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Have any northern (zone 5) pondmeisters successfully overwintered tropical water lilies? If so, how did you do it? I bought one bare root about two months ago and potted it. It's been flowering nicely for the last month. The variety is Panama Pacific.

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Bump for some expert input. Bill Cody. Paging Bill Cody.


Todd La Neve

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Tropical lilies in planting zones 8 and colder should be removed from the pond before the first hard frost.
Wintering can be done is several ways.
1. Store in a green house pond.
2. Remove the plant after the 2nd frost. This allows the tubers to "harden" in prep for winter dormancy. Hose soil from roots and allow to air dry for two days. Remove remaining soil and root fragments as you separate the main or "mother" tuber from the smaller attached tubers before storing them in jars of distilled water at a temperature of 50-55F. Repot them in spring. You can start to regrow them 4 weeks before the pond water gets to 70F. Prior to repotting, tubers can be reated with anit-bacterial, anti-viral and a fungicide - Phy-San. Grow them in a sunny well light place in warm water (aquarium heater if necessay). Transplant to larger containers as growth enlarges and then move them to the pond.
3. Follow instructions above but store tubers in airtight plastic bags of damp not wet sand. Store in a cool dark place at 50-55F. Some report storage works in refrigerator in vegetable crisper although this is usually cooler than the preferred temp for storage. Be prepared for some of the stored tubers to rot during storage.

Good luck. Above info was from a water gardening book - Aquatic Plants & Their Cultivation; H.Nash & S.Stroupe. IMO tropical lilies in waters that freeze are way too much effort compared to some of the really attractive hybrid hardy lilies that are available and need no attention during ice cover.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/06/10 08:38 PM.

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Bill Cody, ladies and gentlemen!

Thanks for that input, Bill. Great info.


Todd La Neve

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Bravo Zulu!


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Panama Pacific is a highly viviparous day bloom tropical waterlily, it sprouts new plants from the nub on the lilypad.

Right about now you might notice these among remnants of the old pads.

Trim off the old stuff, rinse small plant, plonk in glass bowl of water in not too drafty window indoors...

They make pretty feature kept in good light at normal room temperatures

Regards, andy


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