Nymphaea- Water Lily

This water plant obviously appeals to people’s imagination, for everyone wants a water lily in his pond. Fortunately this presents no problem.

Situation:

The large hybrids require a water depth of between 60 and 100 cm, but there are numerous hybrids which are satisfied with less; the minimum is approximately 20 cm. For profuse flowering a sunny situation is essential. If too much foliage is developed it is advisable to thin the plants out from time to time.

Soil:

The rhizomes may grow to enormous size. Initially water lilies are usually planted in a plastic basket or a box, filled with a mixture of clay and humus; they are inserted slantwise. To prevent the clay rising to the surface, the soil is covered with a layer of river sand and the whole is lowered into the pond. A piece of iron or stone will anchor it down. After a few years the root-stock will probably grow well outside the basket, but that need not worry us. Ensure that it cannot freeze up.

Propagation:

Old rhizomes can be divided in spring; each of the sections must bear at least one shoot.

Nymphaea alba, the native white water lily: water depth 1-2 m; extremely vigorous, too much so for a small pond. ‘Rosea’ has crimson flowers, in ‘Rubra’ they are rose red. Nymphaea hybrids: The most popular. The following are suitable for small ponds with a depth of 30-50 cm: ‘Aurora’, orange yellow, shading to dark red; ‘Froebelii’, a dwarf form with star-shaped crimson flowers; ‘Pygmaea Alba’, dwarf form with white flowers; ‘Rose Are’, bright pink; ‘Sioux’, copper coloured with a red margin. For larger ponds with a depth of at least 60 cm: ‘Colonel A. J. Welch’, deep yellow; ‘Colossea’, orange pink; ‘Marliacea Albida’, fragrant white flowers; ‘Marliacea Chromatella’, pale-yellow flowers and brown-blotched leaves; and ‘Rene Gerard’, double flowers, crimson with yellow.

For very large ponds: ‘Escarboucle’, large, dark red flowers; ‘Gladstonia’, large white flowers; and ‘Vir-ginalis’, also with large white flowers.

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