Waterlily need dividing?

Waterlily need dividing?

Your waterlily needs dividing if your waterlily leaves stood up above the water last Summer.

Last year that waterlily plant was trying to tell you it needs to be divided as it is too congested. Now is the time to do that job.

Waterlily laves should lay flat on the water surface and not be all bunched into a central mass.

Hopefully you remember which plant needed work! Taking a photo last year helps lift or prune the correct basket this Spring!

Repotting a waterlily:

  • The waterlily in your pond should have started to send up 'rolled' or 'furled' leaves that are still traveling to the water surface so act now before the stems get too long.
  • If you can lift the waterlily basket you can replant it into with more aquatic compost and an XL feed ball into a larger basket.
  • Cut out congested rhizomes or  'crossed over rhizomes' or remove some where too many growing points are close together. Repot the pieces into new baskets. See our method in Tips and Advice.
  • Space each basket out around the pond to give better water coverage.

Pruning a waterlily:

It may be easier to leave the basket in place and thin out or 'prune' the rhizome growth using a sharp knife:

  • A waterlily is a hungry plant. Its roots will have grown through the mesh basket and across the base of the pond searching for nutrients.
  • A waterlily root span will be as wide as its top growth spread on the water surface.
  • This will make the basket heavy to lift and move.
  • We detail 'Pruning a waterlily' in our Tips and Advice pages. The pieces you cut off a mature plant can be potted up to make more new young plants
  • Over time you will be able to replace the unmanageable mature plant with several of the new smaller baskets of repotted rhizomes.
  • Reduce the size and spread of the mature waterlily you have and repot the pieces. This is more successful than trying to lift a big plant out of the water.

Even after pruning you still want to cover 50% of your pond surface area in this coming season. Aim for 60-70% water coverage in the next few years.

  • Do not expose too much water to the sunshine this year by radically reducing the size of your waterlily spread.
  • Repot new baskets and put more than one in the pond while they mature.
  • Reduce the number of new baskets once you have enough cover.
  • Only work on one waterlily in a year if you have more than one that needs work.
  • If you make too dramatic a change you will get green algae.

Miniature and dwarf waterlilies will not need dividing or pruning like the larger pond waterlilies.

But these smaller waterlilies will benefit from a feed ball now so that they get the nutrient to flower well this Summer.

For more detailed information on Maintaining your waterlilies please read our Tips and Advice pages.