Lotus, Queen Of The Water.
Starting lotus from tubers. Click Here
Starting lotus from seeds. Click Here
Starting with starter plants. Click Here
Dividing your lotus tubers Click Here
I no longer stock lotus, this is just left here for the information.
Remember, even the space between the notes is music.
Lotus make an outstanding patio plant in a large container, 15 gallons or larger will work good, a half barrel is great. Even before the blooms start, the incredible 2 foot wide leaves are something to see. I can't think of any location that a lotus won't be the center of focus, sure to steal the attention from everything else. The hotter the days get the more the lotus like it, you will never see a heat wilted leaf on a lotus, never. They are a perennial and will continue to grow and spread for many years.
We offer potted growing plants that can wait a short time before putting them into their final planter or pond, just keep them wet in any container that holds water, even a plastic bag. Earlier planting will give you the biggest plants and the most flowers this season, they are perennials and will come back every year. My first year I planted late and still had a fantastic show. Small starter plants are the only way to deal with a lotus, the large plants are just not practical to transplant or even move.
An aura of mystique surrounds the lotus, adding to its appeal. Legends and myths about it are woven through the history of civilization. It is important in many cultures, religions, and even agriculture. Tubers are staples in Asian diets, making it a valuable economic crop. Seeds and leaves are also edible. The Chinese say that, once having seen the growing lotus, you can never forget it. Lotus blooms can be as large as your face, intensely perfumed, with leaves in excess of 3' on some cultivars.
The leaves are aerial, interestingly shaped and with remarkable properties of water shedding and self cleansing. Scientists study them in an effort to replicate those properties for a number of applications and products.
Seeds can remain viable for centuries. Growing plants from seedling to bloom in as little as six months. Named varieties can only be grown from tuber.
Nelumbo has been moved from the waterlily family to one of its own, somehow fitting for this unique and beautiful aquatic plant.
2010, The Year Of The Tiger.
Actually the year of the Tiger doesn't start until Febuary 14th and I have just started to dig the lotus tubers for the 2010 season, and they are on sale now. $15 each, pick ups will be huge, much to large to ship. Some have actually got their first floating pads, if you plant this early in the year you'll have huge plants the first season, the northern lotus won't even be available til mid March, I'll be updating this all season with information and pictures so be sure to stop by every once in a while to take a look. I'll be adding a number of new lotus this year but won't have the tubers until next year, but the ones I started by seed will be available as starter plants in March, I'm pretty well out of room for another project so I'll have more time for the website.
It's the end of March and the tubers have all been divided and most have the floating pads even before they are sold. I have mine started in the half barrels again this year and they are kicking right into the growth season. I repot and divide the tubers every year starting with fresh top soil and after the first month I add 4 water lily fertilizer tabs. I don't add clay or anything as some suggest, if you do want to add clay just use kitten litter, I have tried the clay in the past and have seen no difference. I have the fertilizer tabs at the online store or for pick up. Although the compost worked very good for me for a number of past years, the top soil and tabs will help a lot to keep the water from turning green. Click here for more information on the tabs.
Although the extream cold season here beat up the tropical lilies it didn't even effect the lotus tubers that were just floating in shallow pools, they even were putting up pads while I was doing nothing but trying to stay warm. They are not a tropical as many think and will return in a ntural pond or deep man made as long as they don't freeze solid, I'm not sure that is even true, either I read it somewhere or just made it up, lol.. I have started some seeds again this year but who knows what they will look like, they will not grow true from seeds.
2009, The Year Of The OX.
It's mid January 09, I'm frozen but the lotus aren't going to wait any longer to start growing. My established lotus have had surface pads and a couple in the air since early January. The new ones I started from seed are well on their way with surface pads. I'll be posting the ones I had last year and the new seed plants in this section so you can see what to expect from both. If you have picked up a tuber from me this year I'm sure yours are also well on their way. The tubers are kept in a spot that they don't get a lot of sun this time of the year so you may well be ahead of me.
