If you are excited to know on how to grow lotus, then this the best guide for you. Get to know everything about growing and caring for lotus plant.
In recent years there is a spike of interest in growing lotus plant among gardeners. Moreover, growing and caring for lotus is a little bit different from those plants that we grow in the soil. But the beauty that lotus adds in the garden is incredible.
And I guess you are also the one who wants to make your garden more beautiful by adding lotus plant. But, confused from where to start and how to care? Don’t worry, in this article Agriculture Review will guide you on growing and caring for your lotus plant.
Read each and every point very carefully till the end of this article. It will help you in knowing about growing season, methods of propagation, potting mix, sunlight, pest and diseases, etc. in detail.
Sacred Lotus or Indian Lotus or Nelumbo nucifera is a species of herbaceous perennial flowering aquatic plant. It is native to central and northern India. Lotus is also the national flower of India and Vietnam. Depending on the variety lotus can grow up to 8 to 12 inches to 6 feet in height.
Along with its beauty lotus has many benefits and uses. The seeds can be used to make herbal oils and medicines. Leaves, flowers, and roots can be used in garnishing. In many parts of the world people use rhizome of lotus as a vegetable.
However, lotus is very invasive! So once you start growing lotus then it will spread very fast. Let’s now learn about growing lotus!
How To Grow Lotus?
Hey, I know that you are thinking that growing lotus is a very tough job. But, believe me growing lotus is very easy only if you know how to grow? And I am going to provide you all the necessary details that you need to know about growing this plant through this article
Step by step you will know about growing season, potting mix, selection of pot, propagation methods to grow your lotus plant.
You can grow lotus in plant hardiness zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 very easily. It can survive in temperate as well as tropical to sub-tropical regions. But, lotus plant do not love extreme cold or heat.
It can thrive well in areas having temperature range of 20 to 35 degrees celsius during summer season. Spring is considered as the best season for propagation of lotus plant.
Lotus can grow well in a mix of sand and clayey soil. Do not use sandy loam soil or other type of soil mix that you use for growing garden plants. But, if sand and clayey soil is not available then you can use normal garden soil.
The only problem is that the normal soil or loose soil can start floating in water. Mix 60% clayey soil + 40% sand to prepare potting mix for growing lotus.
Selection of Pot
For growing lotus you have to select two types of pot. One bigger that is probably a tank or a tub. And the other smaller one for holding roots of the plant. Ensure that there should not be any drainage holes.
The smaller pot can be of 4 to 8 inches in diameter and 7 to 9 inches in depth. While the larger pot or pond or tank or tub should be at least +2 to 4 inches in depth than the smaller pot. There is no limitations on the diameter or horizontal length of the bigger tank that will hold water.
However, lotus mainly grows in shallow water so make sure that your pond, or tub is not much deeper than that I have mentioned in this article. However, the depth of the bigger pond should be such that it can submerge growing branches under the water and the leaves should remain outside!
You can propagate lotus from seeds, tubers, and rhizomes. But, the plant will take nearly one year to flower if you grow lotus from seeds. However, in this article I have discussed propagation of lotus from seeds and tubers.
How to grow lotus from seeds?
To grow lotus from seeds you can purchase seeds from online stores such as Amazon and Flipkart. Once you have purchased the seed then scrape the pointed end of the seed with the help of a scrapping paper or knife.
Once the cream coloured core is visible then stop scrapping. Perform this step very carefully to avoid any damage. After scrapping put the seeds in a transparent bowl or any container and fill with it water. Make sure that the temperature of water should be around 24 to 27 degrees celsius.
Keep it indoors, and check on the next day for floating seeds in the water. Remove the floating seeds from the water and leave the sunken seeds in the container. Floating seeds are infertile and will not germinate.
Keep changing water in the container daily. Seeds will start sprouting within 7 to 10 days. Once the seeds have sprouted then change the water very carefully on daily basis. When your seedlings reaches 6 inches in height and have developed one to two small leaves then you can start transplanting.
How to grow lotus from tuber?
