New Tropical Water Lilies for the 2013 Water Gardening Season

For the 2013 pond and water gardening season, we are adding three new tropical water lilies to our collection. We have two varieties from Luster Aquatic Nursery and one from Florida Aquatic Nurseries.

Tropical water lily ‘Elsie’

elsie

Nymphaea ‘Elsie’ is a clear blue with green pads.

Tropical water lily ‘Finn O’Hagan’

finn-ohagan

Nymphaea ‘Finn O’Hagan’ is a light purple with olive pads. This water lily was named after Craig Presnell’s grandson.

[Read more...]

Store open for 2012 Season

We have received many requests from customers to re-open our web store for the 2012 season.

Earlier, this year I decided to allow access to our blog but disable online orders. As an entrepreneur, I’m currently exploring other business ventures, primarily in the technology consulting field.

The main issue is time. Dividing time among different projects is not easy.

Therefore we are asking that all orders have a two plant minimum. There are no other requirements.

Here are a few promotions:

  • USA orders over $100 receive FREE SHIPPING via USPS Priority Mail
  • International orders over $500 receive FREE SHIPPING via USPS Express Mail International

We are still making additions to the online web shop but it is live and ready to accept orders.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please open a support ticket so we can help you today.

Growing a tropical water lily via "bonsai"

In this post we will share an example of an tropical water lily that has been grown using “bonsai” techniques.

The Guinea Pig

We selected Nymphaea ‘Foxfire’. It is our best-selling tropical water lily.

Growing Environment

  • Tub holds 11 gallons and is only 7″ deep.
  • Water temperature is about 80 degrees F.
  • Foxfire tuber was planted in sand in a quart pot.
  • Fertilized with a half a teaspoon of Osmocote Classic.

[Read more...]

Stimulate tubering in tropical water lilies with a drought

Today we will have a look at one method for getting tropical water lilies to produce tubers. Remember that tubers help a great deal when overwintering tropical water lily plants.

Stress stress stress

This method works by you guessed it stressing the plant. In native waters there are periods of drought and tropical water lilies respond by creating tubers. When the rain returns and water levels rise back to normal, the tubers sprout and grow new plants. Its a rather neat cycle!

You can trigger this response in your own pond or water garden. First we’ll need to know several things. This is a process that takes some time and doing this will cause you to lose a good portion of your growing season (no blooms).

Lets begin

You’ll need on average about two months of time and its recommended that you do this towards the end of your season as it just makes more sense. So to restate that–acquire a tropical water lily, enjoy its majestic blooms [Read more...]

Koi and plants, imagine that!

Today we will show that aquatic plants and koi can coexist.

Koi also known as “living jewels” in the ponding world have been known to eat countless aquatic plants in ponds across the globe. By being proactive it is indeed possible to enjoy both in your ponds and water gardens. Remember that koi are curious and intelligent so you’ll need to get ahead of them!

Get your plants setup

We will begin by speaking generally about pot sizes. You will want to correlate the size of your koi with the size of your plant container. If your pots are small, they can nudge and move them around and potentially knock them over. Furthermore, it is quite possible for them to “root” or “dig” into the substrate of your pots. How can you prevent this? [Read more...]

The basics of tropical water lilies

Water lilies are a genus of aquatic plants from the family of Nymphaeaceae. Water lilies are also referred to as Nymphaea and come in types that are hardy or tropical. Note that Nymphaea is italicized because it is a genus. Therefore when writing a name of a water lily be sure to keep that in mind, e.g. Nymphaea ‘Foxfire’ or for short N. ‘Foxfire’. You may also write a name as tropical water lily ‘Foxfire’. When speaking it is accepted to simply refer by the common name, e.g. Foxfire.

Utopia Aquatic focuses on tropical water lilies and these plants make breathtaking additions to ponds and water gardens. They stand out in pools of water because of their exotic look with blooms held above the water surface and floating foliage. They come in a variety of colors and many are even very fragrant. There are day bloomers, night bloomers, and even kinds that can self replicate (viviparous). [Read more...]

Tropical water lily pests–aphids

Today we will be discussing ways to control aphids.

What are aphids?

They are insects that feed on foliage of plants. They come in a variety of colors but we often see the green ones attacking tropical water lilies. Small numbers may not be noticeable but large populations can do some serious damage to your plants.

Controlling aphids

Believe it or not, the easiest way to control aphids is to detect them early and spray them off your plants. If you happen to have fish, they should find them to be a delicious treat. However, if your fish do not fancy them or their numbers appear endless, you may need some additional help.

While there are several diy home remedies–we use a product called Triple Action Neem Oil. It is composed of the extract from neem oil which comes from the neem tree. This product works as a pesticide / fungicide / miticide. It is applied by mixing a few drops with pond water in a hand held sprayer. Apply in the early morning or late evening. Applying during the day time may burn your plants since this is a horticultural oil. If you do not have access to this product, we recommend searching for a product that is of similar composition–extract of neem oil.

Photo credit: Aphids. University of California IPM

A Siamese bloom @ Star of Zanzibar

The other day I noticed what appeared to be a mutated bloom rising from a Star of Zanzibar. Out of the hundreds of blooms that I’ve seen this year, I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

It’s a Siamese bloom on a tropical water lily ‘Star of Zanzibar’.

10 tips for growing dazzling tropical water lilies

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your tropical water lilies!

Plant when water temperature is stable

You should plant your tropical water lilies when your water temperatures are at least 70 degrees F. Warmer temperatures means quicker growth but cooler temperatures can send your plant into dormancy or even death.

Don’t plant too deep

Planting in very deep water means slower growth. The water is cooler down at the bottom. Therefore it takes more time for buds and pads to reach the surface. Opt for a water depth of < 18 inches from crown to surface of water.

Plant in a large pot

When you plant in a large pot, tropical water lilies will have large majestic blooms and foliage.

Use a good substrate

Don’t use potting soil. It is lightweight and will float and make a mess. Choose from heavy garden soil, clay, or sand.

[Read more...]