Pink Water Lilies

(Question)

I would like to know more about pink water lilies. Can I grow them in Toronto? And where can I buy them?

 

(Answer)

The water lily (Nymphaeceae) is an aquatic plant that mostly grows in temperate and tropical climates around the world, however, there are hardy varieties which will grow in our climate. Water lilies are rooted in soil and placed in water. Their leaves and flowers float on the surface of water. Water lilies spread by rhizomes or tubers, they prefer still water and grow best in fertile conditions. They are deep water plants which require a minimum water depth of 20″. Generally speaking water lilies are available in shades of white, yellow, pink, red and peach.

The best quality pond plants are usually found at reputable nurseries or garden centres of which there are many in the GTA. Wait until next spring to begin your search.

When choosing water lilies look for healthy plants free from algae and other weeds. When placing them in your pond put them in a sunny site. Remove the plant from its original container and place in an aquatic plant basket with mesh sides. Add a layer of loam based  compost around the plant and firm in. Then lower the basket into the pond. If the lily’s leaves do not reach the surface of the pond place on a brick in the water to raise them up.

Water lilies are perennials and will survive winter in the pond if it is deep enough so that the roots won’t freeze solid. If your pond is likely to freeze over you will need to remove the lilies from the pond during the Fall. It is somewhat tedious to overwinter water lilies. The plant should be removed from its pot and the tuber wrapped up in moist peat moss or leaves, then stored in a dark cool environment until the pond thaws in spring. The lilies should go dormant in cold dark storage.

The following article will provide you with further information on water lilies:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=705

Best of luck!