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Water Gardens: Lotus Growing in Container

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TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 31, 2009
12:16 AM

Post #6619467

Hello,
I am a newbie and this looked like a good place to start. I am in zone 7a. When I was visiting my uncle in April (He lives in zone 9) he gave me some Lotus seed. These seed came from a friend that has had them so long that he doesn't remember color or size. I have managed to get some of them started and will probably winter them in the house this year.
Next year I would love to plant them in concrete planters around my swimming pool, but I don't know if they will survive the winter that way. Also, how big of a planter would I have to have for the largest size lotus, just in case that is what I end up with. Also, does seed size mean anything. My uncle called today and told me that his friend found two more bags of larger seeds, which are marked 1-pink and 1-yellow.
I hope someone can help!!! Teri


This message was edited May 30, 2009 8:23 PM
rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 3, 2009
9:29 PM

Post #6637714

I am also new to lotus but have done a little research on the subject. The container should be at least 18" around and should be round since the tuber could get hung up in a corner and stop growing. They are ok to winter in the pot as long as the soil doesn't freeze. Be very careful transplanting because if you break off the growing point, the tuber is history. Also don't cut off leaves because the plant can drown if the stem is broken below the water line. It is better to transplant the seed from the water you start it in after the sprout is a couple of inches long directly into the final pot, instead of trying to transplant it a couple of times. No one knows if seed size determines size of the mature plant, I asked the same question and got no answers. Someone on gardenweb suggested that the seed size is possibly determined by the amount of fertilizer. I suspect that larger seeds come from larger varieties but won't know til after mine grow up (I have 2 different sizes from 2 different sources).
Rick
TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 3, 2009
10:01 PM

Post #6637852

Rick, Thank you for the information. I am planning on making my concrete planters 24" accross. I have six seeds started that have at least 1 leaf and are starting to root. For now they are in plastic coffee cans. I hope when the time comes I can just cut the plastic away to replant them. Our winters aren't real bad here, but we do have some cold spells. I quess I'll just pray and hope the the concrete is thick enough to protect the soil from freezing.
rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 3, 2009
10:16 PM

Post #6637902

My transplants went into 18gal muck buckets with 3" of fresh horse manure, topped with 3" of composted horse manure, covered with 1" of Special Kitty litter (100% clay). I added water slowly til it covered the litter and let it soak in and settle, then added more water til about 6" of water. I made a small depression in the clay, added my new transplant and will add more water as the lotus matures. One of the seeds wants to float so it is held down with a small rock. Good luck with your lotus, I'm sure the planter won't freeze solid so they should be OK outside.
TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2009
2:05 PM

Post #6640615

Thank you so much for the info. I will let you know how it goes. One of my lotus babies already has a 3" leaf. One has died, but it was my own fault. We had a bad wind storm the other day and I didn't have it protected enough.
mekos
Fair Play, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 4, 2009
2:08 PM

Post #6640624

How about introducing us to your uncle's friend with the seeds so we can get some?!? HAHA I've only started with tubers but I live in zone 7 and they are suppose to over winter just fine as long as the water does not freeze solid where the lotus are. I keep mine in my pond in 3 feet of water and use a pump to circulate the water so it wont freeze. Then in spring after cold passes, bring them out to having 6-8 in. of water over the top of them and they should take off just fine. The big ponds where the lotus grow to be sold are frozen on top of the water but the lotus are deeper so they don't freeze.Then in march they go in the icy pond and start pulling lotus out to be sold. They cut them into tubers and label them and send them to their greenhouse to keep them dormant( cool but protected) until they sell. That was what I was told by the company I buy from. But I have never started any from seeds, I purchased tubers.I have 4 colors now, but none are yellow if your friend wants to trade off some yellow seeds?!?
TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2009
2:16 PM

Post #6640668

Hello Mekos, What 4 colors do you have? About the seeds. My uncle now has all the seeds in his little hands and the best part (for me) is he tried to start 6 and none have sprouted so all the seeds are coming to me. I quess I'm going to get him to ship them to me (he lives) 12hrs. away since I won't see him til Christmas. I'll keep you in mind when I get them.
mekos
Fair Play, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 4, 2009
2:32 PM

