Hi i just wanna share my experience in growing stargazer lilies in the Philippines. since college days I’ve been attracted to those big flowers often seen in flower arrangements. from time to time you will encounter vendors in side streets selling cuttings with roots claimed to be stargazers , even showcasing an all grown stargazer in a pot with different flower colors saying that it is hybrids WARNING! THEY ARE FAKES ive learned that the hard way haha!
skipping the part where i was victimize 3 times ….uuuuurgh i’m just so trance by the flower that i skip doing the research first part , believing that those little stalk will grow to be a beautiful flowering plant blah blah blah.
After wondering why the leaves seemed different from what ive seen on stargazers in flower shops i finally decided to take my sweet time and do the research T_T
> stargazers are not grown from stem but from bulbs
> a stargazer plant does not have multiple color for a flower in one plant
so after blackmailing my Partner with my puppy eyes and cuteness i got her to buy me a potted stargazer for valentines yey! might i add that it is bought from a reputable nursery in QC circle, i heard they are the same people operating the seedling bank before, behold! a true stargazer! (see picture below)

Day 1
i took pictures of my stargazer everyday to document how each flower open (^_^)
day 2
Day 3
Day 4 12 mid night
Day 4 6am
Day 5
well the guy at the nursery says that my flower pot should stay indoor for the bloom to last longer but because i found articles saying they need full sun i let it sit for hour outside and tada! ( picture below) petals started to came off…….next time ill just keep it indoor xp
Day 6
so following the guidelines from google after the bloom are gone i let the plant die back naturally (do not cut) giving it time to store food and nutrients for the next blooming season.
finding reference is quite difficult, most of the guidelines in growing stargazer is set in a four climate setting , some even discourage gardeners in tropical climate against planting stargazer. but there is no harm in trying right?
so after my stargazer died back to the ground i dug the bulb, now this is the tricky part, since stargazer is an oriental bulb it needs freezing time searching online i found two contradicting guideline in storing bulbs in refrigerator.
option 1. > put the bulbs with moist mulch or peat moss in a container with holes
pro:air holes prevent anaerobic circulation that may cause the bubs to rot.
con: there may be are ripe fruits that releases gas that can rot the bulbs
: moisture can seep out through the hole ( drying out the bulb =dead) requiring you to regularly check if it still moist
option 2 – put the bulb in sandwich bag sealed with moist tissue or peat moss.
pros: moisture is maintained , required less misting
cons: Anaerobic circulation that cause bulb to rot
after much debate i decided to do both since this is in a way an experiment, so i put the main bulb in a container with holes and some of its scales in a sandwich bag with a moist tissue….

i tried to check the bulbs at least once a week opening the sandwich bag to air it out once in a while preventing the anaerobic circulation and using an empty perfume for misting. label your sandwich bag and container properly because if like me you are not the only one using the refrigerator someone might mistake it for something else and put it in the trash its better be safe than sorry
these are the container I’ve used
its end of May,so after the much anticipation the moment of truth arrives! its time to re sprout my bulbs! so i arrived with the conclusion that putting bulbs in a sandwich bag is better than a container with holes.(i forgot to take pictures sorry)
Bulbs from the container with holes have a bit of brown discoloration most probably because air in the refrigerator is contaminated from the gas that leaks from fruits and vegetables that is also in the fridge while the bulbs from the sandwich bag is super healthy and looks so fresh so i repot them in the same container from before putting the main bulb in the center and the scales around noting that the bulb must be 3 times deeper than its size
picture taken 2 weeks after i put it back in the pot they are looking super healthy
Scared that the sun outside is too hot for my babies i put them under artificial lighting combining yellow light and white light and just to be extra careful that they are nor baking because its really hot these days even its suppose to be already rainy season i put blue ice around the pot to maintain cold temperature.
its the 3rd week of june and to my dismay i found 2 of my sprouts are withering upon much inspection the cause is over watering T_T
in my attempt to rescue the remaining alive sprouts i drained the pot squeezing out the water and repotting the remaining sprouts ….its so sad that the main bulb melted but i manage to salvage some scales i put it in a sandwich bag with paper towel and put it in the fridge hoping its not too late.
ill update this post later on.

Growing Lilies in Pots

Why grow lilies in pots when they are so easy to grow in the ground? For those of us who desire to grow less than hardy varieties, container growing may be the only solution as less hardy varieties will not survive a winter in the ground. Short-stemmed or dwarf lilies are an excellent choice for container gardening and help to beautify your surroundings and landscape. There are also many gardeners who prefer pot culture as they find them more convenient to care for. What ever your reason may be, here you will find the information you need to grow them successfully.

When we were open to the public visiting the lily gardens, we grew and sold thousands of potted lilies for people to take home over a number of years. We were proud to grow the healthiest potted lilies you would find anywhere, grown in the great outdoors under natural conditions and during the same typical growing season as our lilies in the ground. We started potting lilies in late March and continued to the first week of May. The information that follows is the exact procedure used during our years in the greenhouse & nursery business as well as when we decided to specialize in lilies. Of course, the methods were fine-tuned over the years.