To grow lotus from tuber, during the spring season purchase it from the nearest plant nursery or from online stores. Once you have got the tubers then its show time!
Fill the bigger tank with water and the smaller one with potting mix. Water evenly in the smaller pot to wet the soil. Place the tuber on the soil and keep the growing regions like leaf portions upwards. Cover a little bit of tuber with soil but do not completely submerge it in the soil.
Put some small stones on the covered portion of the tuber so that it does not float in water. Now it is the time to submerge the smaller pot in the tank or tub. The level of water in the bigger pot or tub should be 2 to 4 inch high than the height of smaller pot.
Place your pot in a sunny spot that receives bright sunlight, and after 4 to 5 days you will notice new growth in the lotus tuber.
If you have germinated seeds of lotus then you will need to transplant it. Gardeners often do this mistake of transplanting lotus seedlings at a very early stage. Once you notice growth of one to two leaves in seedlings then you can start transplanting.
Fill the small container with potting mix and place the germinated seeds on the soil. Cover the seed with the an inch layer of soil and put some small stones around the base. Submerge this pot in the water tub carefully.
After submerging, place the leaves on the surface of water and branches should remain in water. Keep your tub under semi shade till your plant get well established. After 2 to 3 days you can move the tub under direct sunlight.
If your tub is large and you can not move it easily then you can perform this process under direct sunlight too. After transplantation, you do not need to change the water daily.
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Lotus Plant Care
Once you have successfully grown the sacred lotus plant then you need to know about few important points such as sunlight, water temperature, fertilizers, pruning, pest and diseases, etc. Knowing about these important points will help you to care for your plant very well.
Lotus plant loves bright direct sunlight to grow and flower. Place the lotus tub in an area that receives at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Sunlight helps in vegetative growth of the plant.
Water Temperature & pH
Water temperature is the another factor that have effects on the growth of the plant. Make sure that the water temperature remains a little warmer. The ideal temperature range of water for growing lotus is 21 to 32 degrees Celsius.
If you are living in colder or temperate regions where standing water can freeze then you can use automatic electric water heater. This is the same one as we use in aquariums. You can set the temperature and relax.
Water should not be alkaline for growing lotus. Water having a neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is good for growing lotus plant.
Well most of the gardeners start getting confused in fertilizing aquatic plants like lotus. But it is not a tough job. You can fertilize your aquatic plant with pond tablets or liquid fertilizers. I recommend you to purchase pond tablets.
A small lotus plant will need two tablets after every 30 days, while the bigger one will do good with 3 to 4 tablets. But, stop fertilizing your lotus plant from July to the beginning of spring season. As the plant have to prepare for dormancy in winters.
You can start fertilizing your plant once it has reached 6 to 8 leaved stage. To fertilize push the tablets deep in the soil with the help of a tool or your hands.
Pruning is a necessary step for caring for your lotus plant. Keep pruning dead or yellowing leaves, branches, and flowers time to time to maintain health of your plant. Lotus is an invasive plant and will spread in the tub or pond very fast.
To maintain the good growth keep pruning the new growths as required. This will help to maintain the proper size of the plant.
Pest and Diseases
Just like other garden plants lotus can also get affected from pest and diseases. Some of the common pest of lotus are aphids, caterpillars, white flies, spider mites, leaf miners, etc can damage your plant.
Do not ever use liquid pesticides whether it is organic or inorganic to control pest on lotus plant. Liquid pesticides can damage this plant. Purchased any powdery pesticide that is good for aquatic plants to control pest in lotus.
During spring season keep the smaller pot at least 2 inches deep in water. But, during fall increase the depth a little bit according to the growth in the length of the branches. This is mainly recommended for places that receives chilling cold freezing winters.
However, if you are living in regions where the climate is moderate then you do not need to worry about the depth much. Just keep the pot submerged at least 2 to 4 inches deep in the water.
I hope that you will get benefited from my article. Do tell me in comments whether you liked the article or not. If you have any query regarding growing lotus then you can comment below. Or you can connect with Agriculture Review on my Facebook and Instagram page.