A Taste of the TropicsScroll to learn more
Tropical Lilies vs. Hardy Lilies
Here at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens you will find both hardy lilies and tropical lilies. It's been part of the gardening tradition for over 100 years. Listen to chief gardener Doug Rowley describe the differences between the two types of lilies.
Seasons Are Changing
Flowering time is directly related to temperature. Here at Kenilworth, our gardeners have seen warm temperatures earlier. Studies of the mid-Atlantic and DC regions have shown earlier flowering times as temperatures increase.
Warmer air, warmer water temperatures, and the number of high temperature days at Kenilworth’s Aquatic Gardens also have a huge impact on the care of the tropical lilies. Tropical lily leaves sit side-by-side and reduce evaporation from the water surface as the temperature rises.
The Care of Tropical Lilies
Gardeners care for the tropical lilies year round. How do you think the lilies are affected by our warming climate?
September to October: Before winter, the gardeners dig up the tropical lilies and bring them into the greenhouses.
November to January: The gardeners collect the potato-like tubers, pack them in damp sand by mid-December, and store them at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for several months.
February: The gardeners pot the tubers in a heated tank in the greenhouse to sprout. Sprouted tubers are planted in 4-inch pots in the greenhouse.
March to April: As the lilies grow, the gardeners replant them in larger pots: 6-inch, 8-inch, sometimes even 12-inch pots.
May to June: When the pond water is 70 to 75 degrees, the gardeners move some lilies outside to test conditions. This is happening earlier with climate change.
June to July: The gardeners move all of the tropical lilies outside. They fertilize and trim the lilies as they grow. Trimming back leaves fuels the flowering.
Picture our Parks
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