After potting, they are watered until it is coming out the drainage holes of the pot, then slow release fertilizer is added on top the soil. Trays are moved to the unheated shop where they sit for a minimum of 2 weeks to root – keeping them on the cold side encourages them to develop healthy, extensive root systems before they send out shoots, just as they do in the ground. They are not watered at all during this period, and they don’t require it because they are kept cool, in the dark and don’t dry out. By this time most of them are just beginning to poke through the soil, and it’s time to move them outdoors into some sunshine. Out they go, often going through a frost or two before really starting to grow in May. Once sprouted, we only protect them from freezing if temperatures threaten to go below -5 celcius.

Knowing when to water the lilies takes experience and attention to detail at this stage – typically they are watered only when the soil is visibly dry, about every 3 days from May to the end of June. Windy days can mean watering every day, or rain can mean no watering for days on end! Dwarf varieties are ready to bloom by the middle or end of June, the rest are approaching 3 feet in height and watering is now needed on a daily basis, depending on the winds and temperatures.

After flowering, the inflorescence is cut off so the plant spends its energy building a bigger bulb rather then producing seed. We let up on the watering, gradually letting them dry out now until we discontinue watering at the end of August so the stems can mature and dry off. Any bulbs I wish to keep over winter remain in the pots, which go back into the unheated shop with a couple mothballs in the pot to keep the mice away. Of course, the dead stems are pulled off before placing them in storage. Sound simple doesn’t it? It really is, and I encourage you to try it yourself especially if you want to grow those fragrant, less than hardy beauties year after year!

Things to consider before planting:

  • Length of time they will remain in pots
  • Stem height at maturity
  • Container size and suitability
  • Your available time to care for them
  • Number of bulbs to plant per pot

Container Choices

Large pots, the bigger the better is my motto! The larger the soil volume in the pot, the less chance there is of baking or freezing the bulbs within. This is especially important if the pots are black or dark colored, and they sit in full sun all day.

Orientals, orienpets, trumpets and asiatics that grow taller than 24 inches require a sturdy pot that will not tip over easily as the stems grow to mature height and become top-heavy with flowers. Typically, we put one oriental or orienpet bulb per one gallon nursery pot. The size of one gallon is misleading when it comes to nursery pots because at first glance it is easy to see that it would really only hold about a half gallon – don’t ask me why the nursery trade sizes or labels things this way! The actual dimensions of the pot are what counts in the end, and the one gallon pot is usually 6 inches in diameter and 8 to 10 inches in depth. When planting 3 bulbs to one pot, we prefer to plant in a container with an 8 to 12 inch diameter, with at least the same depth as the one gallon pot. You may wish to place rocks at the bottom of the pot prior to adding soil or bulbs, in order to add weight so it won’t tip easily in wind. MAKE SURE there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot no matter what size, color or shape it is – drainage is the most important element with lilies! Don’t settle for a layer of rock or gravel as drainage without holes, use pots with holes! Many a gardener has told me about how they thought they’d spend less time watering by using pots without drainage holes, or how they didn’t like the water running out the bottom onto their deck, so they blocked the holes – only to find the plants rotting away a week or so after some steady rain filled the pots and they didn’t notice until it was too late. This is more apt to happen with planters full of annuals since you can’t see the soil surface once they fill out, but the same can happen with lilies. All the water may be sitting at the bottom 3 inches of the pot (exactly where the roots and bulb are) and you won’t know it because you can’t see it.

Another key consideration when choosing pots is the depth, all lily bulbs need at least 4 inches of soil over top the bulb to grow well and an inch of soil at the bottom. Add an inch to the top for watering purposes and that means you should not plant in anything shallower than 6 inches. Be aware that the smallest bulbs need these minimums, bigger bulbs need more soil over the top, closer to 6 inches if the stems are to remain sturdy at maturity.

Soil and Potting Mixes

Lilies LOVE sandy soil, no question about it and my observations and experiments with different mixes over the years proves it. In every case, when sand dominates the potting mix, bulbs develop very healthy, thick roots in abundance. Bulbs increase in size quite dramatically in sand, in contrast to using a basic potting mix without sand. Basic potting mixes tend to encourage bulb and root rot because of the high peat content, and I also notice the bulbs seem to decrease in size rather than increase – especially when overwatered. Because sand makes up the majority of the mix and holds no nutrients, fertilizing becomes more important.

