Could these be the largest Victoria pads ever grown in China?

Read about Li Shu-juan

Victoria 'Longwood Hybrid' at
Xi'an Botanical Garden
of China

Page 2

by Li Shu-juan
Click images to enlarge

The Third Transplanting

After fertilizing on April 16, I did something really stupid! (Today, my heart still flutters with fear!) At that time, algae were increasing in our pond because the water was stagnant. So about 11:00, I sprinkled some CuSO4 (copper sulfate) solution in the water. About 16:00, I returned. My God! The edges of all floating leaves were necrotic -- the concentration of CuSO4 solution was too large! The noxious water must be replaced at once. Unfortunately, the water supply department was examining and repairing that day. No water! … About 20:00, the water came. All seedlings were washed time and time again, then replanted in 20×15cm (7.9×5.9") flowerpots. After this, I observed them every morning and evening. I worried that all the seedlings would die!

The seedlings May 6
In the next month, most old leaves withered, two seedlings died, four seedlings were weak, but the other 12 seedlings started growing after a week, though their leaves were smaller than before. About May 10, they had come back to the size of April 16. Then we started to fertilize them again, adding about 5g (.2oz) multiplex fertilizer into the pots weekly.

After this, the 12 seedlings grew well. In the first ten days of June, the diameter of their leaves was about 40cm (15.7").

The seedlings May 29 > 

In this period, we recorded the data of every seedling's growth. The data of seedling #14 is in Table 3 (will open in a new window). The data shows that the seedling grew two leaves every nine days before April 16. After this, the growth speed became markedly slower because of the chemical damage, with two leaves taking about 13 days. The diameter of the sixth floating leaf had reached 12.3cm (4.8") before April 16, but from the seventh to tenth floating leaf, their diameters were all smaller than 12.3cm (4.8"). Their recovery took more than 20 days.

< Seedling #14 April 15

Table 3

Seedling #14 May 11 >

The Outdoor Growth Period

Cofferdam size: 150×150×50cm (59.1×59.1×19.7")

Planting medium: Fertile pool mud, 50kg base fertilizer, 20kg dry chook dung and 30kg rotten oilseed residues, was mixed with pool mud in a cofferdam.

Two of the largest seedlings were planted into two cofferdams in the outdoor pond in our garden.

The first flower of seedling #14 opened on July 24.

In early August, the diameter of all leaves exceeded 200cm (78.4"), the largest was 227cm (89.4").

In Xi'an, it is from the last ten days of July to the first ten days of August that the temperature is highest of the year, so the diameter after the 31st pad is not larger than the 31st pad, but the diameter of pads again reached 227cm (7.4') during hot weather in August.

Seedling #14 06/16

Seedling #15 06/16

Seedling #14 07/11

Seedling #15 07/11

First night flower

Second morning

Second night

Third morning

< Third morning when it was cloudy and rainy

< Page 1

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