Thursday, March 17, 2011
Northern Tropical Water Lily Adventure in Alberta - March 17, 2011
I was ecstatic to see that the tropical water lily bulbs that I had managed to store through the winter, were actually starting to sprout. My storage method was one that I had learned from attending a seminar given by Ken Landon at the 2010 IWGS conference in Texas. I decided to plant the sprouting bulbs in covered plastic cups and in a plastic salad container with a lid, thus kicking off my Northern Water Lily adventure on February 7th, 2011. No high tech here! The majority of my bulbs sprouted and grew successfully in a light soil medium. I added Microbelift Ensure to the water to supply nutrient to the little sprouts.
Albert Greenberg was my biggest success story, filling its cup with lots of leaves and starting to become root-bound within 38 days. I was able to separate the little plantlets, and ended up with 5 plants from the small tuber shown in the picture to the right.
Moonbeam was also thriving in its makeshift planting tray, but didn't produce as many shoots as Albert G. Although the tuber is quite large, it only produced 2 plantlets (far right), so I removed the larger plant, and left the smaller one which had just a few roots, attached to the tuber and placed it back in its tray to continue growing. Ostara also grew very well, and is continuing to produce small sprouts. I also have Laura Frase and Avalanche started.
Each of the plantlets is planted in a 4" square pot lined with newspaper (bio-degradable paper & ink is canola based), and filled with sand. All pots contain a very small piece of an Agritab, and are in an aquarium heated to 75C.
My next puzzle is what do I do with the original tubers? Do I plant it or do I put it back in storage?