Recommended potting mix for lilies:

2 parts sand
1 part loam
1 part peat


40% sand
30% peat
30% compost


The best investment you can make in ANY of your plants is in the fertilizer. The rewards of regular feeding are well worth the effort, resulting in healthier plants, bigger flowers in bigger quantity and the ability to resist pests and disease with ease. Fertilizer is especially important in the early growth stages. Compare it to building a house – you want a sturdy foundation (your plants need sturdy root systems) and you know the strongest wall is useless if the foundation can’t handle it! The first decision comes in choosing the type of fertilizer that suits you best. I prefer to use slow release pellets because it saves me time and I don’t have to remember when I last fertilized. It is applied once at the beginning of the season and that’s it. You might prefer to mix water soluble types and water with them weekly, or perhaps you are big on organic types such as fish fertilizer. Another worthy tip is to only use fertilizers mixed with water on pots that are already moist, never apply fertilizer to a dried out pot because it will surely result in leaf burn. Whatever you may prefer, just be sure to establish a routine and use it – you won’t regret it! Regrets only happen when you disregard the mixing instructions, so please read them and follow them to the letter because twice the fertilizer doesn’t mean twice the bloom – it usually means damage to the plant.

For bigger blooms and bulbs the next year, be sure to apply tomato fertilizer at least once immediatly after blooming is finished, twice would be better yet. In this case, I would suggest using a water soluble tomato fertilizer mixed at full strength according to the package directions, any vegetable fertilizer will do the trick.

What To Do After Planting

Ideally, you want to keep your potted bulbs quite cool for a couple weeks while they root. A temperature of +5 Celcius is perfect. After they poke through the soil, you still want to keep them as cool as possible, but this time in light. Keeping them cool rather than warm will ensure, strong, sturdy stalks instead of weak stems. I encourage you to place your potted lilies outdoors after potting and leave them there day and night – no need to cover or move them inside unless temperatures go below -5 Celcius. The bulb inside the pot is insulated by the soil, and if the lily sprouts in cool temperatures it can handle a few degrees of frost after sprouting without any damage. Keep them cool in natural conditions from the start!


The biggest danger to potted lilies is overwatering, I just can’t stress it enough. Lilies love plentiful moisture, but only when good drainage is also present. Waterlogged bulbs will rot quickly and easily, usually you won’t even know this is occurring until you unpot the bulb or it starts to look sickly for no apparent reason. Water when planted, then not again until dry after poking through the soil. From that point on, water only when dry.

How Long To Bloom?

Depending on the variety grown, 2-3 months from potting results in flowers. Weather makes it difficult to predict exactly when they will bloom when grown outdoors. Orientals take 2-4 weeks longer, as will most orienpets and trumpets. That’s why we start potting these varieties in March, with asiatics and LA’s to follow in late April.

After Blooming Care

Cut flower tops off to promote bulb growth, but be sure to cut no more than one-third of the stem total. Lilies gather their energy through photosynthesis, this makes it important to leave them with as much foliage as possible so they can grow and flower admirably the following year. Continue to water the pots when dry until late August then reduce watering so the stems can yellow and wither away. Yes, they will look unsightly for a time, but wait until they are quite yellow and brown before cutting the stem off at soil level. Pots can then be stored as is, without watering, in a cool spot for winter or unpotted and bulbs placed in peat or sawdust shavings in a cool place such as a cold pit or refrigerator, ready for potting the next spring.

A Note Of Caution: Quite frequently I am asked if the bulbs can remain in the pot and left outdoors for winter, and my response is always a resounding NO – not in my climate anyway. In a typical winter if a pot was left above ground, regardless of how big it was the bulbs inside would be mush by spring time. It doesn’t matter if they are zone 1 or zone 3 rated, they will be mush if left above ground. You could however, dig a hole anywhere in the ground and put the pot and all in that hole, push dirt level with it and it would be just fine the following spring with nothing more to do than pull it up, clean the outside and start caring for it just as you did the previous year.

In spring 2013 a friend was quite happy to prove me wrong. She had asked the previous fall if she could leave some in pots and I told her no. Apparently she did anyway and in May she could see sprouts coming! She let me know and I was shocked, truly. The following week I was working in the gardens here and happened to walk out behind the shop. Imagine my surprise to see crates of lilies (and not asiatics, but non-hardy Star Gazers of all things!) on the ground with sprouts nearly 6 inches tall happily growing! Behind the shop is where crated lilies grown and cut for weddings each year reside, and the previous fall it had snowed before I had a chance to clean up and trash what was left, which was nothing but bulbs in the soil as the stems were cut off. I was totally baffled by this until my husband pointed out that they were under 6 feet of snow back there – no way they would have survived otherwise! This would also be the reason why my friend’s bulbs survived in their potted homes since we had an abundance of snow in the area the winter of 2012-2013.

How do i Store lily bulbs??

