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5 Simple Steps To Dividing Your Hardy Water Lilies
If you missed the springtime window of opportunity to divide your hardy water lilies, don't worry, it's not too late. Although springtime is the best time, you've actually got the entire normal growing season to get it done.
The reason for dividing your water lilies is that they eventually run out of room in their existing pots and need more room for the roots to spread out so the plant can flourish. Not only is this relatively easy to do, but you end up with more plants as a bonus!
Remove the plant from the pot and gently rinse the dirt from the root system.
Cut the older growth from one end of the tuber, and the newer growth from the other. If there are new "eyes" along the tuber you can snip them off and pot them if you wish.
Take a sharp knife and cut the tuber back on the 'growing' part. On small plants you can safely cut the tuber down to 2-3 inches. Keep it at around 5-6 inches for larger plants.
You should also cut off new buds and any older leaves so the plant can stay focused on growing a new root system.
Plant the tuber in good quality garden soil that has been poured into a pot that is suitable for water gardening. Potting soil is not the best choice so make sure that the package says 'garden soil'.
Insert the tuber into the soil placing it next to the wall of the pot rather than in the center of the pot.
Insert a couple of aquatic plant food tabs about halfway into the soil and then pack the soil around the tuber so it will stay in place when the pot is submerged.
Finally, pour a layer of pea gravel over the soil to keep it from washing away. This also discourages your fish from digging in the pot. Make sure that you do not cover the crown of the tuber with gravel.
Slowly submerge the pot into your garden pond. Don't be alarmed if some dirt residue mixes in with the water. This is normal and it will soon settle to the bottom and the water will clear.
Keep your new plants in water that is no deeper that 12" until you notice at least five or six new leaves. Once the plant is established you can place it in deeper water if you wish.
There, you're done. Now your old plants will have more room to grow and you'll have new plants to keep or share with friends. Wasn't that easy?
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