink and red. They also have changeable lilies that start out one color and change to another. Those usually change between salmon, orange and peach. Hardy lily flowers usually sit on the water’s surface. They are not as fragrant or prolific as the tropicals.

Hardy lilies can tolerate water temps in the mid 50°F temperature water. If the water is that cold, keep the pot close to the top of the water and lower when the water temps rise above 70°F.

To plant hardy lilies, use at least a 2 gallon pot and put the rhizome in the corner with the growing tip pointing towards the middle, at a 45° angle. Cover the rhizome but DO NOT cover the tip.



Some lilies are viviparous. They reproduce by growing a new baby plant where the stem joins the leaf. As the leaf dies, a small nodule develops at the junction of the leaf and stem. This nodule continues to grow until the leaf is brown and mushy. By this time, a new baby lily, roots and all, will appear! Here in the Sorth, I let the babies stay in the pond. They sink to the bottom when the water gets cold. In the Spring, they surface and can be planted. In the North, they would have to be placed indoors. You can float them in pond water or plant them in a small cup and lower in the water. They do not need fertilizer during the winter.

Lilies with rhizomes are reproduced differently. In the Spring, repot your lilies. You’ll find a long rhizome with nodules and most times, roots. You can use a serrated knife or sharp shovel to cut this rhizome. Cut the rhizome so there are a couple of rhizomes on each piece.

Some lilies grow baby plants in their pot. Just separate the smaller plants from the parent. More than likely, you’ll find babies floating in your pond.


Most lilies like to have 18”-24” of water over their crown or rhizome. However, as with any rule, there are exceptions. I have 2, self-planted, Red Flare lilies that planted themselves in 4’ of water and couldn’t be happier!


Night blooming lilies usually open about 4:00 p.m. and stay open until about 10:00 a.m. in the Sorth. I don’t know about the north.

Day bloomers open around 9:00 a.m. and close by 2:00 p.m. Again, this is in the Sorth.

If you work, definitely include some night bloomers!


Not many of us have proper koi ponds either!!! LOL

With that being said, here is how I keep my lilies growing while my lily pond is inhabited by LARGE koi.

I used ¼” plastic hardware cloth and plastic zip ties. A roll cost $10 and I made 8 cages with it. Measure the depth of your pond and subtract about 2”. Measure the diameter of your pot and add about 4”. Cut out a piece of hardware cloth those dimensions. Wrap it around the pot and secure it with the zip ties. Run a zip tie under the pot and through the 2 sides of the cloth so when you hold the pot by the cage, the zip tie will hold the pot to the cage. Plant the lily in the pot and put it in the pond. Now the fish can’t get to the leaves. Once the lily leafs out, you won’t see the cage.

Another trick. In my large koi pond, my koi won’t bother the plants as long as they have a couple of LARGE leaves when introduced to the pond AND I put the plant in the pond at dusk.


Lotus require 10+ gallon containers. Do not let them grow out of their containers or they’ll take over your pond.

Lotus tubers look like a banana on the outside. On the inside, they look like those round macaroni wheels.

Lotus tubers are VERY FRAGILE. If you break the growing tip, it will not grow. If you injure or scratch the tuber, bacteria will get in and kill it.

Lotus will do well in water 55°F and higher. Do not let the water get below 45°F. They like to be in 3”-6” of water.

Do not bury the growing tip. A small leaf will appear first and then the growing tip right next to it. Put the tuber on top of the pot, do not bury it. You can hold it down with a small rock or piece of wire. DO NOT place either on top of the “joint”. Once the lotus starts putting out a leaf, DO NOT transplant it.

Lotus usually need 85°F to 95°F water for about 2 ½ to 3 months in order to bloom and LOTS of fertilizer.

I hope this gives everyone enough information to ask any questions I haven’t already covered. Just keep in mind, I’m not an expert! This is what works for me.

08-19-2004, 11:54 PM
Sandy this is just great.

Can you give some examples of viviparous lilies. I may have had some put pulled all their darn leaves off as they got brown :rolleyes:

A short list of favourites in each category may give us nice shopping list come spring.

Just for info, my hardy lilies close when the shade hits them. The time depends on where the sun is at. Now about 4 pm but earlier it was 6. Now I am north of you :) and that makes a difference on even the type of lily that is hardy.

08-20-2004, 12:08 AM
Ok, Jackie. Let me do some research and I'll post some names tomorrow night.

I knew the blooming hours would be different in different areas. Mine are in full sun, in Louisiana heat! If the day bloomers don't open on the weekend, I never see them!

08-20-2004, 10:52 AM
Sandy having nightbloomers when one has to go to work is well worth the money. Now I get to stay home and play but would like a nightbloomer anyway.

I'm learning lots with this thread. I even know how I killed my lotus now


08-20-2004, 03:11 PM
Well koiing perhaps you could list some of your interests... that is the idea of this thread afterall, to help Kntry get ready for the chat. I'm sure she would appreciate your help.

08-20-2004, 03:32 PM
I'd like to hear about how everyone plants their marginal plants. Are there some every body should have in the pond. Does a veggie filter work as good as a regular filter? Best plants for a veggie filter

I hope that is not that is too many questions

08-20-2004, 04:12 PM
Tropical Dayblooming (no viviparous nightbloomers)
Pink: Shirley Byrne, Ruby, Queen of Siam, Independence

Blue/Purple: Dauben, Tina, Lindsey Woods, Panama Pacific, Paul Stetson, August Koch, Bagdad, Islamorada

Lavender: Madame Ganna Walska

White: Crystal, Josephine, Vanilla Sky, Innocence

Yellow: Only one--Carla's Sonshine

There are also hardy viviparous lilies. I believe they all have Col. AJ Welch in their background. Some examples include Colorado, Barbara Dobbins, and Pink Grapefruit. There are many more.

08-20-2004, 05:05 PM
I will add one more lavender thats Viviporous Lavender Lace it is a real pretty lily and highly viviporous,Gary

08-20-2004, 05:15 PM
I will add one more lavender thats Viviporous Lavender Lace it is a real pretty lily and highly viviporous,Gary

What the he(double hockey sticks) does "Viviporous" mean?

08-20-2004, 05:39 PM
It actually means live birth. Getting Nourishment from the mother. They are fleshy nodes on the leaves of some tropicals. They feed off the mother plant and develope into baby lilies. Some hardies do this with their blooms. I have posted pictures of this in the past. gary

08-20-2004, 06:02 PM
What the he(double hockey sticks) does "Viviporous" mean?

Tim, look at page 2 under Viviparous. There are some pics, too!

I like your new avatar! That's cute :D

Jclements - thanks for posting those lilies. That saved me a lot of research tonight! :p

08-20-2004, 08:09 PM
Sandy what time do we need to be there? How are we going to do this. I already have questions for you about the cat litter. I will help anyway possible but it sounds like yoou no more than most of us all ready. I hope Jessica does stop by she know bunches too. gary

08-20-2004, 10:10 PM
7:00 p.m. central time

This is the first time I've tried the cat litter, but it is working great!

Meagain #1b
08-20-2004, 10:56 PM
Hawaii Tammie told me about the litter. One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten. Love it. Stays in the pot & doesn't cloud the water. Conversely, I tried that orange aquatic soil. Yipes!

I hope I don't miss this chat, but I might. I think my Mayla is dieing and I think it's due to incorrect planting. I don't think I fully understand how to plant hardies & I'd like to learn. :(

08-21-2004, 06:01 PM
Jessica wants to come to the chat room tonight but lost her password can someone send it to her please she is very good with water lilies and can probably help us tonight.gary

08-21-2004, 06:09 PM
Gary, pm Minime. He should be able to help her. See ya tonight!!! :D :eek:

08-21-2004, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the help! Can't believe I lost my password so soon! :)

08-24-2004, 11:29 PM
Here is the transcripts:


08-24-2004, 11:33 PM
Thank you Justin!

08-24-2004, 11:40 PM
Hey Justin, you're the greatest! Thanks for posting the chat! :D