The Nelumbo, commonly known as Lotus or Lotus Flower, is one of the popular flowering pond plants. Lotus plants are known as the jewels of the aquatic world and are very symbolic both in antiquity and today, being celebrated for their beauty. In this article we will see how to plant, cultivate the lotus and its maintenance.
Lotus plants (Nelumbo nucifera) belong to the Nelumbonaceae family, a family of flowering aquatic plants, the genus Nelumbo, and are native to tropical regions of Asia and Australia.
The American lotus species is native to North America, where it grows in various bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, or swamps.
There are only two species of Lotus: American Lotus (Nelumbo Lutea) and Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera).
You don’t need a pond to enjoy this beautiful plant, you can also grow lotus in pots.
How to sow lotus seeds
The best time to start growing lotus is in late spring when temperatures are consistently warm.
First, collect the seeds when they are completely dry, with a dark brown color.
Before planting your lotus seeds, you will need to carefully crack open their shells with a knife without damaging the underlying flesh.
Soak the seeds in non-chlorinated water until the seeds begin to swell, sink, and you begin to notice small sprouts. This is when the seeds are ready to be planted.
If you notice that some seeds are not swelling, check to see if the liner has been pierced. Under perfect conditions, the germination process should take about four weeks.
Just plant them in individual tubs about 10 centimeters wide with gravel, clay or a mixture of the two (do not use garden soil).
Then add water between 21°C and 27°C and no more than 5 cm deep.
When the shoots have five or six new leaves, you can transplant them to their permanent location, either a pond or a pot.
If you are going to grow it in a pond, you can put the plants directly above the water in a shallow area where some soil can reach. Or you can use a gravel and clay pot without drainage holes and put it inside the pond.
If you prefer to grow lotuses in pots, you should use two, one for the lotus that contains gravel and clay where the roots will grow, and another that acts as a pond, then you just need to put water and place the pot with the plant inside.
When repotting young lotus plants, make sure the crown is submerged in water to the same depth as the previous container.
How to grow lotuses
Lotus plants love the sun and need about six hours or more of direct sunlight to thrive. In fact, getting enough sunlight is one of the most critical growing needs for these plants.
It’s best to make sure your lotus plants get at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day. Ideally, place lotus plants in areas of the pond where they receive more than 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
When it comes to soil preferences, you should choose whether to use soil specifically designed for pond plants, heavy topsoil, or clay.
Be sure not to use garden soil or anything with peat moss or too much organic matter, as this material can float on water.
When it comes to ideal water conditions, you want to ensure a balance between the plants and the surface of the pond. It is recommended that plants cover approximately 65% of the surface.
You also have to take into account the depth of the pots that contain the new plants. First place the pots just below the surface, gradually lowering them as the plant grows.
Suitable pots for growing lotus
When it comes to growing lotus, ideal containers should be round, with no drainage holes, and 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 cm) in diameter.
Why are there no drainage holes? Lotus plants can propagate quickly and easily using the drainage holes, as roots can escape through them.
Square containers should be avoided as they can damage the tubers when they start to clump together in the corners.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is to use large containers so that the rhizome has enough space to spread out. It is better to choose a wider pot than a deeper one.
Lotus Plant Care
You really don’t need to water them. However, you should be aware of some unique water needs of lotus plants.
One important thing to know is that you should not overload your pond with too many plants. The ideal balance is to cover approximately 65% of the pond surface.
With new plantings, be sure to keep depth in mind. Specifically, place the pots just below the surface and increase their depth as the plant grows.
Another essential aspect is the water temperature. Lotus plants need surface water of at least 70°F (21°C) to start growing properly.
It is recommended to check the water temperature from time to time. If you live in a region with a cold climate, you can use a heater for your pond to maintain this temperature and promote the growth of your Lotus plants.
Pruning is minimal with Lotus plants. Usually all that needs to be done is to get rid of any unhealthy-looking floating leaves, especially those showing signs of a fungal problem, and to cut the plants above the rootstock after they die to the end of the season.
Plagues and diseases
Lotus plants are susceptible to some major pests, such as sap-sucking pests, leaf-eating pests, and stem and root pests.
Several species of winged aphids find the floating parts of lotus plants very attractive.
Sap-sucking insects secrete honeydew, so another sign of infestation is a sticky substance on the surface of lotus leaves. This honeydew can also cause the development of sooty mold, which darkens the leaves.
Other sap-sucking pests that like to eat on lotus leaves are whiteflies and spider mites.
In most situations, sucking insects can be easily washed off leaves and flowers with a strong stream of water. Doing this will also clean up the sticky stuff they secrete.
Using chemical insecticides can harm your lotus plants and the whole ecosystem, so it is best to use natural insecticide products. Watch: How to make and apply biological insecticides.
Many pests can be prevented by keeping the environment clean and removing all debris and unhealthy-looking plants.
It may also be interesting to read: Types of plants necessary and ideal for a garden pond.
Keep in mind that the most important conditions for these plants to thrive include plenty of sun and clean water to grow.
Share this article on the networks: