Exotic, lively and wonderful when paired with big tropical leaves, water lillies add a statement to any room. Here’s your guide to our flower of the month
All about April’s flower of the month: Water Lillies
Water lilies are from the Heliotropic family, where the head of the flower ‘looks to the sun’. They typically die off in winter and produce new growth in the summer months. Cut water lilies look best on their own, or paired with one or two tropical leaves to create more shape.
Make sure you use a vase with a large neck, so the stems can move. Much like tulips, stems grow around 1cm in length per day. Give them fresh, clean water daily, and cut them back every second day to avoid the stems rotting.
Water lily flowers add an exoctic touch to a room, but rarely last more than five days when cut. Pick buds or flowers that have just opened – they’ll feel firm to the touch. When planting waterlilies, line mesh baskets with peat or coconut fibre and use good heavy soil, not potting mix. Make sure roots are at the bottom of the mesh basket with leaves floating on the water.
The depth of water varies according to variety, with dwarf species often only needing about 10-30cm. Raise baskets up onto bricks if water is deeper than required. Feed plants with at least three fertiliser tablets at the start of the growing season.