I have sprouted water lilies from seed, but have not found clay /heavy soil. Please advise what soil and planter to use for indoor water garden.
Thank you for your question for Toronto Master Gardeners. Congratulations on successfully growing water lily seeds. According to most of the references, almost any watertight container will do, but an aquatic garden centre would have some that are more ideal than others.
As for soil, here are some of the most helpful websites:
- The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens website includes a recipe for indoor water garden soil, not just for water lilies. Water Gardening Indoors – Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Specific to water lilies, the Gardening Guides’ How to grow water lilies indoors ( https://www.gardenguides.com/118116-grow-water-lilies-indoors.html) mentions a “potting substrate” like sand, perlite or aquatic potting soil.
- Another specific article in The Spruce, Growing water lilies indoors, advises gardeners to use a basket inside the container and cover it with soil and 1 inch of sand. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-water-lilies-indoors-190298
We suggest speaking to someone with expertise in indoor water gardens. Although we are not permitted to recommend particular vendors, our suggestions are as follows:
- Landscape Ontario’s “Find a company” (go to landscapeontario.com) has a great list of garden centres. Call a few in your area to ask if anyone specializes (or knows of someone who specializes) in aquaponics or water gardens.
- Try “googling” terms like specialty pond nursery Toronto or indoor water garden.
Please write back and tell us how you fared with growing the water lilies in your special garden.