Alex, depends on what kind of Lilium, there are many types and various rooting systems, most are just left in the ground over winter, in any case most of them need to be in the ground or pots by Autumn.
Stored bulbs shrivel and if you buy shop or garden centre bulbs it is best to rest them in damp peat or compost to bulk up again.
All you needed to do was dig down to the bulb remove any bulbils (Tiny Plates attached to the main bulb) then refresh the soil around and above the bulb and place in a shelter spot until they start to show leaf.
I lift mine every three years divide them up and spread them out replanting them as I go, Any bulbils taken should be put into pots in a sheltered space and left to grow on around three years to flowers depending on type.
Refresh the soil with half compost and half loam and grit mixed then replant the bulbs put them in a sheltered place and they will show in spring, do not over water, stick a finger in the pot and it should have just a bit of the fibre on it, if the finger is muddy let them dry out a bit. Few plants need much water in winter just damp is enough.
Hope this helps but you can bet there will be other thoughts on this, we all have our ways.


Advances in over-winter storage of commercial lily bulbs have allowed gardeners to buy and plant lilies in the spring. But autumn is still the best time to get them in the ground.

Deeply planted and well-mulched, lily bulbs planted in fall will take all but the coldest days of the season to establish themselves before taking off in the spring. Fall planting assures bulb preservation and a good, strong start.

Lilies are unique perennials that give us tall, spectacular spring and summer flowers. The remarkable plants hoist striking, sweet-smelling blossoms above the other flowers, annual and otherwise, in our gardens. Careful planting helps guarantee you’ll have colorful, graceful blossoms come next growing season and many seasons thereafter.


Fox Farm® Happy Frog Bulb Food contains extra phosphorus for sustained flowering and potassium to help plants become more disease resistant. Works great on all flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Includes mycorrhizae and humic acid too!

You’ll want to place your lilies where they will receive adequate sunshine. Full sunlight to partial shade is best. But the most important consideration in planting lilies is drainage. Sticking the bulbs in heavy clay soils can make for a lily disaster. Without proper drainage, lilies will be stunted and have less chance of surviving year to year.

Avoid places in your garden where water may collect. Lilies don’t like wet feet. Not only does saturated soil impair their growth, it allows fungus and and the few other diseases that attack them to gain a foothold. Yet lilies need a constant supply of water. Adding plenty of organic material that holds the moisture that roots can draw from is as important as maintaining good drainage.

To improve soil drainage, dig up the patch where lilies will go — they’ll be spaced 8 to 10 inches apart, 15 inches for larger types — and add sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir in an amount equal to 1/3rd the volume of soil dug. Turn up an area large enough to hold as many bulbs as you plan to plant and to accommodate the their multiplication from year-to-year. But make the space no larger than the space you want them to occupy. Planting lilies in raised beds or along walkways and borders helps confine them.

Turning the soil deeply — double digging — will help facilitate good drainage.

Adding perlite or vermiculite to your soil will improve both drainage and aeration, things that help keep bulbs from rot and disease. Mixes of peat, perlite and limestone with other minerals that help lighten heavy soils are a good choice as long as they don’t make existing soils alkaline. Lilies tolerate a range of pH readings depending on their type. Asian lilies do best in slightly acidic soils, 7.0 (neutral) down to 6.0. Oriental lilies are alkaline averse, preferring soils with a pH from 5.5 to 6.5.

Pine needles and certain leaf mulches can help keep soils on the acidic side. All soils should be amended with plenty of compost and organic matter to help keep them from drying out completely. This is especially important with sandy soils.

You can aid moisture drainage by planting you lilies on a slope where gravity helps carry away the excess. In addition to containing their spread, raised beds allow for heaping soil, something that also uses gravity to prevent soggy conditions.

There are a number of methods to determine how deep to plant your lilies. Some sources recommend three times the length of the bulb, other say anywhere from four to nine inches beneath the soil. Check growing instructions for the particular type of lily you plant. Some — namely the Madonna lily — need no more than one inch of soil to cover. We’ve found that five inches deep work for most regular sized bulbs. Smaller bulbs can be planted less deeply.

Spread the roots at the bottom of the bulb and stand bulbs upright on their bed. If you’re planting in groups, say in a side circle, plant no more than five or six in a cluster. Cover with soil then water thoroughly so that the dirt will settle around the plants roots. Label each plant in the group with a garden marker if you like, or just wait to be surprised in the spring.

Mulching over winter helps protect both your soil and bulbs. Regions where winters are continuously wet need less mulch, those with long cold winters — we’ve known folks who keep lilies year after year in cold zone three — need more. Don’t be in a hurry to remove mulch in the spring. Lily shoots are extremely delicate. Give them a chance to extend out of the mulch.

Once started, lily growing is particularly easy. Need a primer? Here you go.

How do you prepare summer bulbs such as calla lilies for the winter?

Zantedeschias or calla lilies are tender perennials grown from tubers and like other summer bulbs, they should be dug from the garden and stored when planted in cold winter climates. Callas are marginally cold hardy in my zone 7 garden so I choose between two methods; sometimes I plant them in pots and store in my lathe house over the winter or I treat them as an annual and let nature take its course.

Here is a list of summer bulbs, including calla lilies that require winter protection with details on how to store them.

