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Please handle your Lotus tuber carefully, as they are fragile and can be easily damaged. The first thing we do is turn over the pot of Lotus over after the Lotus has gone dormant.

Do not do this if there are leaves present as it can mean death to the plant and tubers. I can not stress this enough the plant has to be dormant for the tubers to be ripe. Normally this is in late fall, winter or very early winter, before the plant has produced any new leaves. Once you have the pan turned over take a hose and wash the entire dirt off.

It is recommend that you float your lotus tuber in aged pond water for 10-14 days in a warm sunny place before planting. This allows the tuber to sprout and will increase your success in growing lotus. Be sure to change the water if it becomes nasty.
pictures above show what the tuber might look like pictures above show what the tuber might look like
This will allow you to see what is what. There are 2 main parts that you will see a runner and a tuber. Runners can turn into tubers but it is best to start with a tuber. Runners are long and thin. Tubers will have a growing tip that is pointed.
This picture shows the tubers and runners that have all the dirt washed off  This picture shows the tubers and runners that have all the dirt washed off. Click on picture to enlarge.

Can you see the growing tip located just above my thumb? Click on the picture to enlarge it. Use a sharp knife and nice clean cuts once you have washed all the soil away for the tubers and runners.

Use the same type of soil that you use for lilies. I use heavy garden soil or a garden soil/clay mix. You can buy topsoil in bags at most garden centers or nurseries. Do not use artificial soil (soil less media) as it will float out of the pot and cloud the water.
lotus tuber laying on top of dirt ready to be covered up  Begin by fill the planting container with soil and then make a depression approximately 2 inches deep in the middle of the pot.

Place the tuber in the soil with the thickest portion down in the soil so that it will ultimately be covered with about two inches of soil. Place it with the smaller end, the growing tip, pointing up and out of the soil. The growing tip must be exposed and not have any soil covering it up. This is important. Place a good size stone on top of the tuber to hold it in contact with the soil. This will also keep the tuber from floating out of the pot. Carefully add dirt over all the parts of the tuber. Once you have added the soil, cover the Lotus tuber 1/2 to 1 inch of pea gravel taking care once again not to cover the tip. If you have fish in your pond, they love the tubers and if your fish like to dig in pond plants you can be sure the Lotus tuber will float out so you may want to add more gravel.
note that the growing tip is NOT covered

Can you see the growing tip
is up above the soil?  This tip
must also be up above the gravel.

Don't put the Lotus in the pond right away. I place the plant in a warm sunny area like a deck or patio until new growth is evident. This way if the weather gets cold at night, as it can in the spring, you can bring it inside for the night. When you are planting the Lotus in the spring put about three fertilizer tablets in the soil but make sure that these tablets do not touch the tuber itself. It is best to put them near the outside edges of the pan. DO NOT add fertilizer tablets if you are planting in the fall.
After the Lotus is planted slowly add a couple of inches of water, being careful not to expose any part of the plant except the growing tip. Like lilies, Lotus will not grow if this tip is not exposed to water at all times. Check the water level in the pan every day and add more as needed. It must not be allowed to dry out or death is certain. Once you see several new leaves that means the tuber has rooted and you can then place it in the pond so that there is about 3 or 4 inches of water over the top of the Lotus pan. If you decide you want to add the Lotus to your pond water the water depth is important. Dwarf varieties should be ultimately placed no more than 4 inches and full sized varieties should be place no deeper than 6 inches. When adding to the pond make sure that there is good top growth as that is an indication that the roots have taken hold and started to grow.
You should NOT fertilize a fall division of lotus. Begin your fertilization program in the spring when new growth begins (the first leaf breaks the surface).
When dividing lotus in the fall, place the newly divided, potted lotus in the bottom of the pond for over wintering, ensuring the tuber will not freeze. Once new growth begins to show in the spring, you can lift the pan up so that it has its ultimate depth of 4-6 inches. Before you place the Lotus and pan back in the water, gently poke a hole in the soil, near the outside edge of the pan in 3 or 4 places and push a pond fertilizer tablet into each hole. Dwarf varieties should be ultimately placed so that there is no more than 4 inches of water over the top of the pan and full sized varieties should be placed so that there is 6 inches of water over the top of the pan.
Because my fish love Lotus I grow them pond side for 2 reasons. I dig out an area near the pond that will accommodate the pan. Then I simply lower the pan into this hole. As the foliage grows the leaves will camouflage the pan so it is not visible. The second reason for planting pond side is that in order to bloom freely Lotus must be feed regularly and that can cause green water. I feed fertilize mine every 3 weeks using Job’s sticks for blooming plants.
Dividing tubers Newest article on planting lotus received in mail
How to grow Lotus Growing Lotus outside of a pond

 

 
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