Dividing Tropical Waterlilies

By Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge


I wanted to move this N. 'Miami Rose' to another pond but decided to divide the small "pup" that I could see out of the pot first. It turned out there were three plants and it was a great example for a page here.

This plant overgrew last season and had a sizeable rhizome which was "turned" in the fall. I broke it off and set it aside.
I then moved stems around so those that went with each crown were kind of going the same direction.
Though I could have done this division with a knife, I nudged the middle sized crown away from the biggest one with my fingers because --
-- I had aready found that the little plant was attached to a small fresh tuber under the big crown. I broke the tuber from the big crown and pushed it under and out the other side.
The rhizome, on further examination, already had three tiny new plants starting from it, marked with arrows.

The big plant was removed and taken to another pot and pond. The medium one was carefully shifted towards the center of the pot without really uprooting it and reanchored. The rhizome and small tuber with plant went to the nursery.

There are other successful methods of dividing tropical lilies which require removing them entirely from their pots. When in full growth they can be divided with a knife -- just cut the crowns, soil and roots apart in chunks. Subsequent root loss will not substantially hurt the plants. They can also be bare-rooted and divided with little root loss though there is more transplant shock.

See also Growing Tropicals From Tuber | Repotting Overgrown Tropical Waterlilies
Thinning Night Blooming Tropicals

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