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#211367 - 04/03/10 11:27 AM Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Well I am trying to expand my efforts in getting several strains of tropical water lilies to overwinter, or stay in the pond in subfreezing temps. My other push the boundry projects with lilies are getting strains to survive drawdowns, where they are out of the water and on dry land during the growing season, and maximum depths, have some surfacing from 9 feet deep already.

The reason for this project is tropical lilies are better flower producers, and have more available colors. In colder water temps they can be slow starters, but once they get going they outperform any hardy. Another reason for this is I have tried taking them out of the soil and bringing them in. Results have been mixed at best, and that is just something no customer wants anything to do with. If I can't get them in the ground, or at least stay in the water over our winters, I can't deal with them.

The four varieties I am trying are Albert Greenburg, Pamela Blue, Castaliflora and Tina. I have already succeeded with Panama Pacific. But that is 4 new types, 4 different colors. Some will go containers, some in fountains, some directly into earthen ponds after I get them going in my stock tubs. I am also adding three more 300 gal. rubbermaid stock tanks. I should be able to have 250 lilies at my home base, and even more in ponds and fountains I manage.

If I don't go way outside the box I cannot help people with difficult demanding ponds. For example Jeff has a drawdown pond. I don't know of one single guy out there working to solve that obstacle. I have and am expanding. In my area when anybody has a difficult or a no success project with lilies, people call me in. I hope to have 4-5 tropicals with colors hardies don't have available within a year. And yes, they will have to survive under ice.

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#211371 - 04/03/10 12:43 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
rcn11thacr Offline
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Registered: 01/30/10
Posts: 349
Loc: florida
TPF, Nice to see someone trying to fill a void when they see one. Good luck with the projects.
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#211377 - 04/03/10 01:26 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: rcn11thacr]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
The void is the path less traveled. Most of these people have just given up. I can't have water lilies because...

My pond has a severe drawdown.

I can't have water lilies because...

I have rock or riprapped shorelines down to 7-8 feet.

I can't have tropical water lilies because...

The water temperature in my pond goes below 60F.

I don't perform miracles, I just don't believe in not trying or can't. It might be difficult, it might not even work, but I will try. And the more you try, the harder you try, the more often you are rewarded. And when you succeed, you can expand on that success.

But the best part of all, everyone benefits. My lily supplier sells more lilies. I sell more lilies and most of all the customer gets to have something they want that they have been told they cannot have. It is a sweet set up for me because they have very low expectations to begin with. They have been spoonfed absolutes that are not.

Sadly my business is going less and less fish, more and more aquatic plants. But I go where the business is. And in California the small private pond stocking business is just about done. But the lilies are a lot of fun. Challenges abound and demand is very high. Opportunities to expand are everywhere. Drawdown strains are bank. You just go harvest the plants when they are out of water. I cannot develope enough of them. Droughtbusters.

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#211388 - 04/03/10 03:36 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
rcn11thacr Offline
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Loc: florida
You sound like a small business owner that will succeed...even if you have to come to the east coast
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#211451 - 04/04/10 11:08 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
 Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog

And in California the small private pond stocking business is just about done.


TPF,

Why is that exactly?
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#211459 - 04/04/10 12:15 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: Cecil Baird1]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Stanford Law Students had nothing better to do than sue Cal F and G for planting fish threatening endangered species. As usual with the most imcompetent state agency in the history of mankind, they lost. The ramifications are huge. F and G already halted planting fish in most bodies of water, a practice over 100 years old. They followed up with a study, costing taxpayers $2,000,000. They worked out regs just released. Any hatchery selling non food fish for stocking must go through quarterly inspections. Most if not all have bailed already. Having that agency visit your farm inspecting all species 4 times a year is a disaster. Also private pond owners must get certified by same fools. They can deny a pond a stocking permit if an endangered species might be threatened. If the potential exists. All surface water is now deemed under thier protection also. These are the same morons that were in charge of protecting the Pacific coasts biggest estuary, which has been decimated, and eradicating pike out of Lake Davis, a $20,000,000 fiasco. They have a track record of abysmal failures.

Bunch of silver spooners have nothing better to do than sue an incompetent state agency. Just wiping out another business segment. The hatcheries are going to appeal, but I have my doubts how that will pan out. And F and G will also look for any reason to deny any fish from being imported, ask Jamie from Anderson. Google Stanford lawsuit california fish and game.


