Well mother nature looks like she's going to turn things around and start giving us in the north some warmer weather beginning next week. Usually May things start to warm up and it won't be long until we can begin putting out plants in the pond.
A good rule of thumb is always make sure your water temperatures are around 65 degrees before putting in new plants. Think of it like taking a bath in cold water. You'd shiver too and be a little shocked.
Lotus are a master piece in a water garden. Their outstanding flowers and large leaves whether in your pond or container are a beautiful addition to your water garden. Lotus are hardy perennials and will reward you with exotic flowers year after year.
There are small, medium and large lotus. Lotus won't start to appear in the spring until the water temperature warms in the pond which is about 65 degrees. In the colder areas where a lotus has been overwintered at the bottom of the pond, raise the pot so that it is just a few inches below the water surface and it will be warmed by the sun. If you overwintered the lotus in peat for the winter don't place it back in the pond until the water temperatures are 65 degrees. Once the water warms up in the 70s the lotus will start to grow more rapidly. They will begin to flower several weeks later than waterlilies, often not until late July and August in zones lower than 6 and zones earlier than 6 will begin earlier in July. They continue to bloom until late September and October depending on your climate.
So whether you have a large pond or just a small container on your patio a lotus will grow. I would suggest planting it in a large container and put in your pond, otherwise it could grow out of control. Keeping it confined in a container eliminates this. Planting it in a container it only requires a few inches of water over the tuber to grow. So whether you plant a lotus in your pond or simply plant it in a small container and set it on your patio, you will be glad you did.
There isn't much work to grow a lotus but the rewards are spectacular.
We are offering a few new plants this year and one is the Water Willow (Justicia Americana). This hardy bog plant has flowers that resemble an orchid white with splashes of lavender and purple. The flowers grow in a dense, head-like cluster originating from its slender stalks.
The plant will grow 12 inches to 18 inches high and about 12 inches wide with flowers that start blooming in April and will continue to bloom thru October. It requires part shade to full sun and best when planted 0 - 4" below the water surface but will take up to 2' of water. While it will grow in almost any type of soil its best grown in sandy, sandy loam medium loam and clay loam or clay.
Hardy Zones 4-11 (Can overwinter in pond and doesn't need submerged)
Signs of spring 2011. We're excited about the new lotus we have this year. We try to add one or two new a year. The new lotus for Dragonfly Aquatics are great lotus for those smaller ponds and containers. The Green Maiden and and Snow White. But sorry no Seven Dwarfs.
The flowers on the Green Maiden change from the first day from a soft pink to a pale yellow by the third day, similar to the Mrs. Perry D. Slocum only much smaller. The Green Maiden makes a perfect lotus for tub gardens and small ponds. It will grow 1' to 3' tall with flowers 2" - 3" across and its leaves will grow 18" to 20" across. Hardy zone 4 or higher, less than zone 4 with winter protection.
Snow White of China orgin is the perfect lotus for bowls and small containers with or without a pond. Double creamy white blooms of 3 - 5 inches with leaves of 6 - 12 inches and a height of 1 - 2 feet. It can be planted in a pond or just plant in a container at least 2 gallons or bigger with water 2 inches up to 10 inches deep. This lotus is considered a true bowl lotus. It is hardy zones 4 - 11.
In March we begin the task of harvesting the lotus tubers for the season. All lotus varieties are available for shipping. Lotus tubers are pulled while they are still dormant. The lotus tubers we sell at Dragonfly Aquatics have at least three or more growing tips, sometimes more depending on the variety. The tubers are kept in the dormant state in cold water until it is time to ship to your zone. Once the lotus tuber is placed in 65 - 70 degree water in the sun, it will begin to grow once again. Most varieties will bloom the first season.
You can read about planting lotus on our blog at https://www.dragonflyaquatics.com/blog/2009/03/pictures-of-planting-lotus/
Check out the lotus on our site.
Its ice everywhere.....but at least its February so its almost over. I will say its a pretty site but I still prefer the green color over the white! I look outside and imagine pictures like this...
The plants continue to grow nicely in the greenhouses and while standing in there you almost can forget what's going on outside. Call it an escape from reality. The marsh marigolds are starting to bloom alot and I must say they are really nice plants this year.
The snow storm isn't over yet so we are all in a holding pattern....waiting on the next blast to come through. Whether it will be ice or snow remains yet to be determined. So I will continue to think of all the plants growing and start to update our store to share the plants with you that we will be offering this year.
Well the holidays are over, the tree is down and all the holiday christmas decorations are put away. I could probably leave my christmas tree up for months as I always miss it once its put away. Its hard to imagine the room is exactly like it was a month ago because it looks so bare now. With that behind I start thinking that in just a few months it will be spring again. My how time flies. The plants are all beginning to grow nicely in the greenhouses and within a couple months will be ready to plant.