I have no idea what the seed plants will end up as, I ordered seeds on ebay and they all came mixed in one package, it doesn't really matter since lotus don't grow true from seed, but it would of been nice to have some idea what I was planting.
The bloom season seems to of started late this year, the heavy blooming didn't begin until mid July, but here we go. Once again it's the Perry Slocum Sunburst that starts the show. I'm really looking forward to some of the unknown plants started from seeds. Starter plants are ready to pick up and transplant, $30.
2008, The Year Of The Rat.
In January the Lotus start putting up the new season growth, I started late in the season my first year with them and they were still fantastic, I always look forward to the new spring growth. Last years plants and flowers are further down on this page. My planter is about 18" deep, 4' x 8' and filled with water plant soil mix, the water above the dirt is about 5" deep. A bottom cover of about 12" - 14" of soil mix, seems to of worked out well. I used a piece of pond liner but you can also use a 15 gallon plastic tubs, anything that is big enough and will hold water. You can get very creative by stacking old bricks around a plastic tub, or even just painting it. I've seen old large rope wrapped around a plastic container that looked great.
This is a plastic 20 gallon barrel container (Home Depot $40), this a young plant, not flowering yet, but it gives you an idea of what you can expect early in the first season even with a half barrel planter of about 20 gallons, an 18 gallon plastic tub will do just as well. This will grow into a large flowering plant within a couple months.
January 31st, already going strong. This is that 4'x8' planter from last year, you can see some duckweed still growing in it, the duck weed will not grow after the lotus puts up big leafs. The Lotus went dormant at the end of October with the flowers still intact, but with no new growth. I do nothing for them during the dormant time except keep the container full of water, very easy care plant.
In early May the show is about to start, I spotted the first bud of the year just peaking out, almost the same place the first bud was last year. I'm sure there are many more on their way up to the surface and on to glory. These will continue to bloom up until the end of October, then go dormant until January, they are a very long season plant.
In about 5 days this new small bud will be developed into a huge flower held well above the plant, you can almost see them grow. The flower will last for 5 or so days, opening every morning and close up after dark. Stop by in the upcoming months and take a look at these. If you have never seen lotus blooming it's something you won't want to miss. As the season moves on, the flowers will get larger and the buds will be a daily happening. The leaf it is next to is a very early growth and is on it's way out. Keep in mind that when trimming that you need to cut the stem above the water surface so water doesn't run back down the hollow stem and cause problems. After a couple days the stem will turn dark and soften and can be removed, I just let them sink into the water and add to the soil. If you need to fertilize, which is highly unlikely the first year in fresh compost mix, just use a common slow release fertilizer that is for flowering plants. I look for the numbers on the package to be 15-30-15. Use about 1/2 less than for ground plants but a little more often. You're going to hear about all kinds of water plant fertilizers if you ask, I have no doubt that they are very good, but 3 times the cost.
Day 4, this is that same small bud and tomorrow it will open fully. Be sure to stop by in the summer months to see them in full bloom. The blue beetles have started to show up already, seems odd that I only see them when the lotus bloom. They actually stay inside the bud as it closes every night and leave in the morning covered with yellow pollen.
After the flower is spent a large seed pod will develop. These are sometimes used in flower arrangements. You may choose to clip these off before they fully form to keep the plant at it's peak bloom performance or not, they are very attractive left on the plant. These seed pods are not fully formed yet, at maturity the seeds will be loose in the pod and rattle. I let a few fully form to collect the seeds and clip the rest off. If you want to save these there is nothing you have to do to preserve them, they will naturally dry up and harden on their own, even the stem will dry and remain stiff. They go through some very interesting color changes as they mature and start to dry.
It's mid November and the lotus are going dormant, don't be alarmed by this, all leaves will fade and darken. You can clip them off above the water line if you choose or just leave them. I grow duckweed in the planters over the winter. After all the leaves fade it's time to divide the tubers if you choose to. Mine are only 2 years old but I want to thin them out, so I'm going to remove tubers and replant. In any case they will start putting up new growth in late January. Just keep the water up and next year they will even be better. They grow incredibly fast starting about the end of February and can be in bloom in early April and continue to bloom through the season, actually until about mid October.
