With the many new gardening possibilities my new domicile offers, I am of course already hatching plans for all sorts of plant-related projects. One of those is to grow some small tropical waterlilies (Nymphaea sp.) in nice containers, to adorn the balcony in summer and perhaps even the sun room in winter. I have seen a lot of this done in South and Southeast Asia, for instance in Thailand as I described here, or in Malaysia and India in the pictures below:
A white one at the royal museum in Klang, Malaysia...
... And some pink and purple ones in the same garden
Another one found last January in the roof garden of a guest house in Varanasi, India, a bit bedraggled by winter cold and perhaps neglect, but still producing flower buds
Obviously I will have to go even a bit smaller than at least the first two examples, but hopefully that will not be a deal breaker. Now, if anyone has experience with this, I have some questions:
What species or varieties of Nymphaea should I give a try? My online research so far suggests that Nymphaea x daubenyana, also known as Nymphaea x daubeniana or Nymphaea 'Dauben', is my best bet, since apparently it will adapt to different pond or container sizes, can grow in very shallow water, and will still flower under less than ideal conditions, such as in a bit of shade or cooler temperatures. Does anyone have other suggestions? Something showier in terms of flower color and shape, perhaps, but still as small and tough?
Secondly, from where should I order my plants? I found a number of potential purveyors online, but would love any recommendations or warnings from anyone who has experience ordering these sort of plants in the United States.