|Lotus are typically started in January - March in the
home. The reason for the early start is to ensure you have
blooms the first year. Lotus typically bloom in late
June or early July and will bloom for several weeks and then
The smaller growing varieties are very likely to bloom
the first year the tubers are started. The larger
growing varieties may or may not produce a bloom the first
year. If you live in a cold zone, I highly recommend you
start with a smaller growing variety.
Once the tubers are dug, there are no roots and it takes
about 6 weeks for roots to grow. You may have a single leaf
come up right away but it will die because there are no
roots on the tuber to support the growth (take up nutrients
from the dirt)
Please handle your Lotus
tuber carefully, because they are fragile and can be easily
Lotus can only be divided when they are dormant and that
is January to March depending on where you live. They cannot
not be divided if there are leaves present.
Once the tubers are dug or the pot turned over carefully
remove all the dirt. Wash with a garden hose to remove all
traces of dirt.
Carefully using a very sharp knife cut the tubers
apart. The tuber has to have a node and an inter-node.
If one of these are missing, the tuber will not grow.
Can you see the growing tip located just above my thumb
in the picture above? Click on the picture to enlarge it.
This picture shows the tubers and runners that havebeen washed.
Click on picture to enlarge. The runners, while they can be
planted, will not produce much growth the first year
and they certainly will not bloom the first year.
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 "Top Soil" in bags at most garden centers or
nurseries. Make sure the bag does not say potting soil;
potting soil is light and designed to use for growing house
plants. Do not use artificial soil (also know as soil less media)
because it will float out of
the pot and cloud the water.
Here in North Carolina we have red clay and we mix the
red clay with bags of composted cow manure. Composted
cow manure has no smell and looks like rich black dirt.
Begin by fill the planting container with
dirt. Use your finger to 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 end 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.
Can you see the growing tip is up above the dirt? This tip must also be up above the gravel.
|Don't put the Lotus in the pond right away because even
with gravel the un-rooted tuber will float out of the pot.|
After you have added the small rocks or gravel, slowly and
carefully add water to the pot.
NOTE: if you are not growing your lotus in a pond but on
a deck, porch or patio, the small rocks or gravel is not
Place the pot in a warm sunny area inside your home.
Initially no sunlight is needed
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.
|I grow them pond side for 2 reasons. #1. Because my fish love Lotus and #2. |
In order to bloom freely, Lotus must be fed regularly and that can cause green water in the pond.
I feed/fertilize mine every 3 weeks using Job’s sticks for blooming plants.
To grow them pond site,
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.