Gardening

Nymph Care: [Soil, Moisture, Pruning and Problems]

What characteristics do nymphs have?

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The nymph, or Nymphaea Greek word, is a beautiful perennial aquatic plant that does not hide its fascination with freshwater bodies.

Where it usually lives placidly until it grows at least two meters to enchant its admirers with its beautiful flowers that stand out with great elegance.

They live for several years, they are rhizomatous, that is, they have a long thickened stem that remains below the ground, at the bottom of the freshwater courses where they remain.

But there are some species that choose to also leave some of their leaves submerged and others float on the surface of the water.

This means that they have differently shaped leaves, known as heteromorphs. They have plenty of time on Earth. Specimens of the last era of the dinosaurs are known and in the so-called pre-Hispanic era deities or gods of water were worshiped with the flowers of the nymphs or water lilies.

They are also known as Water Lilies, Nymphaeum or Water Lily, but in fact their scientific name comes from the Greek Nymphaia, which precisely recalls the beautiful nymphs of Greek mythology turned into these unique swimming plants.

Some have narcotic effects, but others were used by the pre-Hispanic communities of the Mexican Valley as food. Its habitat includes lakes, lagoons, puddles, streams, ponds.

They are highly valued in gardening because they are ideal as an ornament and give off a very fragrant scent, especially the white-flowered variety. Moreover, there are many cultivars of highly preferred species such as Nymphaea alba, or Nymphaea tetragona, commonly known as Venus Water Lily.

The native variety of the Gulf Coast Nymphaia mexicana or yellow lily is considered an invasive weed of wetlands belonging to the southern half of the United States.

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It grows in swamps and large lakes of good depth. Thanks to its enormous colonizing potential, in Spain it has also become a serious threat to local and native species, which is why it has been included in the Spanish Catalog of Invasive Alien Species.

It has round leaves of a very bright green tone, with a reddish or purple waxy underside that efficiently protects it from water and its flowers protrude from a peduncle capable of raising them several centimeters (sometimes they protrude up to 20 cm) just to be admired.

Said sheets can also exert an effective control on the appearance of algae, but also protect the fish from the threat of external predators. Its seeds germinate in the water and it blooms between May and September of each year. The only bad thing is that its flowers last about 5 days, nothing more.

They are almost magical, worthy of admiration thanks to solitary flowers that have a string arranged in layers with a unique perfection, which get smaller as they approach the center of the flower.

The colors of the flowers reach their maximum splendor in the summer, when they float in a multicolored aquatic dance, in shades of white, yellow, blue, pink, violet or purple. There are about 50 species from the northern hemisphere of the planet, specifically from tropical regions, all rhizomatous.

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They have, in fact, a long rhizome that reaches the surface of the water, because it is strong, fleshy, knotty and extracts nutrients from the bottom of stagnant water.

Among the best known are: Nymphaea gigantea, Nymphaeacaerulea, Nymphaea capensis, Nymphaea tuberosa, Nymphaea amazonum and Nymphaea pygmaea alba, among others.

Currently, there are many species that are used for ornamental purposes and some are even used to extract food, since the seeds and rhizomes of the Victoria and Nymphaea genera are eaten.

Precisely the genus Victoria is very impressive because it has two American species, the V. Cruziana in Argentina, and the V. amazónica, native to the extensive Amazon rainforest.

They have leaves that can reach two meters in diameter, they are quite a sight in the water and they bloom a lot. Its striking white and yellow flowers can be about 30 cms.

These behave very actively, because during the day they open with the intention of attracting beetles or beetles for pollination purposes, thanks to their penetrating aroma.

The result is of double benefit, because the beetle feeds on the starch present in the flowers, while the latter accomplishes its task: to impregnate the beetles with pollen, which escape in the afternoon, when the flower opens again and then closes. again the next dawn, looking for new pollinators.

The incredible thing is that each pollinated flower changes its color, turns pink and no longer emits any perfumed odor, until it disappears by submerging so that the white flowers have no competition and are pollinated.

A common way to grow water lilies is to grow them at the bottom of a pond after adding soil, or in submerged pots. Do you dare to cultivate these beautiful aquatic plants? In the following summary we will tell you what are the most important aspects to take into account if you want to immerse yourself in the magic of the nymphs.

What land needs do nymphs have?

When it comes to preparing soils tailored to water lilies, planting this species can preferably be done in spring, after preparing a substrate that has a rich contribution of organic fertilizer.

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The ideal combination is as follows: 1/3 leaf mulch previously bound with coarse sand, as well as 1/3 garden soil and a similar amount of peat moss.

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Experts also recommend that the sand be placed on the ground, on top, in order to prevent the water from turning cloudy when spring arrives and it is time to pour water into the pond.

And it is that the pond must have a cloudy bottom and a much clearer surface, so we should not get too obsessive about cleaning.

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But it is also true that the water where the water lilies live should never be dirty, without maintenance. And you can’t lower your level either.

Another high-carat consideration is this: Once the blooming period is over, which usually occurs late in the fall, it is imperative to do a thorough cleaning of the pond while keeping the plants in submerged pots.

The most important fertilizer is applied with manure, taking advantage of this major maintenance work to the pond. A slow-release fertilizer is also very appropriate, or you should ask a trusted nursery for specific substrates for aquatic plants.

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How to make the nymphs grow strong and vigorous?

One of the main needs of water lilies is direct exposure to the sun, without restrictions. And the best time for planting is undoubtedly spring.

If at home we have an aquatic area such as a pond, a fountain, aquatic plants are ideal as natural decoration. It should be noted that aquatic plants in general are very self-sufficient.

They not only beautify an aquarium, a pond or a fountain, they are also capable of providing a very healthy habitat for the rest of the members of the ecosystem, such as fish, who will be blessed by beneficial bacteria.

We must not forget for anything in the world that plants are great chemical machines that transform light and carbon dioxide, lavishing us with environments loaded with excellent levels of oxygen where healthier fish will grow.

So simple and wonderful at the same time. In the same way, aquatic plants in general are also capable of using other toxic nutrients for other living beings, such as nitrites, nitrates and ammonia, as well as heavy metals.

What humidity do nymphs need?

Given their condition as expert aquatic plants, they can withstand high humidity environments. Their habitat includes lakes, lagoons, puddles, streams, ponds, in short, they move in all bodies of fresh water.

The white variety requires that the water be in good condition so that they are not damaged. Its ideal cultivation is carried out in lakes, swamps and ponds, but they also adapt in the aquatic area of ​​a garden.

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It prefers warm waters, supports low temperatures and demands a substrate rich in nutrients. Its rhizomes and stems, delicately cut into pieces, can be planted in pots and other places in the pond.

The seeds can be placed in submerged pots in the water specially designed for aquatic plants, because they allow rooting and prevent the soil from spreading throughout the pond. As the plant grows, the water level will rise.

Is it necessary to prune the nymphs?

In order to prevent them from rotting in water, negatively impacting the pond and its water quality, it is necessary that their leaves be pruned, as well as the branches and flowers.

Similarly, it is recommended to place a wire mesh on the surface of the pond when there are deciduous plants near them.

How often should we prune the nymphs?

Summer is a good time to carry out a stimulating pruning on cultivars, where small, dry or withered leaves are removed, so that the next flowering is abundant.

How to avoid pests and diseases of nymphs?

They are very susceptible to receiving the cunning attack of the black louse, an insect that invades quickly. Immediate treatment with insecticide products must be applied.

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