Ponds and Water Gardening forum: Anyone growing lotus?

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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Jun 28, 2013 12:00 PM CST
I have one tropical lotus growing in a concrete pot. It has started putting out aerial leaves and I'm hoping it will bloom this year. I thought it died last year and pulled the pot and let it dry out. I went to use the pot for something else this spring and found 2 live tubers in it. I planted them and now the lotus is coming up much stronger than before. I never got any aerial leaves last year. I am putting a lot of fert spikes in, 2 or 3 a week and that may be the difference.

I bought the seeds online and half were pink and half white, I've no idea what this is so I'm really hoping to get a bloom.

Thumb of 2013-06-28/extranjera/9cce8e
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Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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psa
Jun 28, 2013 2:48 PM CST

Moderator

We'll all be watching to see what it is. Smiling

I've got a couple lotus. They tend to get really big and take over their space, so they're both in their own little containers. One is in a small pond sunk in the middle of my perennial garden and people ask about the big round leaves, unaware that they are obscuring the water underneath.

Thumb of 2013-06-28/psa/72e4bd Thumb of 2013-06-28/psa/094e08

The other is a miniature in a big resin pot that it shares with a bit of water hawthorne. I don't seem to have any pictures of it at the moment; I'll have to get out and take some...
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 28, 2013 6:26 PM CST
I've tried twice with a dwarf lotus 'Baby Doll' and one other type, both times got just a few flowers, then the plants petered out and died off. I think my pond doesn't have enough sun to make them bloom well, only about 3 hours per day. So they would bloom in June and July, then just make less and less leaves. Very sad because they are SO lovely! I wonder if they need to dry out during their dormancy like Jonna's did?

Here are pics from a couple of years ago, first is 'Baby Doll' and second is another slightly bigger one with semi-double flowers, I forget the name.
Thumb of 2013-06-29/dyzzypyxxy/18816d Thumb of 2013-06-29/dyzzypyxxy/b7b5d7
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Jun 28, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Love your water garden, Elaine! Lovey dubby
Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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psa
Jun 28, 2013 7:04 PM CST

Moderator

I love that pond with the lizards basking in the middle. Makes the wood around it look like a boardwalk.

Lotus do seem to need a lot of light to thrive, though full day sun isn't needed here. I haven't removed either of my current lotus from the water or their current locations for three years, and the tubers spend the winter under the ice. I don't know if the winter dormancy and cold plays a part in keeping it happy.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Jun 28, 2013 11:25 PM CST
I think there are 2 types of lotus, one that is native to the US and northern areas and that is winter hardy and another that is from the far east and is not. I'm not sure of this but I think I read that somewhere. When I bought the seeds I was looking for the tropical ones because I had heard that the northern types will not survive without winter chilling. I've no idea if I got what I think I got, that's another puzzle, or how to tell them apart for that matter. I know that they grow like weeds in Thailand and that part of the tropics and they certainly don't get winter chill. I may let them dry out again this winter if they stop growing. That's assuming it survives that long and actually blooms.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Jun 29, 2013 7:11 AM CST
I have the native/Winter hardy Lotus and managed to keep it going now the third year, keeping it flooded and under the snow through the Winter.
This year it had a late start, I thought it had died, so I took it out of the pot. Only the center of the pot was quite dead, there were a lot of healthy tubers around the periphery. I repotted/cleaned it up and it is now growing again nicely.
I never get more than 3 -4 blooms /Summer, but the plant provides such a nice focus I don't mind too much.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 29, 2013 9:05 AM CST
You're right, Jonna, do you recall where you got your lotus seeds?The American lotus is Nelumbo lutea, a big, lusty plant with fragrant yellow flowers. Pretty sure it is winter hardy quite a ways north. Here's the U. of Florida's page on it http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/10 Any that were bred from those would surely be fairly hardy and also go dormant in winter.

The one thing I am fairly sure of is they need lots of sun to really bloom well. Unless I keep mine in a tub on wheels and move it around during the spring/summer I can't give them enough sun. At around $25 a pop for the tubers, I can't afford to be planting new ones each year, either.

Paul, the wood around my little pond is, in fact, a boardwalk. It leads to the front door. The lizards are ceramic cheap-o's intended to scare away the fishing birds. They seem to have worked pretty well, but the raccoons are not fooled. I think I'd need a real, live gator to keep them from drinking and messing up my pond.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jun 29, 2013 4:58 PM CST
I have been growing lotus plants for about 6 years. I don't even know what cultivar the current ones are. I replaced them with new ones when I thought the old ones died. So I gave up keeping track of the cultivars.

I get plenty of aerial leaves every year. But getting blooms is another story! I like the leaves enough that I don't get too disappointed when they don't bloom. No blooms last year. This year, I had one bloom in May. One single bloom. Beautiful, but singular. I don't know what the trick is to get the lotus to bloom.

But ... the pots I have are exactly the same size and style. Same water median in each. I add water to them both weekly. I hadn't fertilized either one until today. So the one bloomed without any fertilizer, too. Go figure! It also receives some shade during the day whereas the other pot gets all day sunlight, but no blooms. So maybe a little afternoon shade in hot climates works?