Post #6640755

Wonderful! I have the Perry D Slocum, First lady, chawsau Basu, and one, I can never remember the name, suppose to be red when it blooms. You can look on my have list and see a couple of them. They should bloom this summer. I just got the red bloomer a couple weeks ago(or less) and it's just getting started. The others I've had for a while. I had made a trade with someone 3-4 weeks ago , I sent her plants but she never sent mine and lotus (4) were a part of what she was suppose to send me along with some other things. She stiffed a few other people as well. But I would like to have some seeds if you decide to let some go. I could pay postage for them or when mine bloom save you some seeds from mine. I am honest. If I say I will, I will.Only once I forgot one plant in an order out of MANY I put in and fixing to resend it, and One order I had to put off one week to help my sister get moved and the lady said it was ok because she wasn't in a hurry anyway. EVERYTHING else was shipped the day I said it would and shipped priority mail. Got good reviews on orders, for me to be a newbie myself.D-mail me if you have extras and want to trade some.
rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2009
5:19 PM

Post #6641514

Mekos, if TLAustin doesn't come up with yellow lotus seeds to trade, I have a couple that I can send you for some future trades. I've only got 2 but should receive 5 more in a day or 2, I've also got some red and pink seed. I've got The President lotus started in my natural pond so I should have some of those seeds later in the year or could trade tubers next year.
mekos
Fair Play, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 4, 2009
5:37 PM

Post #6641569

D-mail please.
rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2009
12:27 AM

Post #6648055

Here's one of three lotus that I started from seed last week. They sprouted in 48-72hrs and have been in these 18gal buckets for 5 days. I had to hold the seed down with a rock because the leaf floated the seed after the heavy rains we just had. The water level went from 4"-5" to about a foot deep, but the lotus adjusted to the depth after I weighed down the seed. The Special Kitty does a great job of separating the horse poop and compost from the water so the water stays clear. I also checked on the seedling that I put in the pond at the same time and it is about the same size.

Thumbnail by rickinla
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2009
12:30 AM

Post #6648060

And here's what I scared away from his dinner when I went down to take a pic of the lotus. I put cat food out for 2 of them every afternoon.

Thumbnail by rickinla
Click the image for an enlarged view.

mekos
Fair Play, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2009
1:01 AM

Post #6648168

OH my gosh! Ared Fox???
TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 6, 2009
3:08 PM

Post #6649790

Here is a picture of one of the five I have started. There is another leaf on its way to the top (it is under the big leaf). This one is in dirt straight out of the garden. Our soil has clay in it. I planted 3 of them in soil from a different spot in the yard which had more clay and the water is cloudy in those. They are all planted in plastic coffee containers. Here is the website that I found and tried to follow the directions.

I LOVE your fox.

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

This message was edited Jun 6, 2009 11:09 AM

Thumbnail by TLAustin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rickinla
Theodore, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2009
3:33 PM

Post #6649881

I have a red lotus seedling that I started according to the instructions on the website you posted, it has been in the milk jug for about 3 weeks and has 3-3" leaves. I lost one seedling using that method during a heavy rain that separated the stem from the seed. I transplanted the last ones directly from the water to the spot where they're going to live. I figured the less it's touched the better chances it will have, plus I don't have to keep checking on them, although I still check them twice a day. The one I put in the pond is a yellow one, I put a cage around it to keep the critters from eating it. I put 2 in the pond the same time I started the red ones in the milk jug, they lasted one day before the ducks or turtles decided that they might taste good.

One thing to consider starting them in the smaller pots, the person on the website used milk jugs. The plastic in milk jugs is a good bit thinner than the coffee can and therefore will be much easier to cut away when you transplant. I can easily run a knife through the milk jug to cut off the top and use the plastic coffee cans to dip grain for the horses, they are quite durable and would be tough to slice.

We've been seeing occasional foxes in our neighborhood for 10 yrs, so this year I decided to feed them and see if they'd hang around. We get a thrill every afternoon watching them eat in the back yard.

This message was edited Jun 6, 2009 10:39 AM
mekos
Fair Play, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2009
4:27 PM

Post #6650075

Thanks for the info. The fox is beautiful. We occaisonally see silver fox and sometimes see the red fox but never enough time for pictures. Ours are usually out at night.

This message was edited Jun 6, 2009 2:07 PM
TLAustin
Sale Creek, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 6, 2009
5:00 PM

Post #6650230

Yes, they are very fragile at this point. I have mine sitting on the railing of the porch at this time. That way I can move them when we have bad weather. I did loose one because of a strong wind storm. I have no idea what color they are. As far as the containers they are in, I am hoping that when they get a better root system (roots are already starting) that I will be able to just dump them. The containers don't taper in like a milk jug.

I know what you mean about checking them. I check my 2 to 3 times a day also. I am trying not to touch them. It is easier to keep my hands away from the ones that are in clear water because I can see the new roots starting.

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