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Wooo Hooo! Lotus Seeds Germinating!

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I found a great site with pictures on how to start lotus seeds and followed the instructions - Here is the link:

http://www.faculty.sbc.edu/simpson/Lotus/index.htm

I started my seeds on Tuesday, the 19th. I took my dremel with a cutting blade, scored them then put them in a jar. I was changing the water twice a day and noticed on the 21st that some had started to split. Yesterday I saw little green shoots start to appear in the splits and today they are coming out!

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Once I saw the split i went out and bought a small tub. This morning I dumped some soil from the back yard in it and filled with water in hopes it will clarify by the time I'm ready to plant the seeds. After doing research I read where clayey sandy soil was the best which is exactly what we have here. I'll probably change the water a few times before I plant the seedlings!

This is so exciting! I'm also going to start my aquatic morning glory seeds (Ipomoea aquatica) today as well.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2011 8:16 AM

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Athens, PA

I am interested in watching your progress. Please post as you go - I have some that I want to start as well.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

The link above its great .. it's very specific. I was amazed at how quickly they germinated!

I was able to get some papyrus at a local plant swap so the finished garden will have lotus, papyrus and morning glory in it.

Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Hey there Xer- thanks! that is a great link! I may even try it!

Virginia Beach, VA

I read it too and will try it after this years flowers. i normally just throw them away. It reminds me of Thailand and shanghai where there were hundreds of lotus in buckets along the roads. Thanks for the link.

Belle

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Yesterday afternoon I noticed the tub was still terribly muddy and frothy. It occurred to me that I have a little stream behind the house so I dumped out the muddy mess and dug up some dirt from the stream. I washed the water twice and was delighted to see that it cleared up!

Since I have 4 seeds out of 5 that germinated, I think I will go get another tub and plant 2 seeds to a tub rather than crowd them because after seeing the picture on the link with the roots all tangled I was concerned they probably would not take to being divided at an early age when I'm ready to put them in their final home.

This message was edited Apr 24, 2011 7:51 AM

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

And here is a picture of the seedlings just 5 days after starting them. They've grown so much in just 1 24 hour period and the shoots have almost doubled in length from yesterday! I'll give them one more day I think then plant them tomorrow.

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Well I went to do a water change this afternoon and discovered 2 of the seedlings were just breaking the surface of the water. This was kind of disconcerting and I was worried that once the shoots hit air that rapid changes will occur in cell differentiation and root formation so I immediately planted the seeds in the "Lotus Kindergarten". I got another tub and more dirt from the stream and planted 2 seeds in one about 1 inch deep with about 3 inches of water and the other 3 seeds of which one has not germinated yet in the other tub.

This picture is just 9 hours later than the one above!

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Once I got those planted I then got 5 of the Aquatic MG seeds, nicked them and put them in the same little jar I used for the Lotus .. I was glad to see no floaters. I hope they go as fast as the lotus! The jar I used was from pimentos. It's a round squat jar about 3 inches tall and perfect for starting aquatic seeds and great for photography since it's shallow. I knew I was saving it for a reason .. just didn't know the reason until the lotus seeds arrived!


This message was edited Apr 24, 2011 5:37 PM

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Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I have a friend that lives next to a river. Her dock is fairly close to the surface of the water. Her husband cut circles out of the dock and inserted pots in the holes. As there are drainage holes in the bottom of her ceramic pots, she has a ready supply of fresh water. I was so impressed with her tiny water gardens. Some had tropical water lilies that were blooming. Any way you could do something similar with your stream?

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I could if it was easy access and on my property. I have to climb over a chain link fence to get to it and it's on county owned property.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Too bad.

Virginia Beach, VA

Can you get a pump to siphon the water? That would be neat!!!

Saint Cloud, FL(Zone 9b)

That idea is really swell, but if you have water gardens directly feeding of a stream, you have to be really careful about fertilizer getting into the natural waterways. Here in FL it is a big problem; even with such pristine waters such as spring fed streams and rivers.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

The water cleared up enough after planting the seedlings yesterday .. Now comes the waiting for them to break the surface. Here is a picture of one .. it was really hard to focus on it because the autofocus on the camera kept wanting to focus on the surface of the water.