Edited by The Pond Frog (04/04/10 12:27 PM)

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#211465 - 04/04/10 01:51 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
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Loc: big moose ny
California sounds worse than ever, between controlling all surface water and charging you for the water from your own well no wonder so many people are moving out.
My daughter lives near Sacramento and she loves the weather but that's about all. A lot of people are leaving NY but thats ok, the less people the better.
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#211473 - 04/04/10 02:46 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: adirondack pond]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
It's bad. They are scaring away most of the good guys that have supplied fish to pond owners for decades. Including members here. And what you will have left is places like proaqua that charge 400-500% above market value to pay for all of the hassles. Stocking a normal one acre pond with a decent bg/lmb population will go from around $1,000 to $4,000.

And a lot of private pond owners are not exactly enamored with the concept of CA F and G coming out to thier private property and telling them whether they can even stock thier own pond on thier own private property.

Another complete fiasco is the septic tanks and leach field disaster. The government is getting more and more intrusive on private property owners, stripping one right after another. It's getting to the point where your paid for private property is owned by you, but controlled by state lackies.

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#211509 - 04/04/10 10:02 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
rcn11thacr Offline
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Registered: 01/30/10
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Loc: florida
TPF, Your ok when you come east...but no straglers.
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#211517 - 04/04/10 10:38 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: rcn11thacr]
ken Offline
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Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
"telling them whether they can even stock thier own pond" That happens when you live in the most lib state. I hope you do good with the lilies adapting to cold water and overwintering under the ice. Tropicals are tropicals for a reason. They are the nicest lilies. I hope you do well.
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#211564 - 04/05/10 11:38 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: ken]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
I am not thinking liberal has anything to do with it. To me it is more or less the America we live in today. A litigious society. Where the brightest minds in private universities are encouraged to sue the government, sue everyone and just find frivelous lawsuits to actually hinder productivity. Class action lawsuits, malpractice suits, even suits protecting the rights of red legged frogs and fairy shrimp.

The second part is most assuredly CA Fish and Game. An agency that ran fine when it was not required to manage anything. But when that changed, it's total ineptness was shown. They stood by and watched an entire estuary become almost extinct. Closed an entire salmon fishery. Closed an entire rockfish business. Blew through millions on one dink lake eradicating one species. Pretty much destroyed anything that was worth fishing for publicly. Now, they are trying to finish the deal on the private end of it.

Which brings us back to the topic. Tropical water lilies. Without hatcheries supplying me fish to stock at a reasonable price I can barely work that segment of my business. Then new pond owners being subject to CA F and G authorization just to plant thier ponds will pretty much end most of the new business. So what is left is stocking already established ponds with overpriced fish. That won't pay for the gas in my truck.

It's a shift over to aquatic plants. Fighting invasive species, providing aquatic landscaping and hopefully expanding the water lily market. That is pretty much all that is left. Luckily I am on the tail end of my career. But where fish are pretty much go or no go in my area, trout and tilipia both die off, I can push the limits on lilies. And although they are for sale at many places, very few individuals take it to the extreme I do planting them. And unlike sticking a tomato plant in the ground and watching it grow, lilies require a lot of experience or expertise, or they just don't work.

I have another job coming up where the guy tried really hard to get them going and just did not get the desired results. Most of my jobs are like that. I get to clean up messes or get it right. Not only do I get desired results but I get to educate customers and support them long term. People generally make a pond, throw some fish in and say let's fish. But when they look at it, something is missing. Aquatic vegetation. You rarely see the fish, they are underwater except when you feed them. But plants are always there. And they can bloom, add color and make the entire pond eye pleasing. But they don't want to work hard after the plants are in.

I need to find out as many tropical lilies as I can to add colors and better flowering duirng peak seasons. Plants that can overwinter, that can be planted directly in the ground and not be taken out. No customer is going to do that. And to expect them to would be foolish on my part. I know after time the plants begin to adjsut as much as genetic limiters allow. They do acclimate. Their offspring are better than the parents. The plants that don't overwinter don't pass on thier genes. It isn't rocket science but it is life science. Plants are very adaptable. That is the whole focus of this. Trying to adapt 5-6 different color, different types to work in my locale. I'll keep journals, careful records and keep trying. The upside is huge. The downside, I lose a few plants. Nothing new there, you just keep experimenting.


Edited by The Pond Frog (04/05/10 11:39 AM)

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#211923 - 04/07/10 05:54 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
 Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
I am not thinking liberal has anything to do with it.


I'm not sure it does either but the more densely populated states do have more regulations especially the east coast. However my state of Indiana, which is quite conservative for the most part, won't hesitate to come up with regulations as a knee jerk reaction to a situation.

As far as litigation, my German relatives in the so called "socialist" Europe can't figure out why a trespasser or burglar can sue the landowner if he gets hurt. It makes absolutely no sense to them.

