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YOUR GAR­DEN­ING QUES­TIONS THIS MONTH

NZ Gardener - - CONTENTS - Paul & Kirsty Thomas, Glen­bo­gal Aquatic Ltd

Your ques­tions an­swered.

QNO-SHOW BLOOMS My waterlily had one flower two years ago. Since then it’s had lots of lush leaves but no flow­ers. It gets all-day sun on a north-fac­ing shel­tered bal­cony. I may have overfed it. What should I do to get it to bloom? RICHARD BRUN­TON, AUCK­LAND

AHow dis­ap­point­ing. Here are some sug­ges­tions to pin­point the pos­si­ble rea­sons for the lack of flow­ers.

Firstly there may be is­sues with the hardy waterlily va­ri­ety be­ing too big for the con­tainer you have avail­able.

Se­condly, though your plant looks healthy, the leaves are overly green which could be the va­ri­ety or might mean ex­cess ni­tro­gen in the wa­ter.

It may be over­grown. Look at the rhi­zome (for hardy waterlily va­ri­eties) or the tu­ber (for trop­i­cal va­ri­eties). If the bas­ket is burst­ing at the seams with root growth and new plants, it needs a re­pot.

Al­ter­na­tively, with trop­i­cal wa­terlilies, the orig­i­nal tu­ber may have be­come over­grown with new plantlets which pro­duce new tu­bers each sea­son. If they aren’t re­pot­ted or re­moved, the plant can then be­come over­grown.

Your waterlily ap­pears to be a hardy va­ri­ety, so you can use the pic­to­rial re­pot­ting in­struc­tions on our web­site glen­bo­gal.co.nz for some help.

The con­tainer can also be an is­sue. Wa­terlilies re­quire large amounts of food from the nu­tri­ents in the wa­ter, de­com­pos­ing mat­ter in a pond or soil-based tablets or sea­sonal spikes. Wa­terlilies need to be grown in aquatic bas­kets so the roots can grow out­side of the bas­ket. Solid-sided con­tain­ers are not rec­om­mended as they in­hibit the ac­cess to food and root growth.

In a con­tainer like this, the abil­ity to repli­cate a nat­u­ral bi­o­log­i­cal pond is lim­ited. Our branded tablets and sea­sonal spikes are rec­om­mended for ponds as ex­cess food can be used by other aquatic plants.

In a con­tainer where plants have min­i­mal space and lim­ited ac­cess to nat­u­ral nu­tri­ents, we sug­gest aquatic plant food for the soil and Eco Pond Aquatic Plant Food Plus, a liq­uid feed pro­vid­ing mi­cronu­tri­ents for leaf growth as well as in­creased blooms. A weekly dose pro­vides all the food re­quired by the waterlily or other aquatic plant. In­cluded in the Plant Food Plus is ex­tract of bar­ley straw, a nat­u­ral eco­log­i­cally friendly al­gae con­trol to re­duce and con­trol all forms of al­gae growth.

In­for­ma­tion on these and other prod­ucts can be seen on our web­site.

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