Lotus Starter Plants.
We have lotus plants available year round, winter growth will be slower with no flowers, but they will have time to be well rooted before the growing season begins in January. Unlike most suppliers we grow our own from seed, that's why we have them year round (getting seeds to sprout can make you crazy), once sprouted and growing they are a strong plant and fast growing. You can expect flowers within the first 3 months during season when starting with these growing starter plants. Next year they will bloom a lot earlier. The plants that you receive from us are 2 - 3 months old and ready to kick into their rapid growth and flowering stage. Lotus can only be divided when they are dormant which will give you an exact clone of the parent plant.
All my lotus are from large varieties, with enough container space you can expect the ariel 24" leafs to be 3 feet or more above the water and the foot wide flowers held well above that. Please don't try to grow them in any container smaller than 15 gallons, half barrels work very good. Lotus do not grow true from seeds, so the flower possibilities are endless and all will be very large plants. I sell active growing starter plants for $30. The tuber sections I have at certain times of the year are well sprouted with root growth and pads at the time of pick up, very easy to transplant.
Be prepared to transplant before picking up your lotus, they are crowding the small containers we grow them in. Lotus like a round container so the growing shoot doesn't get confused in a corner and climb out. If you are planting in a water garden, the top of the container should be raised to just 6" or less below the water line, although I have grown them in much deeper water with no problems. I even stock a few that are in 16" of water, actually they just fell off the shelf, but even a shallow one will adapt very fast. These are not a frail plant that may or may not grow for you, you will have lotus every year from now on if you keep the water up.
If I were going to grow lotus in a pond with fish I would leave the container sticking above the water surface a bit and just leave the dirt in a container with bottom holes 3" or 4" lower than the water level to keep the fish from getting to them and tossing the dirt every where, if you don't have fish it doesn't matter.
If you are going to grow in a container for the patio or yard, fill with compost to within 3-6" of the top for water. You don't even need surface water as long as the soil stays very wet, but I like the shallow water, so do the frogs and dragon flies. The water will soon be filled with tadpoles and frogs, if you build it they will come. Birds will be drinking out of it also. Something about muddy water, animals just can't resist it, even the cats drink from it here and they always have clean water if they want it. We have a large assortment of dragon fly in Florida, they will find you, did you know that their main diet is mosquitoes, they don't bite or sting and they put on a great air show.
Place your container where it will get the most sun, more sun = more growth and flowers.
Little wonder the lotus is called the Queen of the water. Those are a small group of blue beetles sitting on the seed pod in this picture, they will remain there all night when the flower closes over them at dusk and leave in the morning covered with pollen when the bloom opens again. It is said that they will cross an ocean to seek out a lotus bloom. You will have them if you have lotus. It's rather a sad day when after only a week or so of enjoying the flower, it is spent and the pedals fall from the developing large seed pod, but it will be something you'll remember and look forward to with the next bud you see reaching for the sky. The seed pod will continue to develop until it's as large as your hand.
The first lotus bud snaking it's way up through the huge leafs. All this growth and the first flower bud in the third month since planting. What more could you ask for. If you would like to read some very interesting information of lotus folklore check out this site, http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/flowers/lotus.html
Here is that same bud on day 4.
Day 5. It's paint on my hands, these don't bite, yet. Actually they don't have thorns or anything that can harm you or your pets. A great yard addition.
Day 6. Fantastic, isn't she. Tomorrow this will open full flower at sunrise and close after dark, it will reopen every morning for 4 or 5 days and then form a large seed pod. New buds are a daily happening and bloom through the season. These actually close so smoothly that they trap bugs inside and if you are up early when they open you can see beetles covered with pollen leaving in the morning.
Here is a 4'x8' planter at 3 months of growth with lotus budding. The planter doesn't look so big now, does it?
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