Hardy in zones 9 to 11. In fall, once the flowering ceases and before the first frost, bring in begonias for the winter. Leave them alone until the stems dry and pull off easily. Store “as is” in pots or dig up the tubers. Dug tubers should be allowed to dry for a few days and then stored in layers of slightly moist vermiculite or sawdust. Keep in a room that stays at approximately 40 F to 55 degrees F.

Hardy in zones 9 to 10. Treat as an annual or dig and store the bulbs for winter. If growing in a flower bed, dig the bulbs after a frost has killed the foliage and store them in saw dust or mulch. If grown in containers, move the container indoors and allow the plant to go dormant.

Hardy in zones 10 to 11. Treat as an annual or lift them after the first frost. Allow the tubers to dry thoroughly, and then layer the tubers in dry peat or vermiculite and store them in an area that remains around 50 to 60 degrees F. Check the tubers occasionally to make sure they are plump but dry.

Calla Lily
Hardy in zones 7 to 10. In northern gardens, after the foliage has been damaged by a frost, cut off the tops about 2 inches above the soil line. Dry the calla rhizomes in a warm, dry location for one or two weeks. Then bury the rhizomes in vermiculite, sawdust, or peat moss, and store them in a cool (45 to 55 degrees F), frost-free area. Callas can be started indoors ahead of time in late winter to early spring, and then moved to the garden after the threat of frost has passed. Callas grown in pots can be brought indoors before the first fall frost to continue growing over winter as houseplants. Move them outdoors again in spring, once frosts are passed and night temperatures remain above 40 degrees F.

Hardy in zones 7 to10. After first fall frost has blackened the foliage, or the foliage begins to wither, cut the stems back 4 to 6 inches. Store cannas grown in containers as is, with no further watering. In ground rhizomes should be dug and stored. Allow the fleshy stem stubs to dry before them packing the tubers in slightly moistened sand, vermiculite or peat moss. Keep in a cool location (40 degrees to 50 degrees F). Check on them periodically to make sure they do not dry out.

Hardy in zones 8 to 11. Treat as an annual or bring them indoors to overwinter. Dig the bulbs after the plant has died back and store them in sawdust or mulch. If grown in containers, move the container indoors and allow the plant to go dormant.

Hardy in zones 6 to 10. The variety ‘Lucifer’ is cold hardy up to zone 5 if given a protective layer of mulch. In colder zones, before the first fall frost, dig the corms and store them on a tray in dry peat moss in an area with temperatures between 40 degrees F to 48 degrees F.

Hardy in zones 8 to10 and often in zone 7 with a heavy layer of mulch. Store potted dahlias in their containers. In ground bulbs should be lifted. Be careful not to break or cut the tuber “necks.” Do not wash the bulbs to remove soil. Store them away from drafts at 40 degrees F to 50 degrees F in a paper bag or box filled with peat moss or dry sand. Check them frequently for shriveling or decay.

Hardy in zones 7 to 10. These bulbs are best grown in containers that can be brought indoors for winter protection. Cease watering and leave bulbs undisturbed.

Hardy in zones 7 to 10. Dig after the foliage browns. Cut the stems back to 1-inch above the corm. Dry, and then remove the excess debris and store them in paper bags. Keep the bags in an area safe from mice at a temperature between 35 degrees F to 45 degrees F. If gladiolus were grown in pots, bring them indoors, stop watering and store them in their containers until spring.

Hardy in zones 8 to 10. This plant can be treated as a houseplant indoors or it dig up from the garden and dry it with the soil attached. Plants grown in containers can be dried and stored “as is.”

Hardy in zones 8 to 10. Dig up before the first hard frost. Cut the foliage back to 2-inches and store it in peat moss at 60 to 65 degrees F. Check frequently for shriveling.

Do you have a hard time keeping your lilies blooming? Well, we are here to help you develop a green thumb! Whether you are interested in gifting or have just received an Easter Lily, we have some pro tips to make those flowers blossom.

Easter Lilies are white, trumpet-shaped flowers that have become increasingly popular for their attractive blooms and wonderful fragrance. Native to the southern islands of Japan, 95 percent of Easter Lilies now come from an area along the border of California and Oregon. They can grow up to three feet tall and blossom from April to June, which makes them perfect for the Easter holiday.

How to care for your potted Easter Lily

If you just picked up a potted Easter Lily to brighten up your home for spring, follow the steps below for how to care for your potted Easter Lily.

Step 1: Unwrap your plant immediately once you get home. The decorative packaging they often come in can waterlog the plant causing the roots to rot or deteriorate.

Step 2: Remove the anthers. The anthers are the tall stems that grow from the center of the bloom. Removal can prolong the life of the flower and prevent pollen from staining the pristine white petals.

Step 3: Find a bright spot for it to grow. Avoid any areas of your home with too much direct sunlight as this is sure to shorten their lifespan.

