water lilies in balcony container

romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)August 7, 2005

Hello! I'm totally totally new to water/bog gardening, so bear with me. (I have hundreds of other happy plants, though). Here's my situation:

I received through trade two water lilies. I've never had them before, and was on cloud nine just thinking about those beautiful blooms. So I have the plants now, and have had them in glasses of water on my kitchen counter (they're babies, obviously) until I figure out what to do with them. I realize I really should have been more on-the-ball with this. . .Coincidentally, I found by the trash a nice, heavy big (3 gallon, give or take) cobalt blue glazed ceramic pot. Very heavy and sturdy and beautiful. Not sure what the people were thinking, throwing it out. Yes, it has a drainage hole in the bottom, but I thought I could go to a hardware box store and get some sort of liner. . .my question is, will this work, and do I need some sort of filtration? I'd like to make the lilies happy! I'm a balcony gardener, otherwise, I'd fix up a 'proper' pond! Suggestions please!

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sal_mando(z6a SW Ohio)

You may want to post this on the pond forum. There are more experts on this subject over there.
A 3-gallon pot is really small for a waterlily, even a miniature one. What variety do you have?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 9:44PM
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romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)

It's pink grapefruit; but I think it died already. . .
I'm a bad plant momma.
I'll try it again when I have my act more together!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:11AM
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mrimomma(z4 WI)

i got the cutest little "tabletop water garden" at menard's this spring for $24.00, and it has a red waterlily, cattail, and some other water plant (i think duck-potato). anyhow, it's doing great on my picnic table. i top off the water daily, and i bought a "barley bag" from a pond store to keep the water cleaner. the bag is @ 6"x4", and begins to work once the barley starts to break down some. so for the first few weeks, i overfilled the bowl to wash out some smelly, green floaties...but since the barley started working-no problem! this was my favorite "impulse buy" this year...i will overwinter these plants and get creative with the container choice next year-what fun!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:31PM
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romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)

What a great idea, mrimomma! The jury's still out on my waterlilies; I did go out and buy a huge plastic (no holes) container-- it's at least 7 gallons, maybe more, and got some aquatic planting medium, fertilizer spikes, and some kind of spray to prevent mosquitos from being able to land on the water surface? (west nile country here, and I'm in an extremely urban area). So, with all the stuff I bought, I ended up spending like $60, but it was worth it to me if it would keep my lilies alive! But your deal sounds so much sweeter; I'm gonna look into it! Thanks for the tip!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 10:28PM
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jan2(z5 Illinois)

Pink Grapefruit is a medium to large spread lily which means it's leaf spread is 6-12 feet. It will not be happy in such a small container. If you want something to plant in a container of that size, get Helvola which is a dwarf yellow.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 3:43PM
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