Thailand’s “Amazon Lily”, Commonly Known as “Bua Amazon” – An Excellent, Exotic Alternative to the Common Water Lilies
Thailand now abounds with numerous tropical water plants, many of them originally imported and eventually assimilated into the local flora and fauna. The “Bua Amazon”, or the Thai Amazon Lily, bears no relationship with the common water lily, nor is it the same as the more commonly known “Amazonian Water Lily” cited in Western botanical texts. Today the “Bua Amazon” is a very common water plant in Thailand, found in private home gardens, in front of shops, and in many public water gardens.
I’ve been growing Bua Amazons for several years already, and can testify that this common water plant is indeed versatile and attractive. Though they prefer sunny to partially sunny locations, my experience is that they also do quite well in light shade. Bua Amazons are water plants that have dark green spade-shaped leaves on stalks approximately 1-2 ft high, depending upon container size and soil quality.
Bua Amazons thrive in ponds that lie under shallow water, so long as water covers the base of the plants. Unlike common water lilies, Bua Amazons also survive in wet soggy soil that don’t necessarily have to be completely submerged under water.
My tip to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes is, I plant Bua Amazons in large to very large watertight pots and containers, and fill up the containers with a mix of standard potting soil, organic fertilizer (processed animal manure) and clay soil. After setting the plants in place, I cover the surface (approximately 2-3 inches below the container’s upper rim) with a layer of clay soil to prevent sediments and fertilizers below from floating. I then water the container so that the water fills up approximately 1-2 inches above the top soil. The plants should be watered again in about 2 or 3 days after the water has just dried up below the top soil to break the mosquito breeding cycle. Remember, even though the water has dried up beneath the topsoil, it is still very wet and soggy beneath, enough to support these versatile water plants.
Once sufficiently mature, Bua Amazons produce long flower stalks with small white blossoms blooming along the stalks. Once these blooms have faded, tiny plantlets will grow in their place along the stalks.
Once sufficiently mature, these plantlets can be replanted and rooted in shallow ponds or watery soil. First, cut out each individual plantlet or groups of plantlets from the flower stalks:
Second, the plantlets can be planted directly in wet soil or rooted in water (to spur root growth prior to being transplanted in wet soil.)
If planted directly in the soil, water the pot so that the water level sufficiently covers the base of the plantlets. Make sure that the water level is kept consistent for the coming weeks, in order to allow the plantlets to root and establish themselves.
So in a few months, you will have plenty of homegrown Bua Amazon plantlets to propagate or to share with friends and fellow avid gardeners.
You will definitely enjoy this amazing water plant!
Your comments and feedbacks are welcome. If you happen to know the botanical or latin names of these plants, please do share it with me and fellow gardeners. Thanks!
Happy Gardening, and Enjoy!
Lat (Ratasit C.)