Overwintering Water Lilies

Overwintering water lilies isn’t all that difficult.

There is only one major rule you have to remember, don’t freeze them.

They might survive freezing, but the odds are that they won’t.

Indicator Leaves

So while you can trim any of the old larger foliage and stems off the plant, do not cut off these small “indicator” leaves

If your lilies are growing in plant holes formed by the liner, then you need do nothing as the ground heat at the bottom of the pond will likely stop the rhizome from freezing solid. Trim up the foliage and your fall plant-related work is done.

Overwintering Water Lilies In Pots

If your lilies are growing in pots, then you have two choices after you’ve trimmed back the foliage. You can either drop the pot back into the deepest part of your pond to overwinter there (assuming the pond doesn’t freeze solid) or you can take the pot (lily and all) into a cool dark basement.

A cold storage area works well for this.

Keep the lily rhizome damp all winter (leave it in its pot for ease of storage) as well as keeping it as cold as you can without freezing. A beer frig also works well if you have no cold storage room.

In the spring when the ice is off the pond and the water starts to warm up (if you can put your hand in it) you can return your water lily to the pond.

And that's all there is to overwintering water lilies of the hardy type. (cool and damp but not frozen):-)

Do you have a question about Overwintering Water Lilies?

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