One of the most beautiful creations of Mother Nature, the lotus is considered a sacred flower among many world cultures, chiefly those that have been influenced by Buddhism. The lotus plant is also known for its medicinal values and is used in various herbal preparations. This versatile flower is available in myriad shades ranging from white, pink and red to unconventional purples and yellows. The sizes range from 2 to 7 inches. A symbol of purity, beauty, wealth, fertility, grace, knowledge and majesty, lotus buds can be just the flowers that take your serene home décor up a notch. So, be it a free-standing bowl in your foyer or a little pond in your yard, there is a simple way to grow lotuses from the seeds at home.
There is a long list of dos and don’ts that need close adherence when attempting to grow lotuses at home. Here is a plant which is averse to chilly winters and enjoys the sunlight. With a long-lasting germination process and technical planting procedures, it becomes important that lotus plants are taken full care of. Here is a step by step guide on how you can successfully grow beautiful lotuses in your own garden!
The first step towards having a lustrous lotus blooming in your backyard pond is to source good quality seeds for the same. Locate the pointed end of the seeds and file them till a single layer is left on the seeds. A normal metal filer can be used for the procedure. If skipped, this filing might get in the way of healthy flowers in the near future or result in no flower altogether.
The prepared and well-filed seeds then need to be placed in a glass of non-chlorinated warm water. In certain cases, some seeds rise to the surface level of water. These can be picked and can be easily removed, for they are sterile. Seeds need to be kept in water for up to two weeks. However, water needs to be changed every day till the seeds start sprouting. It is observed that after the first day of soaking, the seeds swell up to nearly double the original size. The seeds which do not swell up also need to be eliminated from the bowl as they do not serve any purpose.
After a week or two, the leaves start to appear. The water needs to be changed every day even after these seeds sprout and even more delicately than before. Only after at least three leaves appear on the seed or the seedling grows to a length of 6 inches should these seeds be removed from the water. This may require 4 to 5 days.
Within a week or two, you should observe lotus roots emerging. Once this happens, the time is ripe for planting them in desired pots with good quality loam covered with a layer of water. Plant one seed in one pot each, covering the roots of the germinated seed slightly under the soil. The ratio of mud to water in the pot needs to be 1:3, such that the water level is at least 5 cm above the mud. One needs to take care that the leaves do not submerge into the water. It is alright to use normal tap water for the purpose. The ideal mix of soil to grow lotuses is a mix of two parts clay and one part river sand.
A black plastic bucket is most recommended because of its ability to retain heat and warm the seedlings. It is important that the pot you choose is devoid of any drainage holes, as this might lead to the plant shifting towards the holes, growing outside of them and hampering its own structure.
Another important trick to keep in mind to achieve successful blooms is to anchor the seeds and avoid having them come afloat above the soil into the layer of water. For this, seeds must be covered in modeling clay partially so the clay does not cover the sprouts.
You can buy these great black buckets from Gallery.S S:Tayama based in Japan.
Research suggests that lotuses do well with 6 hours of direct sun daily. So, choose a sunny corner of your house and place the pot there. However, the temperature of water in the pot must not go above 60°F. In cases where the general atmospheric temperature rises above 90 °F, the pot needs to be shifted into a shady area.
Lotuses that are planted from seeds need considerable time to bloom, sometimes more than a year. It must be remembered that a plant needs full protection from its first frost and harsh winters. In no circumstances must the contents of the pot freeze. The plant must be fertilized sparsely during its first year and must be fed only in summers.
For more interesting garden ideas read Sync Your Garden with the Local Ecosystem.