Having visited the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and enjoyed the lotus’ fragrant and brilliant flowers, you’ve now returned to your home, hoping you could live in that tropical paradise every day. This is your post, then. If you have a sunny place, a large pot, and a few lotus seeds, you may create your own little lotus oasis by following the steps outlined here. We’ll walk you through the process of starting a lotus seed and seeing it through to harvest!
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Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, is the lotus we include in our seed packs and the lotus you’re most likely to find for sale. Large fan-shaped leaves protrude from the surface of the water and form the base of the bloom. Many Asian civilizations revere this ancient flower as a symbol of purity, calm, and resiliency. It is found across Asia. Seasons change, yet these lotus come back to life in the spring when the water temperature rises!
Lotus, on the other hand, is a simple plant to grow as long as you meet their few requirements. To get started, you’ll only require the following:
- A place to relax in the sun. There must be at least six hours of sunlight each day for the Lotus to thrive.
- A sweltering location. This is the ideal water temperature for growing lotus.
- A container with no holes in the bottom that is huge and deep. A minimum of 12″ deep by 24″ broad is recommended.
- Embryos of the lotus flower! You can get yours from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center or from a variety of seed companies online.
- Some sand and dirt. Instead of using standard potting soil, which tends to float, we suggest using a soil rich in clay. Obtain enough to fill 3-5 inches of your container.
- Sprouting in a tiny cup.
- Using a knife or file, you can remove the outer coat of seeds.
- Aquatic fertilizer can be used, if desired. The most effective aquatic fertilizer is 10-14-8.
Preparing the Seeds
Acorn-sized acorn-sized lotus seeds are what you should look for in your lotus seeds. Researchers have found 1000-year-old lotus seeds sprouting from seeds that had been dormant for years because of this dark brown protective covering. You must remove this outer covering with a file or by carefully cutting the seed so that the cream-colored layer is revealed.
Set your seeds to germinate on a sunny windowsill in a transparent jar filled with warm water. Water that is warm and clean is the best way to ensure a fast growth. If the water is cloudy, you should change it to prevent the growth of bacteria. A week or so after planting, you should begin to see sprouts.
In a shallow basin with a few inches of soil mix and more warm water to top off, place your sprouted seeds when their stems are about four inches long. You can move your plant into its permanent home once it has established itself in the shallow bowl.
Lotuses do best in warm water, but they also require a lot of room to expand, so finding the correct container is essential. The smallest container for your lotus should have a depth of 12 inches and a width of 24 inches. In order for your new lotus roots to flourish rather than decay, you’ll need good soil. A blend of sand, clay, and little organic stuff is ideal. Regular potting soil has a lot of organic material and will float to the top of your pot or pond rather than sink to the bottom.
When your lotus have sprouted a few leaves and established a healthy tuber, it’s time to transfer your baby lotus to their final home! Layer 3-5” of soil mixture to the bottom of the vessel and plant your lotus tubers into the soil. Fill with warm water to just barely top your leaves! As the lotus leaves grow, you can slowly add more water until they reach the top of the pot. Be sure to check back often to ensure the water level doesn’t drop too much due to evaporation.
And then it’s only a matter of time! Once your lotus has aerial leaves (i.e., rising above the water), your plant has begun to mature! Expect blooms in the second year of growth, and enjoy your small oasis right in your backyard or porch!
Other Tips and Recommendations
Growing lotus can be an absolute pleasure but does come with a few tricky spots. Here are some recommendations and reassurances to help guide you through the growing process.
- After a period of rapid growth, you may see yellowing and withering in your plant’s leaves. There’s nothing to be afraid about! The tubers of your lotus are going into dormancy in order to strengthen them. The leaves will begin to regrow after they have expanded sufficiently.
- Adding fertilizer to your lotus once a couple of its leaves have risen above the surface of the water might help it grow. An aquatic fertilizer with a 10-14-8 ratio is often the best.
- Bringing your lotus pot indoors during the colder months will help it survive the winter. When the water does not entirely freeze, the lotus roots have an easier time growing again.
- In order to ensure that your seeds are started late enough to have steady warm weather outside, you must examine the temperature of the place where you live. Lotus seeds can usually be started in May in the mid- and northern United States and can be planted outside in pots and ponds by mid-June. In the south of the United States, you can usually start seedlings in April.
The National Park Service prohibits visitors from removing anything from the park. To help support this park, consider purchasing your lotus seeds from Friends or an online merchant.
HOW TO GROW LOTUS PLANTS FROM SEED
Collecting lotus seeds
To collect lotus seeds, wait until the seed head has dried completely.
When the seeds are completely dried, they will become a dark brown color.
Remove the seeds with care and plant them right away, or store them in a paper envelope until you’re ready to sow them in the ground.
Lotus seeds can be purchased online or from most garden centers and nurseries if you don’t have access to freshly harvested ones.