Step 4: Keep it cool. Be sure your plant is protected from any heat sources or vents and try to keep your home between 60°F and 68°F.

Step 5: Water when the soil is dry to touch. Avoid over-watering or letting it sit in water but do not let it stay dry for a prolonged period of time either.

Step 6: Remove any fading flowers. Pruning any withering petals will help promote new growth.

Once your lily has survived the colder days of spring, you can plant it outside and enjoy it throughout summer as well! We also have a brief guide below that outlines how to plant your potted Easter Lily.

Planting your Easter Lily outside

Wait until flowers have finished blooming: To successfully transplant a lily to your garden, wait until all flowers have faded and all danger of frost has passed.

Prune your plant: Be sure to remove any dead or dying blooms. Once you have pruned all blossoms, select an area with bright, indirect light.

Plant the bulb: Plant the bulb to the same depth it was in the pot and then add a few inches of mulch around the roots. Avoid placing much near the stem because it could cause rotting.

Water well while the plant is blooming and continue to prune: Once the original leaves start to brown, trim back to the green leaves. You will begin to see new growth soon! Be sure to water thoroughly at the beginning and during periods of growth.

Be patient and fertilize ahead of the colder months: For some plants, you may have to wait until the next summer to see a second bloom. Cut the stem when it begins to turn brown in the fall and apply a generous amount of mulch to insulate the roots through winter.

The Meaning Behind Easter Lilies

Easter Lilies and Christianity

Easter Lilies are linked to Christianity as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. They are also referenced in the Bible. In the book of Luke, Jesus himself says, “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” This tradition is carried on in Christian churches around Easter when they adorn their altars with crosses and beautiful white lilies.

Easter Lilies and Paganism

Easter Lilies are also often linked to motherhood, which is why they’re a great Mother’s Day gift to show your mom how much you appreciate her. They are said to have sprung from the mother’s milk that fell from Hera, the goddess of women and marriage according to Greek mythology.

Across religions, these lovely white flowers symbolize purity and grace.

Now that you are versed in the care, repotting and even history of Easter lilies you need to find one to display as your Easter centerpiece. If you need a handy reminder, print or save this quick guide with basic Easter Lily care tips.

No pond? No problem! Water lilies thrive in containers

Yellow Thammanoon’ is a small freely-flowering tropical that has light-yellow flowers 3 to 5 inches across, and a leaf spread of 1.5 to 3 feet. Posted: March 04, 2010 SHARE ‘Yellow Thammanoon’ is a small freely-flowering tropical, with light-yellow flowers 3 to 5 inches across, and a leaf spread of 1.5 to 3 feet. Jeanette Atkinson An old hybrid from 1856, ‘Dauben’ is one of the most foolproof small water lilies in the trade. Variable in color, it ranges from near-white to powder-blue. Jeanette Atkinson These bare-root hardy pygmy water lilies have just been unpacked and are being divided to populate various water features. They don’t need a lake to thrive; buckets and fountains are fine by them. Jeanette Atkinson

By Jeanette Atkinson

Posted: March 04, 2010 0

You don’t have to own acreage or spend a fortune to enjoy a water garden. By pairing small or dwarf plants with interesting containers, you can have a little bit of paradise right on your patio or balcony.

Many water lilies bear flowers 6 to 12 inches wide and spread 12 square feet or more. Fortunately, they also come in much smaller sizes, and certain standard varieties will dwarf themselves in a confined space.

There are two categories of water lilies: the tropicals and the hardies. Hardy water lilies are bred for cold tolerance and do not perform well in hot climates. Tropicals prefer water temperatures of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anything that holds water can support a water garden. If you’re putting a garden on a balcony or deck, remember that water weighs 10 pounds per gallon. Terra cotta pots can be sealed with polyurethane spray or multi-surface sealer. Plug drainage holes with plumber’s epoxy, a softened candle stub, or other impermeable material. Chemicals and alcohol residues in wooden half-barrels can kill aquatic plants and animals. Line wooden containers with heavy-duty plastic, or seal .

A 15-25 gallon container is perfect for a small water garden. A dwarf water lily can inhabit a smaller container happily, although it isn’t wise to go below 3 gallons ? 5 inches of water over the crown is optimal. The larger the pot in which the lily is planted, and the larger the area the leaves have to spread, the larger the flowers and leaves will grow. Ample room also promotes the production of more flowers, and greater water volume provides better insulation from temperature extremes.

While a blooming water lily can make a stunning display by itself, marginal, oxygenating and floating plants add interest and make it easier to achieve an ecological balance. Marginal plants are those which grow at the edges of water bodies. The optimal amount of water over the roots varies with each species. Set them on bricks or concrete blocks inside the container to attain the proper growing depth.

Many highly aggressive floating plants are banned in Florida. The tiny floating plants ? duckweed and azolla, both native to Florida ? may hitchhike in on other plants. They reproduce aggressively, but are easy to skim off, and make good compost.

