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Tropical lilies are a grander form of their Hardy counterparts. These lilies will grow to be taker and wider, as well as include a larger range of colors. Their habits are different as well, with half of the Tropical’s blooming during the day, and the other half blooming at night. Mostly all of the day bloomers have a fragrance, as well as a few of the night bloomers. Tropical water lily blooms feature long stems, making them wonderful for cutting. These plants are considered annuals in colder climates, as they will not survive the winter outdoors, and need to grow to live. This requires heat lights and a heated water tank to winter them through indoors. With all of this work, it is not worth the cost.

Tropical water lilies feature more species than Hardies because they are able to hybridize much faster, creating the different breeds. The leaves of the Tropicals spread out, and features decorative leaves with crimping, toothed or fluted edges. Tropicals will require half to twice as much pool space as the Hardies though.

Tropicals vs. Hardies Care
Tropicals need fairly shallow water to begin to grow. They will thrive in water lily pools, both large and small. It is best to plant them around the shallow edges of your pond, or to prop them up in deeper sections, so their blooms can break the pond surface. In order for the Tropical lilies to grow well, they must be fed well! As they are very greedy feeders, if you choose not to feed them, they will not grow to the large aesthetic sizes perfect for ponds. Both, day and night blooming lilies need to be planted in 2-3 gallon pots. The pots need to be filled half way with a rich heavy soil with 2-4 aquatic fertilizer tablets. Do not use potting soil, compost, vermiculite or perilite because they will float out of the pot and dirty your water. Finish filling the pot to just about 2 inches from the top.

Like the Hardies, the Tropicals have several species that may seem identical. This is to show the range of colors and shapes, which is why overlapping is important.
There are many day blooming lilies that have a special characteristic few other flowers do. Tropical lilies can be viviparous, which means they bear their young alive. The young is a miniature version of the parent, with blooms that sprout from the umbilicus at the center of the mature leaves.

Here are some of the varieties of day-blooming Tropicals:
•  African Gold
•  American Beauty (N. ampla)
•  Bob Trickett (N. Burttii) -- The plant is still an enigma. Difficult to propagate and grow, but hybrids reproduce readily from tubers. The plant proved to be a new species when studied at the botanical gardens and was named for the discoverer.
•  Cleveland -- rose-pink blossoms.

Maintaining your blooms
Tropical Lilies will bloom as long as the water temperature stays at 72F or 20C. If the water temperature drops below this, the lilies will stop blooming. Tropical will bloom later into the fall season because of this reason, since Hardies stop blooming as the sunlight decreases. Once the weather cools, the Tropicals will be done for the year.

When to Place Lilies Outdoors
You should not plant your lilies outside until the water temperatures have reached 72F/20C. If you plant when the water is too cold, the root will go dormant. It will not bloom, and you could loose the flowers and the root. Be sure to use a water thermometer to check the water temperature before you plant!