Wintering Annual Water Lilies

#1: Remove your potted tropical water lily from the pond. If the outside air temperature is above 50 degrees you can leave the pot outside. If it is below 50 degrees move your plant to a warmer location indoors.

#2: After the plant has dried out for one week, it’s time to take off all the soil, roots and leaves. You are looking for the tuber, which is directly under the center of the plant. The tuber can range from the size of a marble to the size of a baseball.

#3: Wash off all the soil and cut any roots or leaves off. After a good cleaning allow the tuber to air-dry overnight.

#4: Moisten clean sand. Be sure the sand is barely damp (not wet). If the sand is too wet, the tubers will rot.

#5: Pack the tubers in an airtight container. Place a layer of moistened sand in the bottom and then a tuber. Add more sand to fill the container and seal. Label the outside of the container.

#6: Place the tuber containers in a cool, dark place. The temperature should be between 50 and 70 degrees. A basement is an ideal location.

#7: Check your container about once per month. You are looking for mold or rotting tubers. If your tubers are soft, discard them. If they have mold, wash it off and allow the tuber to dry overnight. Then store the tuber in new sand.

You can leave tubers in storage for up to five years, as long as they remain firm and healthy. If you want to replant them, brush off the sand from the firm tuber and place it in the same kind of pot and soil it was in before and place it in your pond. Make sure the water temperature is warm enough (60 degrees at least) before you put the annual plants back in the pond.