One water lily, one or two marginal plants and an oxygenating plant make a good start for a large tub. Oxygenating plants retard the growth of algae by releasing oxygen to the water and absorbing excess nutrients. Floating plants and water lily leaves help control algae by depriving it of sunlight. You may opt for a more lushly-planted, instant-effect water garden by adding more marginals, but be careful not to overcrowd the water lily, and be prepared to thin and repot the marginals as they grow.

Leave at least one-quarter to one-third of the water surface free of plants, both for esthetics and to allow sunlight to reach the growing tip of the lily.


Plant water lilies in a pot; water gently to dislodge air pockets, and submerge the pot in a larger container, or plant directly in the container itself. Tropicals should be planted in the center of the pot in 4-5 inches of the closest approximation of heavy loam soil you can get.

Do not use pure sand or potting mixtures containing peat or vermiculite. Neither provides enough structural stability for good root development, and peat and vermiculite will float. Peat also may make the water too acidic. Generic kitty litter is sometimes suggested as a potting medium, but it can compact around the roots, and it becomes a slimy mess once soaked. Like sand, it offers no nutritional value. Well-composted manure or compost can be added to the soil, but they may make the water dark.

Be sure not to cover the growing tip of the water lily ! Former executive director of the International Water Lily and Water Gardening Society Paula Biles cites “PTD” disease – “planting too deeply” – as the main killer of water lilies. After planting the lily, place a 1-inch layer of pea gravel over the soil to stabilize the plant and help keep the water clear. Do not cover the crown with gravel.

Start potted bare-root plants with about 2 inches of water over the crown, or just enough water to float any healthy leaves. Gradually increase the depth as the lily grows. Protect from the most intense sunlight until the lily is at the proper depth.

Some good mediums

Plastic mesh pots, terra cotta or plastic pots, or even oil-changing pans are suitable for growing aquatic plants. Line mesh or standard pots with newspaper before adding soil to keep it from washing out. By the time the newspaper disintegrates, the roots will have established themselves enough to hold the soil.

It can take a good 6 weeks for the container garden to stabilize. Don’t be alarmed by initially dark water or even an algae bloom. It should clear up. Water lilies need full sun to flower, but here in southwest Florida they likely would appreciate a few hours of shade or dappled light during the summer.

Water lilies like still water. The water garden does not need a recirculating pump if no fish are added. Fish vastly complicate water garden ecology, and also destroy many aquatic plants. Maintenance consists mainly of trimming yellowed or dead foliage, scooping out excess floating plants and keeping the water topped up.

Water lilies are heavy feeders. For best flowering fertilize regularly with specially-formulated aquatic fertilizer tablets. Repot in fresh soil once a year, dividing if necessary, or when root growth makes it difficult to push in fertilizer tablets..

Never ever dispose of unwanted aquatic or marginal plants near a body of water.

Container cultures

Viviparous water lilies are those that produce plantlets at the top of the pad where it joins the stem. These plantlets can be potted up once they have developed roots.

n Nymphaea ?Dauben’ – (Daubenyana, Daubiana). An old hybrid from 1856, ?Dauben’ is one of the most foolproof small water lilies in the trade. Variable in color, it ranges from near-white to powder-blue. Somewhat fragrant to fragrant. Grow in 2 to 18 inches of water. Leaf spread 1.5 to 5 feet, depending on container. Can take partial shade. Reliable bloomer. Viviparous.

n N. colorata. An African species with blue/purple/violet petals, N. colorata has flowers 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and a leaf spread to 3 feet. This water lily will bloom year-round in Florida as long as the water temperature remains at least 65 degrees F.

* N. ?Margaret Mary.’ A small, pale-to-rich blue, very fragrant water lily with a spread of 3 to 5 feet. Viviparous.

* N. ?Tina.’ – Tina is a dependable, free-blooming, fragrant water lily that adapts well to tub culture. Flowers are blue/purple. Leaf spread is 2 to 5 feet. Grow in 6 to 18 inches of water. Viviparous.

* N. ?Josephine.’ This small white water lily has a delicate cup-shaped flower 3 to 4 ” across. The plant spreads 2 to 3 feet.

* N. minuta. This miniature species, with pale pink-white flowers 3 inches across and a leaf spread to 1.5 feet is used as a parent plant for new dwarf hybirds.

* N. ?Yellow Thammanoon.’ This small freely-flowering tropical has light-yellow flowers 3 to 5 inches across, and a leaf spread of 1.5 to 3 feet. Slightly fragrant. Non-viviparous. Grow in 6 to 14 inches of water.

Where to buy

If you know the moisture requirements of plants, you can find many marginal plants at most garden centers, though they may not be labeled as such. You may also find water lily tubers, but not necessarily small or dwarf varieties.

Many garden centers carry a wide variety of containers suitable for dwarf water lilies. Shop around for best selection.

* Driftwood Garden Center carries potted water lilies and a large stock of marginals, as well as containers and water-garden accessories . Driftwood also installs water gardens and water features. 5051 Tamiami Trail N.

Selected mail-order nurseries offering miniature-small tropical water lilies; this list is not an endorsement, however.

* Aqua-Mart (Orlando). www.aqua-mart.com. (800) 245-5814.

* Perry’s Water Garden (North Carolina). perryswatergarden.net; [email protected] (828) 342-0333

* Texas Waterlilies. www.texaswaterlilies.com (936) 931-9880; [email protected]

* Wonderful Water Lilies (Sarasota). www.wonderfulwaterlilies.com. Contact via the Web site. You will receive an answer.

In comparing prices, keep in mind whether you are purchasing an established, potted specimen, or a bare-root plant. An established water lily will likely come into bloom earlier than one started from bare-root stock. In comparing local retail with mail-order prices, don’t forget to factor in the shipping and handling costs.

Be cautious when ordering marginal and floating plants from individuals advertising on the Web. A reputable nursery will not sell invasive plants to a Florida address, but an individual vendor may not know that a given species is banned.

For more information

* International Water Lily and Water Garden Society. www.iwgs.com. 7443 Buffalo Road/Churchville NY 14428.

* Water Gardeners International. www.watergardenersinternational.org. Email [email protected] 2211 S. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach FL 32931.

Many water garden nursery web sites have detailed information on planting and growing aquatic plants. The Collier County Library system has many books on water gardening. Below are two particularly helpful titles.

* “Water Gardening in Containers:” Helen Nash & C. Greg Speichert. 1996.

* Complete Guide to Water Garden Plants.” Helen Nash & Steve Stroupe. 2003.

Issues concerning Florida native plants:

For invasive aquatic plants, see the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants at the University of Florida. IFAS:


* “Creating Wildlife Habitat with Native Florida Freshwater Wetland Plants” fact sheet; edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa007.

* Florida Native Aquatic Plants for Ornamental Water Gardens.” IFAS Publication No. ENH988.; plants.ufl.edu/prohib.html.

Growing Water Lilies in Containers

Growing Water Lilies in Containers

When we think of Water Lilies, we tend to think of village ponds and lakes. Water Lilies come in all different sizes and there are dozens of small Water Lily cultivars that are easy to grow in containers requiring little maintenance. This article is a step by step guide to creating a stunning floral water feature that will display an array of natural summer color for you to enjoy. Water Lily containers need to be sighted in full sun and will look great on their own or as multiple features for lawns, decking areas, patios and even balcony’s.

Water gardening in containers is nothing new, but the amount of different Water Lilies that are suitable for growing in containers, are very new. There have been a lot of new Water Lily cultivar introductions over the last few years, see the image of Nymphaea Heartbeat below,

First you need to find a watertight container. Here at Lilies Water Gardens, we sell patio tubs which are ideal as they can be free standing or, sunk down into your garden so they are level with the grass, but there are still plenty of other options. Basically, anything that holds water as long as it has a minimal water depth of 8 inches and a minimal diameter of 12 inches will suffice. You could even use an old style rectangular shaped basin which will make a perfect miniature water garden giving you an interesting and rustic feel to the feature itself and will enhance any garden.

For best results, avoid using aquatic baskets when planting up water containers. Water Lilies always grow and flower to their full potential when allowed to spread, so whatever container you use, I would suggest adding good aquatic soil straight into the container allowing a water depth of 6 inches above. Next add Osmocote tablets or any other tablet form of feed for aquatic pond plants as this will give them the best start. If you are going to use Osmocote tablets, you will need to add THREE of these 5-6 month slow release tablets to every square feet and this needs to be done in March and again in July.

You should now be ready for the interesting part of planting up your container. It is a wrongly directed myth that Water Lilies like to be planted with 1 or 2 inches of their rhizomes above soil level. I would suggest that you simply plant the rhizome/ tuber of your chosen cultivar, at a 45 degree angle with the crown (growing point) about 1 cm below the soil level and then press the rhizome/tuber in firmly. Water Lilies do like to be planted tightly into the container.

Quantities and color

If you are planting into a very small container, you are probably best planting just one Water Lily cultivar. However, if you are planting into patio tubs which we sell at our nursery, or a rectangular basin which is mentioned above or indeed, any larger sized container, then you have the option of multi-planting. A patio tub will happily house 3 to 6 different cultivars, resulting in a display of numerous different Water Lily blooms at any given time throughout the months of June to Mid-September.

Here at Lilies Water Gardens, it gives me great pleasure to be able to offer you the widest selection of small and miniature Water Lily cultivars which are available to buy online from our retail nursery, so visit our website www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk.

Also on our website you will find over 750 pond plants and water garden plants as well as all the pond planting accessories needed to grow healthy looking plants all spring-summer long.

Water Lilies are us!

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