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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
hi. you should start feeding the lotus after the 4th leaf has emerged. i highly recomend highland rim fertizilizer. it is espically made for lotus and water lillies. its ratio is 10:26:10 to give the extra help with blooms and green leaves. if you notice the ratio of these plant tabs has a higer number than usual fertiziler. my lotus and lillies thrive on it. its very convienet to just push the tab into the soil. lotus are heavy feeders and you can get a bag of this highland rim fairly inexpensive. i order mine off the internet. it ships fast and its good stuff! like ive said its specially formulated just for lotus and lillies! i shop around online and find it for the best price! your lotus will thank you for it :) good luck and happy gardening!
Just thought I'd chime in on the dormancy question. My dwarf lotus are in a little south-facing pond in my entry. The water temp goes down into the 50's in winter (a normal winter here, that is) and the last two winters the water dropped into the 40's. The lotus plants disappear completely once the water temp drops below about 70, and don't wake up until the water temp rises into the 70's again. I can hurry them up if I pull their tub out of the pond and put it in a warmer, sunnier corner. But then I have to wait for the pond to warm up before I can put them back. It's not worth it. They get lots of leaves, but never bloom until the weather gets really hot. I have my first flower bud coming this week.
That being said, I'm pretty sure lotus grow in equatorial climates where the water never gets cold as well. Don't know if they go dormant in places like Egypt or not. If you keep them warm all winter, I'd guess you need to keep them in the sun, and keep giving them fertilizer, too. Leaves make tubers, tubers make leaves and flowers. Hard to say if they will bloom sooner with that treatment or not. Maybe keep a couple in the warm, and let a couple go dormant, see what works?
If I had to guess, you'll get flowers either way next summer as long as you have tubers by this fall. Grow lots of leaves! Elaine ps. I use the aquatic fert tabs, too. Lotus are heavy feeders.
Ah, I just know someone, a member of DG from India, Dinu perhaps Dinu can help answer the questions you've raised above. Let me shot him an email. Or would you care to do that? Since this was your question? Great question by the way. I love your pond as well.
There are a number of types of "Lotus". Our native one, Nelumbo nucifera, grows all year. They don't have tubers, there's only 'runners' with leaves and flowers arising from nodes along the runners.
From what I understand "Egyptian Lotus" is actually a waterlily and not a lotus.
Then there's the Lotus genus with several species. It's these that I think go through the winter dormancy. It's in the genetic make up of the plants so you can't avoid that happening. About the best you'll be able to do is extend the growing period beyond your normal climatic conditions, up to a point.
But definitely, you first need to find out which one you have.
yes you should be able to tell weather or not its a nuciferia or lutea by the flowers. nuciferia is usually pink or white. lutea is yellow. also i believe if you look it up the flowers appearance is different also. so when the plant blooms you will know if its the nuciferia or the lutea (american lotus). keep showing how its doing with pictures! they grow so fast and before you know it it will be huge with aerial leaves! how exciting! i love growing lotus and have about fifteen plants of my own in two lotus bogs. i am waiting for my first flowers this year! it should bloom soon. i believe where i live they bloom in july and aug. i keep looking for the buds to come! good luck with your lotus. keep us posted.
Have you thought of putting each plant in its own tub? If they are a large variety of lotus, they will be overcrowded very quickly, and possibly stunt each other if you leave them all together. Better do this soon, before they get too entangled with each other. Be extremely careful transplanting, though. The roots are somewhat fragile so move them gently with your hands, not tools.
Interestingly, when I looked up my dwarf hybrid in the DG Plant Files, it says it is a hybrid of Nelumbo nucifera! So are several other well-known hybrids in there. But they do make tubers and go dormant here. I wonder if the Australian variety never makes tubers because the warm climate keeps it growing and producing leaves all year. Tropicbreeze, do your native lotus bloom all year as well?
Well I just got an email back from the person I traded with .. they are nelumbo nucifera. No cultivar was mentioned.
There are two plants in each tub .. I keep sticking my fingers down in the sand but don't really feel any tubers, just root. I'm going to keep them where they are until they reach the 2nd stage then I'll probably transplant them into larger tubs.
"Tropicbreeze, do your native lotus bloom all year as well?"
I don't think so. During the wet season when water levels rise they just seem to produce leaves.
You need to be careful with trimming leaves. One way to get rid of Lotus is to cut the leaves off below the water. A rot seems to get into the stem and travels down into the root system. Let them die off first or cut them off above the water.
i Fertilize all my water plants with Jobe stiks have for years even with fish in the pond X Most Lotus need a Dormant period. if you try to keep theam growing all year may weaken the plant.am growing some pink ones ill be glad to send you one at the end of summer . paul
If you click on the little thumbnails, there are pictures of big swaths of these, very impressive. But unless you have a pretty big pond, I wouldn't plant them. They'll take over! Hardy even up into Canada. I'd like to smell the air around those lakes when the flowers are in bloom.
