Flowers are known for their beauty, a beauty that only lasts for a brief moment, and the lotus is no exception to this rule. The lotus blooms beautifully in murky waters which seems like a contradiction, but it just shows that even in the harshest places, beauty is still found in them.
Lotus is an invasive aquatic plant known for its beautiful flowers. As the adage goes, there’s more to what meets the eye and this applies to lotus plants. It grows in murky waters and rises in a long stalk and blooms gloriously. Untouched by the impurity of the water, It symbolizes purity, majesty, and grace among others. Its seeds are also known to last for thousands of years and still perfectly good for re-germination, making it a symbol of a force that can withstand extremely unfavorable conditions. It’s sacred especially in India where it’s named as a national flower.
This perennial plant has different types and cultivars. It is native to regions with warmer climates such as southern Asia and Australia. They are commonly found in shallow and murky waters and they generally come in two colors, white and pink. Lotus flowers enjoy the humid weather and warm sunlight but they can’t withstand cold weather conditions. Its roots are deeply entrenched in the mud and send out long stems to which they are attached to the leaves. However, they can also thrive in nearly any weather given the right type of soil and water requirements.
Many people ask these, especially novice gardeners: how to grow lotus from seed? This process can be quite complicated, since lotus cultivation in more common in water gardeners. Besides, it’s not that easy to find lotus seeds for sale nearby. So we will share how to scratch lotus seeds. Read on for a complete guide on growing lotus plants from your garden.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Grow Lotus from Seed
Step 1: First, you have to learn how to scratch lotus seeds. The seeds are large and they are usually enclosed in a “seed head.” Lotus pods have a lot of holes in them. You can use any sharp object to get rid of the seed’s casing. It’s hard so you might want to use a metal file or a knife to remove it fast.
Step 2: Leave your seeds in warm water. The liquid should be hot but not boiling. It’s best to use a clear container so you can see when the seeds start to sprout. Some people are growing their lotus flower in a bowl with a lot of soil.
Step 3: Once your seeds sprout, transfer them in a pot with clay-rich soil or potting mix. It should be buried six inches deep. Because it requires to be buried deep, you can even use an old bathtub, sink, or an aquarium. If you want to display them in the patio, use a nice huge pot. Just make sure it does not have holes.
Step 4: Wait for the leaves to come out after a few days. The level of the water should match the stem length for faster germination. You can start moving the pot outdoors once the leaves grow.
Step 5: Fertilize your plant. Lotus is not fussy when it comes to fertilizers. You can choose between fast or slow-release because there are no issues applying them both.
More Lotus Plant Care Tips
Take note that you will not see your lotus bloom until after the first year of planting them. That’s usually the case if you grow lotus from seeds. The typical blooming season for lotus is in the summer and that can be as short as three days.
Identified by their long stems, lotus plants are not for places where winter can be extremely cold. Lotus hates very cold water and they will not germinate in frost. If you want to see your seeds grow fast, plant them during frost-free days.
Lotus flowers can survive in any level of shade. But they thrive better in warm climates. If you want healthy lotus plants, place them in an area where they can get full sunlight. The best location keeps lotus blooming and growing the most. Avoid placing them in extreme weather conditions. They easily die in drought.
Lotus can be placed in ponds, and you can fill our pond with only just lotus. However, if you have diversity in mind and you are looking to plant other types of plants in your pond consider keeping your lotus contained. The container must have no holes in them so that the lotus’ roots won’t spread out to other plants.
Use high-quality fertilizers and follow the instructions that come with them. Lotus grows fast in its early phase so use a lot on fertilizer on that phase. Begin fertilizing the lotus when the lotus is starting to sprout standing leaves, in this phase, it is hard to over fertilize the lotus since it is growing rapidly. However, you can over fertilize the lotus once it reaches the phase where it is beginning to sprout.
Keep the soil underwater at all times, it is recommended that the soil should have at least 2 to 4 inches of water above it. The lotus plant can go much deeper than that, even up to 18 inches deep, but that would require more energy and so therefore slower growth. In cooler climates, the lotus can greatly benefit from shallow water since it is much nearer to the sunlight.
If your lotus’ leaves turn yellow, it is a sign that there is a problem. The yellow leaves could indicate that the lotus lacks nutrients. Consider adding more fertilizer on it, and if you just had recently fed your lotus some fertilizers and the yellow leaves appear it means that the lotus is overfed. Those are not the only factors that cause yellow leaves, it may be other factors such as lack of sunlight or mineral deficiency. You have to dive more into research to figure out which is truly the cause.
Like most plants, lotus attracts pests, fleas, and insects. But avoid using insecticides because they can do more harm than good. Simply remove the damaged leaves or those that have already been infested by insects.
How to Use Lotus Plant
Did you know that almost every plant of the lotus is edible? Aside from the roots, which is the part commonly consumed in many Asian countries, you can also eat the leaves, seeds, and stems.
The seeds of the lotus are loaded with protein and calcium. You can dry then pop them just like how you do popcorns. It’s not as flavorful as the traditional corn kernel but it’s a healthier alternative to popcorn because it’s gluten-free. Though before you get into popping lotus seeds, you first have to know how to get seeds from lotus flower. To get some lotus seeds, you only need to find the lotus’ seed pot. The seed pot appears long after the petals have dropped from the plant.
Many people are not into lotus popcorns because of their neutral taste. They actually taste better when you add them to stir-fry veggies. You can slice them bite-size pieces then rinse before cooking. You can also soak it in vinegar with water to remove any sign of discoloration.
It’s not advisable to eat lotus raw because they may be difficult to digest when uncooked. Besides that, the roots are bitter so they are not pleasant to eat raw. Consider steaming or frying them first.
Benefits of Eating Lotus
Lotus is an ingredient in many Asian dishes. In preparing the lotus for cooking, it’s advisable to soak them for around five minutes in water with lemon or vinegar. This removes any colors that have stained the roots. You can eat this crunchy treat once in a while.
Aside from its uses in the kitchen, you can use lotus to prevent asthma, reduce blood sugar levels, and protect your body from cardiovascular diseases. The roots are rich in folate, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin C.
Lotus is a beautiful plant. Aside from adding aesthetic to any place, there are cultivars of lotus plants that are safe to eat. This edible plant is often used as an ingredient to Asian cuisine, particularly in stir-fry dishes. The roots of lotus taste mild and have a nice crunch in it. Imagine eating celery with a sweet aftertaste.
Growing lotus is not just for seasoned gardeners. As you can see, it’s not a fussy plant. The secret is in the kind of pot you’re going to use. This plant is also great for beginners who want to grow it from their own homes or gardens. Although these plants normally grow in streams and water, you can also grow them in healthy soil.