Lilies armed with spines!

Posted by Naples Contributor on November 13, 2009 6:10 PM.

I’m sure many of you have seen the movie or theatre production of “Little Shop of Horrors”. Well, have I got a plant for you! It doesn’t eat people, or bugs for that matter, but it’s loaded with spines, opens at night and is incredibly beautiful!!

 I’m pointing my finger at the Amazon water lily! We currently have the Victoria amazonica and Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ (which is a cross between V. amazonica and V. cruziana). Both are just spectacular in size and appearance in the Brazil Garden water feature.

One interesting fact about the lilies is the entire underside is armed with spines! From stem, to underside of lily pad, to the flower…everything has spines. I must wear gloves in order to trim off old flower heads and leaf pads. They have been blooming non stop since they’ve arrived at the garden. They bloom at night, and the flower is white and scented. The second night, the flower is pink, and then it’s done.

Caring for these plants is a labor of love. Weekly, I fertilize with a pellet fertilizer…this is the easy part. I simply punch the pellets into the soil around the plant. The real fun comes in the form of injecting a mixture into the soil. Using a liquid combination, which includes fish emulsion, it is pulled into a syringe and injected into the soil. With proper feeding the pads continually grow. The record is 106”! I don’t think ours will get that large, but hope to come close!

These plants were started from seed by Ken Mayberger of Roseglen Nursery last spring and moved to the Garden in August – you can check out the movie at this YouTube Video...

 

Come out and wander in the Brazilian Garden to see these amazing plants!

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