I would love to hear of anyone's success getting annual blooms. Maybe I need to talk to a water gardening business who sells them to find out what they do to get blooms?

Here is a photo of the one single bloom this year so far.

Thumb of 2013-06-29/beckygardener/956b7e


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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Jun 29, 2013 7:21 PM CST
I got the seeds from a vender here in Mexico, sold through an online store like ebay. Here's a link to the place I bought them with pictures and text (in spanish). http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-423517893-semillas-d...
It says they are nelumbo nucifera with a common name of sacred lotus or asian lotus. I got 10 seeds, 5 white and 5 pink. I just don't know which ones survived and are now growing.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 2, 2013 7:26 PM CST
When I got my tubers from Texas Waterlilies, they included a culture sheet that said lotus are heavy feeders and need full sunlight, Becky.

Yours look really healthy, but I think I would try giving them a good dose of fertilizer. Do you have the fertilizer tabs made for water plants? About 6 tabs for a large lotus plant each month. If you don't have tabs, they recommended using a time-release fert, about a tsp. tied up in squares of newspaper. Six or 8 of those little 1tsp. packets per plant.

I'm pretty sure mine had limited blooms because I only have about 3 hours of good sunlight hitting my pond. Not a thing I can do about it either, because it is the house that shades the pond.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Sep 2, 2013 6:59 PM CST
Elaine - That is where I got my lotus, too. I think you are right about them being heavy feeders. I shall start feeding them more!

I added more fertilizer tabs recently and low and behold, it looks like another bloom is forming! Here it is September and I may still get another bloom!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden

BertB
Feb 1, 2014 2:16 PM CST
Ok folks,
Time to start thinking of spring. Grew nelumbo last year from seeds and tubers. Fun hobby to be sure.

Gonna go with 6-8 big tubs with 2 tubers per tub. Also maybe 20 2 gal pails for the small tubers that came from my seedlings last year.

I'm in NC, anyone know of a good source for tubers this year?

Bert
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Feb 1, 2014 5:55 PM CST
Bert - I highly recommend Texas Waterlilies. They do mail-order and usually sell out of their Lotus, so if you decide to order from them, order early before they are all gone.

http://texaswaterlilies.com/lotusorderpage.html

Cubits has offered a co-op every year from this nursery and did have one last year. Texas Waterlilies used to sell the plants to us wholesale. I got some awesome water plants that way for a really good deal! You could try contacting Mamajack to see if she is going to do a co-op from them for 2014.

http://cubits.org/notfortheserious/thread/view/65670/

Mamajack:

http://cubits.org/notfortheserious/forums/view/coops/
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Feb 2, 2014 11:08 AM CST
Bert

Welcome !

I agree with Becky. I have heard Texas Waterlilies is the best source as well.

The only other thing you could do is see if there is anybody out there that would have some to trade.

Welcome! Welcome!


BertB
Feb 3, 2014 11:22 AM CST
Thanks folks,
Anyone know about Perry's Water gardens? They are in western NC?

Also anyone know how many tubers to expect from a tub started with one tuber last year?
I plan to go into it, separate the tubers and replant them in new tubs before the dormancy period is over.

Make sense? I'm new at this.--- Help needed from y'alls experience.

Thanks so,
Bert
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
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Carolyn22
Feb 3, 2014 4:19 PM CST
Bert

I have no experience with Lotus, but I am wondering how large is your tub? I generally divide my waterlilies in April when they are still dormant.

Perhaps somebody with Lotus experience will chime in.


BertB
Feb 3, 2014 8:03 PM CST
I'd say 20" dia. I have about 8" of water over 14" of soil. I guess it will be like hunting Easter Eggs when I turn that tub over and see what's inside!
BB
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
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Carolyn22
Feb 4, 2014 4:44 PM CST
BertB said:. I guess it will be like hunting Easter Eggs when I turn that tub over and see what's inside!
BB


I totally agree!
Name: Hendrik Gode
Indonesia
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Milano
Feb 11, 2014 3:45 AM CST
Hello everyone!
Iam new here in atp
I lives in indonesia
Just found out this site with full of happy lotus lover which same like me ^^

I plant my lotus (nelumbo nucifera sp.) a month ago and start it with transplant original plant and only receive 2 hours full sunlight (bad news) and not full light around 6 hours but the weather is quite warm n hot everyday here around 25 - 27 celcius
My claypot diameter is 2 feet with soil depth 8 inch and water level 4 inch.
I give pellet fertilizer once in a 3weeks
It grows well with several big aerial leaves and only 3 small floating leaves.

How do u think guys?
From the appearance and conditions when i should have the first bloom?

Cheers, i loves all of your lotus photos here ^^

The second photo of lotus i bought from local nurseries a week ago i think its dwarf species lotus.
Thumb of 2014-02-11/Milano/6c78bc


Thumb of 2014-02-11/Milano/287bf7

Lotus grows from sticky n murky mud
But its leaves n flowers still unstained
Symbol of Purity

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