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

And some of the aquatic morning glory look like they are starting to sprout.

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

They have all broken the surface of the water today. You can clearly see now the cell differentiation between what will become a leaf and the stem.

My question is, do I need to change the water and how often? What about adding water as it evaporates?

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(Zone 9a)

I've never grown seeds X, congratulations! In my pots of growing lotus tubers however, I do not ever change the water. I do add fresh as it evaporates, especially during the hottest parts of the summer when the large leaves transpire large amounts of water on a daily basis.
Lotus do not have to be in large pots but I have found that in our hot climate, the larger the pot it is in the easier it is to maintain. Lowe's has these black plastic pots that are used for whiskey barrel liners that are very reasonable and they are a good size.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks Ardesia, these guys are in the Lotus Kindergarten at the moment .. once they start forming tubers I'll be moving them to a larger tub about 3.5 feet tall. I'm just astonished at how fast things are going .. it was just a week ago today that I nicked them and stuck them in water!

Athens, PA

X -

I appreciate your posting as you go along. This is the stage where I lost mine when I tired them previously. I had thought perhaps if I started them and could put them right outside, that might help. I started mine during the middle of winter last time.

Carolyn

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

You're welcome .. it's a learning experience for me.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

One of the shoots is now laying on top of the water. I'm thinking it's probably about to unroll its first leaf!

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(Zone 9a)

WOo Hoo, this is going so fast. The first leaves will lie flat on the water and later leaves will stand up above the surface.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I wish terrestrial plants were this fast!

Hereford, TX(Zone 7a)

They are...They are called weeds! LOL

Darin

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Lol.

Haven't updated today because they are just sitting there now .. they've gone from hyperdrive to impulse power.

Hereford, TX(Zone 7a)

Mine have done that also, but mine are large tubers. I'm hoping the wind will calm down before they put up their first aerial leaves tho.

(Zone 9a)

Mine get direct blasts, 45 mph this week alone, and I have never seen any damage. These are really strong plants.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Finally! Last night the leaves started to unfurl!

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I've also noticed that new shoots are growing from the base of the plants. So, I'm wondering, if the first leaves that the lotus puts out are totally unlike the true leaves are they correctly called cotyledons? Are multiple cotyledons the norm for water plants?

i just love to grow lotus! before you know it they will be huge! im waiting for my second year lotus to bloom now!

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Both my containers are stuffed with the round leaves and still putting them out! I'm going to bring both containers in during winter and keep them on heating pads to see if I can speed things up a bit.

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

X, I've some lotus in a half-whiskey barel tub. They survived the winter even when the tub froze. No special treatment during the winter is needed, mine bloom faithfully every spring. Your seedling look so healthy. Have you fertilize them?

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

No, I haven't fed them .. what should I use? I'm hoping if I keep them growing through winter they will bloom faster.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I bought aquatic fertilizer from HomeDepot. They come in a little thumb-size tablets which I've to press them into the soil early in the growing season. They worked real well. My blooms just subsided, and seeds are forming. I'm getting ready to fertilize them once again to aid the seeds formation.

I don't know whether or not what you're doing will speed its maturity. I got mine as a blooming specimen. I haven't experience with raising Lotus seeds so I can't make any comment there.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Well it seems if they go dormant in winter that keeping them growing through the winter would speed up the time they would produce flowers.

(Zone 9a)

One of my friends uses dunks rather than mosquito fish in her lotus pots so she figures chemicals can't hurt anything. She has started used plain Miracle Gro in her pots and her lotus are gorgeous. She estimates the gallons of water and uses the appropriate amount of MG.

X, I do think Lotus have a "season", although the water is still quite warm, the leaves on mine start to turn brown in the fall just like a deciduous tree. I have a feeling they need a resting period. I would start feeding them so the tubers have an opportunity to get larger.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the info .. I'll do just that today .. I already have the miracle grow.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I used the regular rose fertilizer on Lotus one year...the side effect was promote green algea growth in the water. Otherwise, it served its purpose.

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