Tropical lilies have round shiny leaves that always have crinkled or serrated edges that float on the water’s surface. Their leaves can be green or maroon and some have wonderfully colorful green mottling with darker shades of maroons or deep purples. The large dramatic blooms can get to 10” or more and usually very fragrant and held up on stems high above the water’s surface.
The only drawback, if there is one, is that a tropical lily will not overwinter in the pond. You will have to remove the bulb when they die back in the Fall (some have bloomed up to Thanksgiving!) and clean off the bulb, store in slightly damp sand in a container, in a dark corner of the basement until Spring. In the spring, put them in a small cup on the window sill and start it over.
Day bloomers open in the morning, same as hardy lilies but when hardy lilies start to close 3-4 pm, day bloomers will stay open late into the afternoon- early evening. They are perfect for someone who works all day and only see their hardy lilies on weekends.
Day blooming tropicals are available in wonderful shades of fushia, red, blue, purple, lavender, and the unique ‘green’ family of tropicals. These spectacular shades and colors are not found in hardy lilies.
The Night bloomers are unique in that they start to bloom in the evening and stay open all night and close around 10am. (sometimes later if it is cloudy or rainy day). They come in shades of pure white which reflects the moon’s light or shades of pinks, and red. Many have dark maroon leaves.
What is even more special about night blooming tropicals is that they will bloom in part to full shade. They will bloom in a shade garden will open in the evening and in most cases will stay open until mid-afternoon, only to open again at night and start all over again.