There are so many beautiful water lilies, some of which can be grown in tubs in a sunny spot. It's really worth considering and it's fun!
I've had four water lilies for about six years and there are three that are new for 2013.
The tubs sit on the end of my driveway and get full sun almost all day. There are always a few flowers blooming each day. In the evening, the black walnut tree starts to shade them as the sun sets and the flowers will begin to close for the night.
|Nymphaea 'Mayla' - How gorgeous is this! Perfection!|
The lilies are all grown in plastic containers. I prefer plastic as it can handle freezing in winter without breaking/cracking. Unfortunately, beautiful and expensive Vietnamese ceramic water dishes would crack over a Portland winter and since they are generally too heavy to move and there is nowhere to store them, plastic it is!
|Nymphaea 'Hazorea Dagan White'- Just a hint of pink in there.|
|Nymphaea 'Hazorea Dagan White' - Lovely speckled foliage on this one.|
|Nymphaea 'Burgundy Princess' - This plant is young, the flowers will get more intense with age.|
|Nymphaea 'Texas Dawn' - This one was divided and re-potted in 2013 giving me three plants.|
|Nymphaea 'Texas Dawn'|
My fertilizer schedule is probably not the best, but starting around April or May, I give them two tabs per month per plant (most of the pots are 1-2 gallons of soil) when the temps are cool and they begin growing, then give the same dose but every three weeks or so when the temps are 70-80s. The emergent plants get a few tabs here and there when I think about it, which isn't often.
|Nymphaea 'Perry's Almost Black'|
The two large 100 gallon Rubbermaid horse troughs each have two water lilies, a few "feeder" goldfish and a small, but ever growing, school of rosy minnows. The two 40 gallon round tubs have a mixture of baby rosy minnows and small fantail goldfish. I have only bought inexpensive "feeder" fish due to raccoon invasion and fear of winter freezes.
There are small fish (baby rosy minnows) and "George" the Siamese Fighting Fish who is summer vacationing in the Thalia, that keep the mosquitoes at bay, but I have to watch the water level on the Pickerel Rush and Juncus or it's a mosquito farm in no time.
|Pontederia dilatata (Royal Pickerel)|
|The Thalia is just to the right of the blue chair and the Pickerel Rush to the left.|