Xeramtheum, your original post inspired me to see if I could get lotus to grow from seeds. Like you I am amazed at germination speed. I have run into a problem of my leaves turning black, even though the plants seem to put putting on new leaves. Did you run into this problem by any chance?
I can find any answer as to what is causing it in any sources I have located..
I've not had that problem and really can't tell you what might be going on. Mine are still at the coin stage putting out leaves like crazy .. I remover ones that are totally brown and that's about it .. I haven't fertilized mine because my tubs have turned out to be regular watering holes for birds, opossums and an occasional mud dauber which delights me to no end because that means the water is healthy and not stagnant.
How interesting. We have one huge water lily in our small pond that blooms each day. I too have been buying the aquatic fertilizer. Someone, please list some of the other fertilizers that can be used with Koi in the pond.
I have been reading about propagating my water lily by tieing the bloom with gauze and letting it sink to the bottom for a few days. I'd like to give it a try before the summer ends. Has anyone had success with this method?
Birds, possoms and raccoons regularly drink from my fertilized water features with no ill effects. Heck, they drink from the foulest of puddles and seem to do just fine. I do provide fresh clean water for the birds but they are not fussy about where they drink.
I have never tried the propogation method you mentioned - however, early each spring, the waterlilies are pulled from the bottom of the pond and divided with a sharp knife. Make sure you have a growth point in each division and before you know it, you will have more waterlilies than you'll know what to do with.
So mine are sitting in tubs .. from what I've been reading I should just leave them where they are and let them freeze over? They are still at the coin stage but a few are starting to grow above the water line.
X, I would give those little lotus plants of yours a bit of fertilizer to work on before the end of summer. The leaves you grow now will make your tubers for next year, so it will benefit the long term outlook for you to make lots more leaves now. Lotus grow really F A S T and big. Your little plants should be making bigger leaves by now, jmho. Do you still have several plants in the same tub? I think you might see a dramatic surge of growth if you give them some fert!
I always like to consider what would be happening if my plants were growing out in the wild in their natural habitat. Your lotus would have 'natural' fertilizer if they were in a wild pond - fish poop and leafy materials in the bottom muck. They don't have any of that in your tub.
I also fertilize the lotus and water lilies in my little pond and have healthy fish, lots of birds, squirrels, possums and raccoons drinking there. I'm using the monthly tablets by Lily Gro just because I like the flexibility - and you do push them down into the pots, so the fert is not released directly into the water. I have a very small water lily, and another that is larger, plus my lotus is a 'dwarf' variety all in containers in a 750gal. pond. As the water temp changes, their growth rates also change so I can adjust the fert dosage accordingly.
You can get the tabs in a small amount from most nurseries that have water plants. Or order it online if you want a larger amount to keep for next season. Go easy at first, maybe just one or two tabs in the tub and see what happens. You could give them a light dose now, and then if you get encouraging results, give them a bit more in September.
Here's my 'Baby Doll' lotus blooming. It has leaves up to 8" across standing about 18" above the water. I started with two tiny tubers in March.
I am trying the Miracle Gro since I also don't have fish in my water pots.
I finally got blooms this week from one of my water pots. I believe this cultivar is called "Red Scarf". My other pot still hasn't bloomed.
May I make a comment on fertilizing. The lotus do need a rest period. If you fertilize too late in the season and then the temps drop, you could get root rot. That happened to me a few years ago and I lost all my Lotus. Most fertilizer tabs or MiracleGro last about a month or so. So figure out a month and a half before your typical cool weather starts moving in. Also if you try to grow them indoors, they may not do well as they really need sunlight. Mine have been out in the freezing weather the past 2 years and came back in the Spring. So they do seem to be pretty hardy if you can move them to a sheltered place where it might be just a little warmer. The water in my pots froze over solid with ice and the lotus came back despite that. But the freeze didn't last but a few days, so don't know if that had anything to do with it. I do know people who move them into their greenhouse or garage and just let them go dormant right there in their water pots. Drag them out when the weather warms up and they come right back!
That's the perfect time to stop fertilizing everything!
I don't grow mine in a pond. They can indeed become invasive if they are left to grow wild. I have two water containers that I grow one or two lotus in each pot. I also remove the leaves above the surface of the water when they turn brown. And I have mine growing in the Walmart Special Kitty Litter, not dirt. These plants seem pretty hardy if they get off to a good start. Yours look great, X! Amazing that they did so well growing them from seed. That is NOT an easy feat! Commendable, indeed! It took me two years to get blooms on my small tubers, so I would figure the same for you. Maybe towards the end of the growing season next year you'll get your first blooms! Congrats!
