We finish selling waterlilies in late march to mid April depending on the weather. September is when we warm up again and start selling our waterlilies.Some of the most common questions we are asked are answered below.How deep do ponds need to be and where should you site them? What types of lilies are there and which one would suit my pond?Ponds for water lilies need only be 300mm to 1.5m deep and require still water in full sun. The most suitable depth for most ponds is 350mm. Different levels of flat areas or shelves are useful for placing crates or pots of lilies on. Like most plants, lilies vary in their requirements and require different depths to do well. Most ponds for waterlilies should have full, all day sun. Chromatella, a hardy soft yellow, is the most reliable deep water lily and in fact has not entirely died off this last mild winter. It is also the hardiest we grow. Carnea, a hardy blush pink and white is entirely happy in 60cm water. If you have a more shaded pond then James Brydon with rich, pinkish red blooms and dark red leaves is a good choice. Flower shape varies considerably. Many waterlilies have a simple form yet others are very double with rows of petals. The big Monet-like double white Gonnere never fails to make folk ooh and ahh. Leaves vary too. Some are small, some large. The dwarf Indianna has masses of small heart shaped leaves yet Superba has plate sized floating foliage. Red lilies have pink or reddish edges. Yellows, apricots and changeables (change colours) have variegated leaves with a green background. Colorado is our most spectacular changeable lily. These are patterned with red, gold and dark purple markings. White lilies have fresh green leaves. How do you keep waterlilies happy? What fertilizers can you use and how do you plant them?When potting lilies use a commercial aquatic mix, or ordinary garden soil with a little clay and compost added. Fertilize with low nitrogen food ( 1 tsp per plant) in the lower level of each basket. Pond tabs may be used. Cow pats can be used in large natural ponds. Place the tubers along near the top of the soil, with most roots downwards and leaves up at a 45 degree angle. Place small stones in the bottom of the pot before the mix and around the tubers on the top of the pot. This saves mess and also adds weight to the pot. Tropical lilies are corms or cone shaped balls. They must be planted with just a little of the top out of the mix. Small stones help pin them down. When and where do you buy waterlilies?Waterlilies are sold in garden centres from late August until March or April, depending on the weather. Remember that all lilies are dormant plants in winter so when they die down they are not dead, just resting. This is why they are not sold in the winter. Lilies start flowering from October, November and December and tropicals start a little later when the heat gets up. Our have flower buds in mid August this year.
Check out www.nikauhill.co.nz for pictures of lilies and more water gardening tips. What do waterlilies dislike?Any fountains should be sited away from the lilies because they dislike spray or flowing water. The quickest way to upset lilies is to place them in moving water with a fountain splashing away. Then there are DUCKS!!! You will need to net lilies off while establishing them if you have wildlife. This is when I say good luck with the project. Note We cannot guarantee successful establishment of lilies and plants if ducks are around or if you have moving water.March is the last month for waterlily sales and September is when we resume again.