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From what I can remember, putting the lilies in damp soil is a way to put them into dormancy like imitating the dry season. It should be covered in water to promote growth.
 

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So...I was moving one of my larger "pots" around for a root tab refresher when I discovered this underneath it:
Amber Yellow Gold Art Artifact


Believe it or not, that is all coming from the little k-cup that until a couple days ago contained the bulb from which my dwarf red tiger lotus grew. It's literally as big as the plant itself.

I didn't know what to do with it. Sitting a potted plant directly on top of it didn't seem like a good idea. So, I aquascaped some gravel over it:
Botany Light Leaf Nature Plant


I probably buried some bladder snails in the process (Sorry fellas.) But, I'm thinking that root system is strong enough to keep things pretty aerated down there. Don't you think?
 

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Another birth in progress! Your porcelain bowl will soon be filled with these lilies.
I've thought about this and a number of things make lilies very appealing. First and foremost is the Aerial Advantage they have over ordinary submerged plants. It takes the whole problem of whether and how to supply CO2 to one's plants off the table. They get it directly from the air.

Secondly, their metamorphosis is fascinating. In my case, if I throw a lotus or lily bulb into the bottom of my bowl, they will spend months in a kind of protracted "juvenile" stage during which their submerged leaves will grow in circumference and length, making them very attractive centerpiece plants.

Then all of a sudden, there is the appearance of these alien-like shoots that slowly find their way to the surface and turn into entirely different leaves. Pretty soon it's a different plant.

Ironically (and I'd love your opinion on this), they wouldn't be my first choice for getting a Walstad tank off the ground. It takes time for them to develop extensive root systems, so I wouldn't categorize them as "fast growers" in the conventional sense. But, boy! Once they do, there's no stopping them. I have only the thinnest imaginable substrate of mulm and gravel and they seem to love it.

I've noticed a lot of pin-holes in their leaves, especially in the lotuses. But, a recent discussion of the problem on this forum led me to my local health food store for the solution: one crushed potassium pill seems to have done the trick.
 
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