Thinning Night Blooming Tropicals

By Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge


Most night blooming tropical waterlilies make babies and tubers very easily, in fact sometimes to the detriment of the main plant. Too many plants in the pot, even little ones, can crowd each other to the point that none achieve much size or bloom well. This can happen any time in the season and the only answer is to thin them. N. 'Wood's White Knight' is our example plant and always "over-pups" several times during our long growing season.

   We lift the pot from the pond and first search for large tubers. These should be discarded in favor of small tubers since they rot more easily and usually produce weaker plants. Old crowns attached to these large tubers should be discarded for the same reason.  
   There are hundreds of little plants in this pot and, however difficult it is, we have to be brutal and remove them. And after we have given bunches of them to friends and loaded up the local garden center, the only answer is to throw them out.
 Once all the small plants have been removed, we go fishing for more tubers, taking out most of them. Some of these can be stored. We really should select just one healthy young plant for repotting but one of the older ones is blooming so we're leaving two plants in the pot. These are firmly anchored with a rock and returned to the pond.  

See also Growing Tropicals From Tuber | Repotting Overgrown Tropical Waterlilies
Dividing Tropical Waterlilies

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