As long as you keep adding water as it evaporates, I think it would be fine. Mine are in those light grey pots because mine are in full sun all day long. (14 hours a day in late June!) They need sunlight to thrive along with fertilizer since they are heavy feeders. Mine don't even start waking up until the water reaches 75 degrees. So my guess is they don't mind warm water at all. If you are worried about it, transfer them to a lighter color pot or spray paint your pot a light color.
X don't give up yet! I would put those back in a shallow pot with water, put it in a garage, or some other cool, dark place and haul it out into the sunlight in Feb. when it's warming up again. If you get leaf shoots once the water warms, you're golden. If not, start some more seeds, or order a tuber from a nursery. Having never started a lotus from seed, I really don't know how long it takes for them to make a tuber. But those white roots certainly are still alive, so they might still produce good leaf growth next year.
Did you get lots of big green leaves before they started to go dormant? For reference, my dwarf lotus has leaves from 5in. to 8 in. across, but bigger types can have leaves 2ft. across. I probably had 25 leaves in my tub from 2 tubers. They are just going dormant now.
Maybe it takes two years' growth of big healthy leaves to make a tuber - that would explain why the water garden nurseries charge so much for their tubers. Note! They ONLY ship lotus tubers in early spring before the shoots have started up because the shoots are so delicate that they easily break off when shipped. Tubers are very fragile, too. So be careful if you investigate your other pot.
Yeah, I think it takes big leaves to make a tuber. I just scrolled up, and you started those seeds in April, so they really had a fairly short season to grow. You could give them a boost early by putting the tubs on a seed starting mat to help warm the water early. Water needs to get into the 70's before they start putting up leaves. As soon as you see leaf shoots, get them in the sun!
Give 'em lots of fert next year, maybe you could even start with a few trowels-full of manure/compost, since you're growing them in tubs with no fish. Grow some fabulous leaves, and you'll for sure have tubers by next fall. The leaves alone are worth growing the plant, they're so pretty. Water rolls around on them like mercury, the leaf surface is 'unwettable'. It's really fun to watch.
There was a really good program on Georgia Public TV a while back, it was Your Southern Garden, and they featured the lotus pots at the Bamboo Farm in Savannah. I have seen the pots and they are large, in the 40 to 50 gallon range. The horticulturist mentioned fertilizing them every week because the water gets so hot and they use up food quickly. I have not tried that yet but I have fed mine every two weeks and I did see an improvement in the number of leaves and flowers. They were fertilizing through October but I stopped back in early September when the leaves started dying down.
I came across this thread searching for an answer to my lotus question. I bet someone who has posted here knows the answer, though. I started a lotus from seed I collected on the shore of Lake Marion where here are big fields of the native yellow ones.
I'm certain it will be too big for my pond, but it occurred to me that perhaps the size can be controlled by sinking it within a smaller container? Would that work? The pond is only about 4 ft by 3ft and about 2 feet deep.
I had ordered a dwarf variety from someone on line and it was sent bare-root with no water or moisture material and was pretty dead, so I resorted to trying seeds - which worked!
Last year my lotus, which had always been outstanding, fizzled out. I gave the roots to a friend with a real pond to see if she had any better luck with them. This year I started out with new roots, from a reputable dealer, and they too have been underwhelming. I have not seen a flower yet and the leaves are already dying off.
I wish I had some kind of explanation, this is the first time in many years that I had trouble with lotus, it is usually just the opposite. I have consuted with two different growers andneither had any idea what is going on. Seems to be the coastal SC curse and it is driving me crazy.
I had a dwarf variety that bloomed nicely in June and July the first year, then leafed out, and fizzled out the next as well. Turns out my pond doesn't get enough sunlight to make them bloom all summer, so that wasn't the plant's fault,
Btw, the grower I ordered mine from only ships lotus in the early spring. Texas Waterlilies, I'd highly recommend them. Everything I've had from them has done great. Well, except the lotus did not live past 2 years.
Maybe your native variety will be more disease/pest resistant, let's hope. No idea if you can keep it smaller by confining it, but they are lusty growers, make big tubers, and I'd think you would need to roust the pot out and divide the tubers out each fall so that they didn't crowd themselves too much.
Confining them might cause them to not bloom, too. But the leaves are gorgeous.
Hi all, I've a tube tub for several years now. It isn't declining over the years. But, this year because I don't have the right fertilizer (aquatic fertilizer) for them; I've had only one flower blooming each time. This is my 3rd flower for the season.
And I concur, these type of flower do need full sun to have flower.
My lotus are growing in the same conditions they always have. Some of my roots came from Texas Waterlilies and some from Perry's Water Gardens in NC. When they failed last year I changed to soil for this year but the fresh soil did not work.
These are pictures from several years ago, the third picture is of the only flowers I *almost* had this year. They just dried up before they opened.