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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Some Like It Wet

Sorry for the long absence from blogging. I've been both busy and lazy, waiting for my SPM results and spending more time in Facebook gardening groups. Nonetheless, I'm back and hopefully will be active again.

Recently, I've been interested in growing flora of the aquatic kind. I've always dreamt of having a lily pond  and thanks to a generous fish-rearing friend of mine, I've acquired a pretty large, used tank to fulfill my fantasy. Thanks to my parents and gardening friends too, I've got quite a lot of aquatic plants from my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur and Sg. Buloh nurseries.

Water lilies (Nymphaea sp.) are a must-have for any pond, with their lovely, colourful flowers and iconic lilypads. These are tropical day-blooming water lilies, with flowers that open in the day and close in the evening. They produce a mild fragrance and are attractive to bees, which have help pollinated some of my flowers. Once pollinated, the flower stems will sink into the water and the flower heads will curve upwards. In about a month, the fruits will burst to release hundreds of tiny seeds to the water surface.

Finally, after about 5 years, my crimson night-blooming lily (Nymphaea 'Red Flare') have bloomed. The lilypads have toothed edges and are bronze in colour. The fragrant, crimson blossoms open at night and close in the morning.

The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), a sacred flower in Buddhism, is also a popular aquatic plant with edible tubers and seeds. After a long battle with voracious caterpillars, both my pink and white lotus are flowering again. The large, round leaves are superhydrophobic and attractive in a way too.

The water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) is a very invasive and fast grower which floats on the water surface. They have extremely tiny and drab flowers, but the lettuce-like leaves are the attractive parts. They reproduce asexually very quickly, so I have to toss some away from time to time to prevent them from crowding out the pond. However, they are beneficial since they remove excess nutrients from the water, thus limiting algae growth.

The mosaic plant (Ludwigia sedioides) is another aquatic plant with attractive foliage. The leaves float on the surface of the water and are arranged in a mosaic-like pattern, hence the common name. They have yellow flowers, but mine has yet to produce them.

Marginal water plants produce a nice contrast with water lilies and other floaters. The bulltongue arrowhead (Sagittaria lancifolia) on the left have elongated leaves and small white blossoms. The water canna (Thalia geniculata) on the right have canna-like leaves and grows very tall flower stalks with cute, purplish flowers.

Here's my tank, which I've spent days arranging and adjusting the plants in. I'm also rearing red swordtail fish inside the tank to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. They've even bred and produced plenty of fries. Seeing them swimming around the plants, I feel tranquil and relaxed. 

Until next time!


  1. Lovely pictures, Congratulations. Nice to see you posting again.

  2. Its to have you back in the radar again. love your aquatic plants and the lovely flowers. Though san flowers, the mosaic plant is pretty by itself.

  3. I love aquatic plants especially the large lily pads. I like that bright pink Nymphaea also.

  4. That's my favourite Nymphaea.

  5. Wow Aaron very nice! Very good selection. I like that crimson coloured one!! The smell must have been amazing. Well done. Enjoy.

  6. @Linda



    Thank you. The crimson one is very striking, so it's a favourite of mine. The scent isn't very strong, but it's nice.

  7. You do have an amazing collection of water plants on that little pond. Makes me want to dabble in water lilies again :)

  8. simply beautifully captured shots... lovely!

  9. you have really lovely photos, and even more gorgeous plants! i've been stalking your blog since last month after browsing through and randomly coming across this URL (can't remember from which post). would love to contact you guys who are into carnivorous plants but i can't get my request for membership approved for some reason, it's still pending and all that.

    anyway this might be an over-asked and potentially annoying question but i don't have much resources on hand currently so here goes: where do you get your CPs? i'm looking to expand my very tiny, tiny collection. am based in sarawak so it's quite a pain getting heaps of stuff here.

  10. @Autumn Belle

    Thanks. You should dabble in them again haha.

    @Kalyan P



    Thank you. Petpitcher isn't a very active forum anymore since most of the members have shifted to Facebook groups. If you have a Facebook account, try joining the 'CP-lover's Forum' group. There are members there who sell plants. I get most of mine from them and local nurseries.

  11. thanks a lot, that was helpful! shame about the forum though since i thought it was a pretty awesome idea.