Thanks for explaining what is going on in California. Such a shame.
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#213085 - 04/16/10 02:45 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: ken]
andrew davis Offline
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Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 185
Loc: Carolina's
Hardy waterlilies bloom more than tropical waterlilies in a cooler range of water, while tropical waterlilies will like 90's waters, hardies will go heat dormant and stop blooming.
It's fairly easy to think one blooms better than the other, when seeing them in different temperature range settings.

Oh, and hardies bloom months earlier in the year with quite often a two months head start...

Regards, andy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21940871@N06/
http://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l42/adavisus/

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#213117 - 04/16/10 09:15 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: andrew davis]
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
 Originally Posted By: andrew davis
Hardy waterlilies bloom more than tropical waterlilies in a cooler range of water, while tropical waterlilies will like 90's waters, hardies will go heat dormant and stop blooming.
It's fairly easy to think one blooms better than the other, when seeing them in different temperature range settings.

Oh, and hardies bloom months earlier in the year with quite often a two months head start...

Regards, andy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21940871@N06/
http://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l42/adavisus/


Thanks for some clarification, Andrew.
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#213183 - 04/17/10 10:53 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: burgermeister]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Well, no. That generalization is not even close. It is very species dependent. I am getting some tropicals with profuse flowers while most of the hardies have not flowered at all. I have 5 species that will flower through ice. Tropicals. I have sold and planted 28 in the last 3 days and have to do 10 more tomorrow. The last of a six day run of 10-12 hours days. But I have to start getting caught up on my customer waiting list. Right now I am down to less than 100 in my inventory. But I am also expanding outside inventories in ponds I manage. I hope to be carrying 250 onsite and have another 250 offsite. Right now I am carrying over 30 species. The tropical species I have in stock outperform every hardy I have, all season long. In lower temperatures. Earlier and better.

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#213185 - 04/17/10 11:33 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
andrew davis Offline
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Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 185
Loc: Carolina's
Well, actually it is generally accurate, from the 200 or so varieties of hardy and tropical waterlilies I tinker with

Photo below shows tropical waterlily starts after a week of growth in Spring, over a month since last freeze (in a cold frame doing 70f-90f) its going to be at least one to two months before they bloom.

These include some of the most cold tolerant of all tropical waterlily known, the Micrantha hybrids

At the same time, the earliest hardies in outdoor ponds have pads at surface, and buds about to pop in a weeks time

Care to specify the names of the five species of tropical waterlily that flower through ice.

It usually takes tropical waterlilies one to two months to bounce back from waters cold enough to have ice, if they had over wintering surviving tubers from which to sprout

Some photo's of these unheard of marvels would be of interest

Regards, andy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21940871@N06/
http://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l42/adavisus/




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#213187 - 04/18/10 01:07 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: andrew davis]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Not really. Sometimes I wish I was a smurf though.

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#213197 - 04/18/10 04:53 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Posts: 10457
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I for one am very interested Pond Frog. Could you please share with me some names of the cultivars/varieties of the hardy tropical water lilies you have experience with that perform so well even with ice cover. I am sure others would be interested as well...
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#213201 - 04/18/10 07:49 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: CJBS2003]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 3135
Loc: big moose ny
I am interested too, which Smurf do you want to be, Papa smurf, or Smurfette,


Edited by adirondack pond (04/18/10 07:53 AM)
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#213211 - 04/18/10 09:56 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: adirondack pond]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Farmer Smurf. He just wears his coveralls and sort of lives outside the village. He brings home the bacon, feeds the village, grumbles a lot and would rather be left alone.

I'm off to plant lilies. I prefer Carhartts.

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#213337 - 04/19/10 10:32 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 3135
Loc: big moose ny
Mr. Pond Frog you should share your lily secrets, it's the Smurfy thing to do.

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#213356 - 04/19/10 11:20 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: adirondack pond]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Where's Farmer Smurf? I don't have any secrets. Yesterday was one of the reasons why I am in this business. First up was the second phase of a pond landscaping project. The customer had tried lilies but was not given good advice and they performed poorly. His desire is to give his pond some visual pizazz but also stay within his local setting. Shade some of the pond. Long term might be going with a trophy trout pond.

