Robcorreia & I want to make a container water garden. I posted this over in the water garden forum but no one spoke up! Perhaps someone here might have the experience to get us started on the right foot .. here is the post I made:
I've been convinced by lotus pictures to make a container water garden. I've checked out some books at the library but there are some things that they are not answering or very clear on. First of all, they suggest kitty litter to hold plants down. Will any old kitty litter do? It seems the clumping and scented stuff would make a mess and not be very plant friendly, or is there a better substrate? Second, are there a certain size (depth and width) that is best for lotus? Third, are water pumps necessary (some in the books have them, other don't they don't really address the reason for them)? Fourth, I live in zone 8a and it can get into the teens at night for a few hours. Do lotus have to be "wintered over"?
Use Schultz Aquatic Soil or Turface (same product - calcined clay) or NAPA floor-dry (calcined diatomaceous earth) to anchor plants. "Any old K/L will not do, as some of it is prilled bentonite and will turn to a slimy clump of clay as soon as it's wet.
For the rest, I can't offer anything but a guess, so I won't offer more.
X & Rob,
I've read Lotus do NOT like water movement - no pump is necessary.. but you would need to add dunks or something to prevent mosquitoes.. I grew a mini one summer in a small preform WITH a very small pump running and they did fine. I've seen them growing in yards, "dug-in" in containers like a big dog dish (or livestock feeder bowl?).. As far as the hardiness, depends on the kind you have, I think there are ones hardy for you... I think you could winter a tender one over inside... but I think everything COULD be overwintered inside here in zone 5.. lol Thanks for the litter info, Al.. I've used the cheap clay kind at $General and it seems fine, stays loose but holds plants down.. so must not have bentonite in it.
Not too deep. I was concerned that this churn was too deep but went for it anyway. I bought it from a lady who grows them in a feed buckets. Maybe a 2 - 3 feet deep. Ebay. LOL The tuber was healthy and ready to go. Here's the bloom.
X, I have tried the KL and you definitely do not want to go there. LOL, what a disgusting mess.
I just dug the yuckiest of heavy clay soil from the garden and the lotus love that. You don't want to use anything peaty or with bark that would float. I used to start them in those black plastic pans used for changing you own oil, then set the whole shebang in a large decorative pot but nowadays I just start them directly in the pretty pot. The soil is just a few inches and the water is about 15" deep but lotus can do with less. They are heavy feeders but it is easy to poke a few pond tabs in weekly.
By adding a couple of oxignating plants and a few feeder goldfish and there will be no mosquito problems.
I'm getting excited! Probably a bit too late to do anything now .. I'll just keep my eye out for a pretty pot! Clayey soil chunks I have. Nice to know there is actually some use for them other than chucking them at squirrels.
I am not sure they are designed for hot water and X's water will be 90+ next summer. We used to have an aquarium outside and I swear the sealer softened in the summer. Offgassing is another issue in the heat.