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How to Grow Lotus Flower in Home Garden?How to Grow Lotus Flower in Home Garden?
The lotus flower (Nelumbo spp.) is not only beautiful and unique, but it also holds an enormous symbolic heritage that spans thousands of years. Native to India and Viet Nam, the lotus flower is considered sacred and is revered all across the middle east.
This aquatic perennial symbolizes purity, fertility, rebirth, wealth and many other things. The unique habits of this mysterious plant make it a highly prized addition to any outdoor or indoor garden.
Follow these tips and learn how to grow a lotus flower in your garden or home.
Start Your Lotus Flower with Seeds
Seeds can be purchased from an online retailer or any garden supply center.
Place lotus seeds in a glass or bowl of warm water. Seeds that float are infertile and should be removed from the water and discarded.
Change the water every day until you see roots emerge from the seed.
Fill a small 4-5 inch pot with loose garden loam and make an indention in the top with your thumb. Gently lift sprouted lotus seed from the water and place in the indentation. Lightly cover roots with garden loam.
If the seed has already developed leaves, be careful not to cover them with loam.
Place the pot containing the new transplant in a container that holds two inches of water. The water should be warm and kept at a consistent two-inch depth.
Place the container in a sunny location where the plant will receive at least 8 hours a day of sunlight.
The lotus plant will remain here until it develops more roots and leaves.
Final Growing Location
Once the seed has developed a strong root system and large leaves, it can be placed in its final aquatic home.
Prepare the final home for the lotus plant by placing two inches of clay in the bottom of an outdoor water feature or a non-draining container for indoor growth. Place plant on top of clay. Gently spread out roots and cover with a thin layer of clay.
Cover the clay with half an inch of pea gravel. This will keep the clay in place and the water clear.
Fill the water feature/container with enough water to reach the bottom of the lotus flower so it can float. Add water as needed to keep plant floating.
The aquatic plant will probably not bloom the first year.
Feed an established lotus flower once a month during the growing season.
Trim off yellow foliage in the fall.
Over-winter in deep ponds that don’t freeze, or remove plant and place in a cool, dry location until spring.
Basic Guide To Growing Lotuses
Growing lotuses (Nelumbo) can be easy and fun either from a tuber or from seed. If you grow from a tuber, you will have an exact duplicate of the parent, in many cases a named cultivar. If growing from seed, please keep in mind that, even if a name comes with the seeds, the offspring will be quite variable because of the genetics involved and they can’t retain the cultivar name.
|Your tuber should be firm and have a healthy growing tip. Be very careful not to damage the tips as they are quite fragile and critical to growing the plant.|
Choose round containers for lotuses so future runners don’t get jammed in square corners. Soil can be anything readily available but avoid potting soils which contain light materials that will float away. Plant your lotus tuber in the soil with the growing tip at soil level and pointed toward the center of the pot. Fertilize regularly during the growing season with tablets designed for aquatic plants.
Lotuses can be grown in the main pond, a separate small pond, or self-contained in decorative pots for the patio or deck. Water over the pot or soil in the container should be at least 8″ deep. If growing in the pond, be sure that runners don’t escape the container and invade the pond. They can overwhelm other pond plants.
With some varieties, it can take several years for them to bloom, and this can also be dependent on your location. In the meantime, you can enjoy the spectacular foliage, almost enough by itself!
Baby Lotus Care In Winter
Baby lotus are too small to winter in a pond, this first season. Plant each baby in a 4-inch pot with a mixture of 1/3 soil, 2/3 sand and about a tablespoonful of cheap kitty litter … for the clay. Sink them in an aquarium or deep tub so they are about 4 inches under water.
Grow lights are helpful, but not too close. You will dehydrate the little leaves. Add an air stone bubblier to circulate the water slowly, and if the set up is in a basement or cold area, an in-tank heater will keep the temperature constant. Don’t worry about the baby lotus going dormant. Just let them decide when that happens. As the days get shorter, turn you grow lights off as the sun goes down and on at sunrise.
Keep your water clean. Never use softened tap water. Too many chemicals will do the babies great harm. Catch rainwater or use well water. If you add some floating plants and a few fish, you will have created a mini-pond environment to enjoy throughout the cold winter days.
Tooooooooo much work you say! I bet you will change your mind when you see that baby lotus put out the first new spring leaf, and your now-teenage lotus is ready for the big pond the first warm day in spring. Remember to treat them like children. Keep ’em clean, warm and resist overfeeding them. May you enjoy each Lotus to it’s fullest as they grow and mature and shower you with beautiful blooms.