This was day 6 on a long run of backed up jobs. And long 10-12 hour days. First phase was to get pond drawn down for deepest planting. I try to get some lilies down around 4 feet. This ponds shoreline was totally lined with large round river rock. Lilies just can't excel growing through them. So I picked out 12 different types, all from my inventory in my special soil blend. Prepotted gives the plants a quick start, way better than bareroot into whatever pond bottom you may have. Some are rootbound ready to explode. I planted two points of a triangle spread around the edges at various intervals as to not look formal. I planned for certain spread. But with short term overlap, this customer wants quick results. If they overpopulate we drawdown and dig out excess. Pretty much have to plan for all contingencies.

Yesterdays phase was bring the water up to a foot below the rockline. I could see many of my previous plants almost reaching the surface. So I could triangulate fairly well with same species. I keep precise notes of what goes where. Even though these are much shallower from the surface it will look like a 3 plant patch filling in. Rocks were removed in a half circle with the flat at the lily planting area. I post hole out a hole for one gallon plant and also break loose soil around the hole. I have all of the lilies in water, in ice chests until planting. The special beaver pond bottom, black muck blend just pops out of the pot, roots holding it all together and is placed in the hole. I then place jagged grey rock, 1 1/2 -3 inch around the base of the lily and press it in. Then I take same material, same color but 1/2 and sprinkle that all over the top, not burying any leaves or flowers. This has two main obejectives. One, keeps plants or rhizomes from floating up. Yes, they will float on you. And it will also keep fish from rooting around the new plants, fish hate pointy rocks. I then place leaves in water to prevent wilting in sun and start filling pond for next phase, marginals.

During this lunchbreak I went to visit DIED and finish up fixing his vandalized boat for leaks. He was not home. My fault. Then since I was in the area, I hit a couple of wineries for tasting. They make frowny faces when Farmer Smurf walks in with his coveralls, even though they are high end Carhartts, brown. I am clean and don't stink like mud. Besides I don't give a ff what they think anyway. I drink my fine wines, buy a bottle, have lots of laughs with other customers at the bar and then the same frowny people thank me for coming in because I make everyone laugh and have a good time.

Back to the pond to check fill and make sure no floaters. All is well, 34 plants total, with one triangle of tropicals that I hope will overwinter, and 1 trial plant. A couple of patches of my droughtbuster species, bareroot floaters with lots of leaves and roots, even flowers nubs. I bring along special soil for same quick nutrient fix. I'd say 90% Hardy.

Sun starts going down, owner said fish all you want. I am getting a lot of two pound cc's and also ultralighting for bg with my fresh out of the box FE II 5 ft from Cabelas. Now I have every 1 piece size. Puffing on a fine cigar I get a takedown on a nitecrawler on one of my lite outfits. Fight and fight, drag is ripping out. 7 lb 5 oz cc on my nicest Kistler. Just has the ultimate sensitivity. Okuma VS-30 with matched 8 lb test. Weigh that fat girl and struggle unhooking it because I can't get my normal cat grip behind the fins and that big fat head. Naturally bites the hell out of my thumb, grunting and laughing at me for sticking it in it's mouth, a what were you thinking moment. Lucky lip hook, gently set back in water and away she swam.

Probably one of the better days in my life and I am working. On days like this I count my blessings and give the customer an additional 10% off just to let me fish, without being asked.

Next up, marginals.

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#213359 - 04/19/10 11:40 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
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Loc: big moose ny
Interesting planting technique, what varieties do you recommend for a cold climate like mine?
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#213361 - 04/19/10 11:53 AM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: adirondack pond]
The Pond Frog Offline
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Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
As far as the planting technique, that varies with what time of year it is and if plants are dormant, late season or emerging, also. It really varies. But I really like going with blended soil in containers with roots coming out of bottom.

To be completely honest, I don't have experience in your neck of the woods. Out here, some call me an expert. I just laugh, hopefully what I try works, it usually does and I get all my business from word of mouth.

I really like to see seasons lowest temps, icing, customer risk aversion or tolerance for failure, soil type, water clarity, amount of sun per day in hours, color preference, plant size preference, budget, timeline, density, then I sacrifice a chicken and say three hail mary's.

Even though I always say every pond is different, every climate is not. A general safe rule of thumb I always give people without visitng thier pond in person and eyeballin it is what plants or lilies in your case work in your immediate area. It would be reckless of me to just throw out species and say go for it. But if that is what you want...


Edited by The Pond Frog (04/19/10 11:56 AM)

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#213363 - 04/19/10 12:06 PM Re: Trying Tropical Lilies to Overwinter in Freezing [Re: The Pond Frog]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
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Loc: big moose ny
I'm not looking for guarantees I like to experiment, I had a Calla Lily on the artificial island last year but being hardy to only zone 8 naturally it was done in the fall. Do you think similar varieties would work if planted 4 ft deep? I'm in zone 3.
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