Hopefully April showers brought your pond May flowers!
Irises, marsh marigolds, water forget-me-nots and lots of other marginal plants start to show off their colors this month.
Hardy waterlilies may or may not need a little more time before they start blooming for the season. Regardless of whether you see flowers yet, now is a good time to start fertilizing your lilies, as well as any lotus in the pond. See Tip No. 1 below for more details.
Wondering how much longer you have to wait for your waterlilies to bloom? Check out our May Deep-Dive to learn more about your flowers’ bloom cycles.
3 Tips for May Pond Care
1. Start fertilizing waterlilies and lotus
Waterlilies and lotus need lots of energy to produce the big, beautiful flowers we know and love. That’s why they need an extra boost from fertilizer tablets.
Add two PondGenius Fertilizer tablets every month starting this month to each of your waterlilies, and three tablets per month to each lotus.
What about the rest of your pond plants? Most marginals pull all the nutrients they need directly from your pond water – but feel free to give a fertilizer tablet to any plant that looks like it’s struggling.
2. Thinking about adding new plants to your pond? Now is a good time to start
3. Continue weekly doses of Beneficial Bacteria
Beneficial Bacteria is our go-to water treatment for keeping water crystal-clear and fish happy and healthy.
Bacteria do lots of helpful things for your pond, including consuming harmful ammonia and algae-causing nitrites. For best results, apply bacteria at least once a week throughout the season, or install an Automatic Dosing System that will do the work for you.
Pond Bacteria comes in lots of forms – so how do you know which one you need?
Just follow this guide:
- For water below 50 degrees: Cold Water Bacteria (Available at Splash)
- For water above 50 degrees: Beneficial Bacteria (Available at Splash)
- For new ponds, recently cleaned ponds or springtime ponds above 40 degrees: Pond Starter Bacteria (Available at Splash)
- For Automatic Dosing Systems: Maintain for Ponds Autodoser Pouch (Available at Splash)
In May, you’ll likely be using regular Beneficial Bacteria, Pond Starter Bacteria or the last of your Cold Water Bacteria.
Liquid Beneficial Bacteria comes in an easy-to-use pump-top container. If you buy an 8 oz, 16 oz, or 32 oz bottle, simply add one pump of bacteria per 100 gallons of water in your pond once a week. If you buy a gallon bottle, use one pump per 600 gallons.
(Dry forms of bacteria are also available. See your container for dosing instructions.)
To Calculate Pond Size in US Gallons: Length (in feet) x Width (in feet) x Average Depth (in feet) x 7.48
All of the Beneficial Bacteria products listed above are completely safe for fish and plants – making them a great alternative to potentially harmful algaecides.
When Do Waterlilies Bloom?
Waterlilies don’t get tired, but many do go to bed at night.
Our hardy waterlilies at Splash are day bloomers. This means they will open in mid-morning and typically close in late-afternoon. Some tropical varieties, though, are night bloomers. They open in late afternoon and stay open all evening, finally closing as many people are heading to work for the day.
Each flower on a waterlily will repeat its bloom cycle for three to five days before dying and sinking into the water. With plenty of sunlight and fertilizer, most lilies will produce tons of new flowers throughout the season from May until October in southcentral Pennsylvania (Zone 6).
Not sure which type of waterlily is right for your pond, or want to know why your lilies don’t seem to bloom when they should? Read on …
At a Glance: When Do Waterlilies Bloom?
- Hardy waterlilies usually bloom from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.
- Some tropical waterlilies bloom from late afternoon to early morning.
- Each flower lasts three to five days.
- New flowers grow throughout the spring and summer.