Planting lotus seeds
During late April, when temperatures are consistently warm and the risk of frost has passed, the best time to plant lotus seeds is
Before planting, you’ll need to scrape off a tiny part of the seed coating to help with germination.
It is necessary to remove a very small portion of the seed coat prior to seeding in order to aid with germination.
Get some thick topsoil or clay soil and soak the seeds for at least an hour before planting them.
Using standard potting soil will result in the pot floating on top of the water, which is not ideal for aquatic plants.
Place the pot in a warm place and fill it to the brim with water.
Lotus seeds typically sprout in around ten days.
Caring for seed grown lotus plants
To placing the container in the pond, wait until after the seedlings have sprouted and the first leaves have emerged.
Keep the pot in an area that gets full sunlight.
Lotus plants benefit from being fertilized, but you should wait until the plant has at least a few aerial leaves before begin fertilizing.
For the greatest results, use aquatic plant fertilizer tablets that can be pushed into the soil.
Typically, seed-grown lotus plants don’t bloom in their first year since the plant’s energy is devoted to developing tubers.
So, those are my tips for starting a lotus seedling.
A backyard pond or water garden with magnificent lotus blooms can be yours with a little perseverance and the appropriate conditions.
5 Practical Tips in Planting Lotus Seeds
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning to grow lotus seeds:
Tip 1: The best time to plant lotus seeds
Lotus seeds should be planted in the first or second week of May, during the early summer. It will be easier for your plants to grow and survive during the chilly winter months. You can, however, begin planting your lotus seedlings indoors or in a greenhouse if the weather is still too chilly in early May.
Tip 2: They need full sun
Your lotus plants should be exposed to at least six hours of direct sunlight. This guarantees that they will thrive.
Tip 3: Scarify the seeds
Your lotus plant won’t propagate until you scarify the seeds. In this manner: Use a metal file to remove the brown coating from the lotus seed. You should be able to see a cream-colored seed after filing it. The pulp underneath the seed may be damaged if the seed is filed any farther, causing it to rot and not germinate.
Tip 4: Place the seeds in the container
Place the seed in a water-filled container. Replace the water if you discover that it has turned hazy. Your lotus seed may decay if you fertilize it, so avoid doing so at all costs.
You’ll be able to tell when the germination process has begun because a coin-shaped shoot will emerge from the seed. You can then transfer the seed and shoot to a growing pot with one-third loam and one-third clay soil. The shoot should be a few inches above the ground.
Floating seeds aren’t an issue because they will ultimately sink and grow roots in the soil. Even if placed carefully, take care not to break the stem or any of the leaves that are attached to it.
Tip 5: Fertilize
Once the coin leaves emerge from the water and become aerial leaves, you can fertilize your lotus plants every three weeks during the growing season.
Tips on How to Take Care of Your Lotus Plant
Next, you’ll need to know how to properly care for your lotus plant. Lotus plants require special attention, therefore here are some pointers to keep in mind:
The water temperature should be about 70 degrees F for lotus plants
If the water and air temperature are both 70 degrees F, your lotus plants will thrive. With a temperature of 80 degrees F, you may expect your flowers to blossom in the water in three to four weeks. Every two days, be careful to check the water and air temperature. If you live in a location where the weather is unpredictable, you may want to consider growing your lotus plants in a greenhouse.
Lotus plants prefer to be under direct sunlight
It is recommended that these plants receive at least five to six hours of direct sunlight each day in order to thrive. Remove any foliage or other anything that blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the lotus blooms in partially shadowed locations.
Prune wilted, yellowed, and damaged leaves
Pruning your plants is essential to keeping them looking their best. Plants rely on blossoms and leaf stalks that are below the surface of the water for oxygen, so don’t remove them. Invasive lotus plants can be controlled by cutting back new growth. However, reporting growth in the spring is the greatest way to halt it.
Fertilize your lotus using pond tabs
Fertilizer for aquatic plants is contained in pond tabs. When the tubers have developed at least six leaves, you can begin fertilizing them. To avoid harming the plant, don’t apply the fertilizer directly to it.
The size of your plant has an impact on the amount of fertilizer it requires. Small kinds, for example, may only require two tabs, whereas larger varieties may require three or four. Before going into dormancy, stop fertilizing your plant.
The Benefits of Using a Semipro Greenhouse for Your Plants
Here are some of the benefits of employing a semi-professional greenhouse:
Seedlings can be started in a greenhouse before being transplanted to the garden. Your plants will thrive in the enclosed area since it gives them with the necessary warmth and safety.
Pests are well-repelled by greenhouses. Insect infestations can be reduced by using traps and screens to keep pests out of your greenhouse.
Plants are shielded from the elements in greenhouses. Because they’re in an enclosed area, they are protected from rain, wind, storms, etc.
Final Thoughts on How to Plant Lotus Seeds
Lotus seeds are invasive, therefore it’s critical to understand how to properly plant them and maintain them. Lotus plants, fortunately, are simple to care for. All you need to do is keep them in a sunny location, with regular fertilization.