No sooner said then the snow began...let's hope February is a quick month and we can all get started on our spring projects and planning our gardens. Actually January is a good month to start ordering some plants for your gardens, at least I'm getting alot of plant magazines in the mail. So its getting me in the mood.
Cooler temperatures are the thing again with a slight freeze in Ohio. I tend to feel drained when the days are rainy but that sunshine sure makes one feel good again! We turned the garden over this week and that's the last of the tomatoes until next year. I do really enjoy the garden and the benefits of enjoying the fresh vegetables all winter long but it keeps one busy during the month of August. Now its apple time....I like making the fresh applesauce and putting away a few whole apples for the apple crisp and pies. There's nothing better than a warm apple crisp on a cold winter day.
Let's face it....there isn't much to do with the pond now that summer is ending and things are put to bed. I pulled all the water hyacinths out last week. Trimmed up the lilies and took all the tropical waterlilies and put them to bed in the greenhouse for the winter. I still have to drop the hardy waterlilies but some are still blooming so I'll wait awhile yet. My cardinal flower is still standing tall and I must say this has been its best year yet! I had at least 7 flowers on it and the hummingbirds sure were happy!!
Woke up this morning with a chill in the air....gone for a few days are the 80 degree temps. This is what we woke up to this morning.
The leaves are even beginning to fall with the wind blowing. I guess we all know what is in store for us for the next couple months.
Another Red Scarf bud is starting to open in my pond. I find I enjoy the pond plants even more towards the end of the season. It's such a pretty lotus bud.
I probably should get out my sweatshirts and sweaters now. I love fall with its beautiful colors when the leaves begin to turn but don't look forward to what comes after....snow. There are a few things we can start doing to our ponds now since the days are numbered. Here's a list of some fall and winter pond plant care items for the hardy pond plants.
HARDY WATER LILIES
With the lower temperatures during the fall season, you will notice a decrease in water lily blooms and the lily pads turning yellow as the water temperatures cool. It is important at this time to remove the dead leaves and spent blooms to avoid having the debris in the pond over winter. As winter approaches and water temperatures drop, the water lily will go dormant. Remove all dead lily pads and lower the potted lily to the deepest part of the pond or to a water depth of about two feet.
As long as the submerged plants are below the ice, they will usually survive the winter. Any part of the plant that is allowed to freeze will turn to mush and add unwanted debris to the pond. It is wise to cut these plants back and sink below the surface.
HARDY BOG/MARGINAL PLANTS
Once your hardy marginal plants begin to brown, usually after the first hard frost, prune back excess foliage and discard any decaying material, so it does not compromise the water quality over the winter months. Potted bog plants such as Pickeral and Thalia Dealbata should be placed at a sufficient depth to avoid freezing the crown of the plant. Plants such as Japanese Variegated Iris and Cardinal Flower should be removed from the pond and planted in the yard for the winter. When new growth begins in the Spring, they can be placed back in the pond for the summer. Most of the other hardy bog plants can be left as they are and will return the following spring.
We have alot of plants on sale now so check them out at our store. You still have time to get them planted and established before the cold weather hits us. We're all enjoying our ponds now and the hard labor we've all put into it this spring. We get alot of our customers pictures of their ponds in full bloom which we enjoy. This picture is of a customer's pond in California. We keep trying different night blooming lilies to get them to winter over for her but haven't been real successful. It just gets alittle too cold over the winter for it to survive so this year she's going to try a pond heater and see if it winters over for her that way. All the other plants are doing great! Which is always good to hear.
We still have a nice supply of lotus tubers available. Many have multiple growing tips with leaves sprouting. There is still time yet this season to get a lotus started and growing in your pond. Lotus are magnificent additions to your water garden and at the current sale prices, now is the time to add one or several to your pond.
Lotus are available here for a lowest price offered.
I visited a friend in March this year and she took me over to a house that had a Japanese garden. It was gorgeous! I only wish I would of had my camera with me at the time. He did an unusual thing with his lotus that I thought I would give a try this year. Among his flower gardens were pots put into the ground with lotus growing in them. They were just starting to grow but I could visualize just how they would look this summer growing among the other flowers.
He dug holes and put a large no holed container in the hole and planted the lotus in it. It would be a simple thing to do. You would only need to make sure it had at least a couple of inches of water above the dirt all growing season long. He said he them pulled the lotus out at the end of the season. He put the tuber in peat moss and stored it for the winter and each spring would repot it. He left the containers in the ground.
I'm going to try a couple this year and when they bloom I'll take a picture and share it. I'll probably constantly be putting water in mine since I have a Golden Retriever that I'm sure will think its her water dish just as she does with the bird baths I have in the garden.
We have a nice selection of Lotus this year.