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Water lilies by their sheer sight, look splendid in any garden pond. However, sometimes you get stuck in a situation wherein you will have to store this plant for winters. This inevitably looking plant can be stored, but needs a lot of poise and care to maintain this plant during the lean season. Now let's understand the nuances involved in maintaining and storing this plant.
Procedure to Winterize
Ideally the process of storing starts much before winter arrives, irrespective of you growing tropical water lilies. During late summer, stop pollinating this plant, this will send an indication to your plants that it's time to be ready for winters. You will be able to sequentially witness the following:
First, the water lilies will start growing tubers. This ensures that they get food during winters. Secondly, slowly and steadily they will reach a dormant state, that slows down their system and helps them in protecting during winters.
Occasionally, you will witness them growing small leaves during this time and their large leaves will turn pale and die. Now just when you have noticed this happen, you will be absolutely ready to take steps for wintering them.
Now let's go to the second step-How to Store Water Lilies Over Winter
In case of hard water lilies, the guide to store them safely is to shift them to the most bottomost part of your pond. This in turn will protect them from repeating freezing and unfreezing and will further reduce the chance of water lily's survival in the cold.
Wintering Tropical Water Lilies
In case of tropical plants, take out these beautiful plants from your pond, post the first frost. It's imperative to check the roots first to ensure that the plant has developed tubers. In case of no tubers, it will be difficult for them to survive during the winter months.
Once you have pulled out this plant from the pond, place them inside the water. You can take different variety and shapes of water containers available in the market which is used to store these water lilies. One can even use an aquarium with an incandescent light, a container preferably a plastic one or a tub or plastic jug placed on a window shelf. The container could be of any sturdy material in which the plants get fully soaked in water and is exposed to eight to twelve hours of light, will certainly work best for these water lilies. The best way is to grow them bare rooted inside the water and not grow in pots.
Additionally, you should also replace the water inside the container, at least once in a week and keep the water temperature around 70 F. (21 C.).
During spring, when the tubers bud, again put the plant in a growing pot and put inside your pond after the last frost date has taken.