Because water-garden plants are potted, sooner or later they run out of food, even though you've potted them in organically rich heavy garden soil. Your best bet is to feed with waterlily tablets, available wherever water-garden plants are sold. These tablets have a balanced formulation that's ideal for waterlilies, lotuses, and marginals. They're easy to poke in (use a finger, dibble, or even a broom handle), and they break down gradually while nourishing the root system.
Feed your water plants on planting day and monthly thereafter throughout the growing season. Slow down and stop as fall approaches so the plants can enter their normal dormancy.
As the summer progresses, water plants can exceed their bounds and grow a little too lustily. Always remove stems and leaf stalks right at the base (where the pea-gravel layer begins in the pot) so nothing is left to rot and foul the water. Cut or twist the pieces off; never yank, or the whole plant may come out in your fist!
Don't toss the pieces back in the water where they can break down and foul and water! Add them to the compost pile or dig them straight into a vegetable-garden's soil. For potentially invasive floaters and submerged plants, play it safe and add them and their prunings to the household garbage.
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