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What you need:
  • Pruning shears
  • Unheated garage or basement
A hardy Water Lily can spend winter in the water in all parts of the United States as long as the point at soil level from which the leaves emerge does not freeze solid. In a cold climate, lift your plant from your shallow pond or container before the surface freezes and overwinter the plant in a cool location.
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Trim away all remaining leaves close to the crown.
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Place the pot in an unheated garage or basement consistently between 35 and 45 degrees F. during winter. Brief freezing is not harmful, but the soil must not be allowed to freeze solid. While dormant, the plant does not need to be submersed in water, but check it every 7-10 days and saturate the soil if it feels dry.
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Move your plant back outside when all danger of hard spring frosts have passed. If the plant has already begun to produce new growth, acclimate the plant gradually to full sun before setting it in water. If exposed to full sun immediately, the new foliage may burn. Continue to check the soil for moisture until the plant is back in the water.