Secrets For Starting Your Own Water Lily Seeds

You can really start your own water lily seeds by following these instructions

There are two responses a water lily flower has after it has finished blooming.

  • The first is for the stem to collapse and the flower floats downward in the water with the stem staying straight. No pollination has occurred and you don’t have seeds.
  • The second is for the flower to lower itself on the stem in a spiral and submerge itself all coiled up. Congratulations, you have a seedpod developing.

Collecting Seed

The first step is figure out a way to collect the seed. 🙂 The easiest way is to put the blossom into a cloth bag and allow the seed to mature inside the bag.

The second easiest is to to pick the flower about 10–12 days after it has gone under the water and put that flower pod into a container of distilled water to continue growing.

The third way is to buy them at Amazon.

When To Plant Your Water Lily Seeds

  • As soon as the pod releases the individual seed, you can plant them.
  • Do not remove the gelatin coating on the seed.
  • Spread the seed on soil (use a heavy clay soil — not a potting soil) in a very shallow growing pan — approximately 3–4 inches deep.
  • Cover the seed very lightly with sand. We don’t want them floating away.


Put the growing pan in an aquarium or some water container where

  • the top of the soil will be 2–3 inches below the surface and
  • the water is warm — at least 72F.

They’ll require a great deal of full sunlight at this point so if you’re doing this indoors, ensure they get lots of light but nothing hot and fully direct (in other words, a grow lamp 6 inches above the seed tray is too close but one 18–24 inches above is likely fine.

It will take several weeks for the first seeds to germinate. Leave them alone.

When the first leaves reach the surface of the water, the seeds can be removed carefully and potted up in small individual pots.

It is a good idea to put a small bit of compost into the bottom of the pot before you fill the rest of it with soil.

We need to gently feed our small lilies at this transplant stage or we need to give them a source of food when the roots start growing.

Cover the individual pots with 2–4 inches of water.

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Six Months Later

You’re likely looking at six months for these baby plants to be ready for outdoor planting.

The biggest killer in the seedling stage is algae. If you have string algae in the aquarium, it must be controlled or it can choke out the plant growth.

You have to control this manually as any algaecide (even that safe for fish and aquarium plants) will kill these tender baby plants. Twirl it around a pencil or other small stick (toothpicks work well right up around the baby plants) and pull it out on a regular basis.

Once the seedling roots are filling the pot and running out the bottom holes, they are ready for transplanting outdoors.

And that’s how you start water lily seeds.

But if you can’t do this or don’t want to spend the time, let me suggest you can get a huge range of colors and plants here at Amazon

Check out the other garden solutions on my Amazon ebook list here.

How To Get More Roses From Your Own Garden

There is a small trick to growing roses from cuttings

The trick is in when to take the cutting.

With your thumb, gently push sideways against the green thorns on the shoot you are considering cutting.

  • If the thorn bends over and doesn’t easily come away from the shoot, the cutting is too green and it will not root easily.
  • If the cutting fights back and (punctures your thumb) doesn’t release easily, it is too woody and will not root well.
  • However, between these points is a time when the thorn will not bend and will suddenly release from the shoot with a little pop with a medium amount of pressure.

Then you’ll get good results with cuttings at this level of maturity.

Photo by Tiffany Chan on Unsplash

Roughly When Is This?

This time is roughly when the flower buds start to open up on the first flush of blossoms.

What roses can be propagated this way?

I’ve done every kind of rose in this manner — from hybrid teas to hardy shrub roses. It may not be economical for commercial nurseries to do this but if you want roses on their own roots, this is an easy skill to master.

Other considerations

  • I’ve found that spraying rose cuttings with an anti-desiccant works very well to assist in the rooting process. This stops the cutting from losing moisture.
  • I’ve also found that growing roses from cuttings is much easier if I take those cuttings in the morning rather than later in the day. There is less water stress or plant stress early in the morning and a happy plant roots faster.
  • Bottom heat is almost a necessity if you want to see rose roots any time this century. I use a heat mat with a temperature of 72F to keep the shoots warm.
  • I have heard of gardeners who have inserted their rose cuttings in glasses of water and been successful but I’ve never done this and wouldn’t really recommend it for consistent results.
  • But if you have more glasses of water than rose cuttings and you’re only doing one or two cuttings — go for it but don’t count on it.
  • I also use warm water when watering and misting the rose.
  • Roots should appear any time after 4 weeks and sometimes sooner.
  • Do not jiggle the rose cutting around to see if there are roots. You’ll disturb the emerging roots and perhaps kill them.
  • In general, treat rose cuttings like any other tender shrub or cutting. You’ll know you’ve been successful when the rose cutting starts growing new leaves and starts growing into a new rose.

What about growing own-root roses — is it difficult?


They’ll grow just like any other shrub.

Just understand that tender roses are usually grafted to increase their hardiness as well as their flowering so you may have difficulty overwintering tender hybrid tea roses depending on where you live.

In a USDA zone 4, I can root all the tea roses I want but none make it over that first winter. Sigh…

Shrub roses and tough roses grow more slowly on their own roots and may not flower quite as much but you can succeed with them.

Having trouble overwintering roses? Click here

Here are more notes about growing roses.

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