LOTUSES:

Lotuses are relatives of water lilies, and revered for their spectacularly large blooms and musky fragrance. The large round leaves may reach 24-36 inches in diameter, and may lie on the water or stand tall on long stems. Leafy growth doesn't appear until late spring, and blooms not until mid to late summer. Lotuses are winter hardy, as long as their tubers do not freeze.
 
All lotuses are day bloomers. Flowers open for three consecutive days early in the morning and close by mid to late afternoon. Large buds form on long stems, and open to reveal heavily fragrant 8 to 10 inch flowers. Although sun-loving, lotus will bloom in partial shade. A good blooming season requires temperatures of more than 23C (75F) for 10 to 12 weeks. Of special interest is the unusual center seed-pod which, when dried, is often featured in dried-flower arrangements.
 
The table below describes our most popular lotus varieties.  They are available for $35.99 bare-root, $49.99 (15” tub) or $69.99 (24” tub).
 

name

description

comments

Alba

Grandiflora

White flowers; green center.  22 petals.  Fragrant.  12"-18" leaves.  8"-9" flowers.  Grows 4ft-5ft tall.

Medium or large sized pond.

Charles

Thomas

Lavender-pink flowers; yellow center.  21 petals.  Fragrant.  14"-21" leaves.  6"-8" flowers.  Grows 2ft-3ft tall.

Medium sized pond.

Chewan

Basu

Deep pink margins and veins mark the ivory petals.  Fragrant.  14"-17" leaves.  5"-7" flowers.  Grows 2ft-3ft tall.

Small-medium sized pond.

Mrs Perry D

Slocum

Deep pink, changes to pink-yellow, and then cream with dabs of pink.  86 petals.  Fragrant.   18"-24" leaves.  9"-12" flowers.  Grows 4ft-5ft tall.

Large sized pond.

Due to their rigorous growth and blooming, lotuses must be fertilized each year at the start of summer with slow release fertilizer.
 
PLANTING LOTUSES
 
Varieties sold as a “bare-root” must be potted in a 24”-30” round tub to keep their invasive roots restrained.  Since a large tub can be difficult to manage, many ponders opt to plant a lotus in a container independent of the pond.  A suitable container is water-tight and deep enough to allow 3”-5” of water over the soil.  The tuber is very fragile, and requires special care when transporting and planting.  It should be planted during early June.  In most cases, a lotus will not flower until well established in its second year.

To plant a lotus, you will need a round tub, fertilizer, aquatic soil mix, and a spade.  

1.    Fill the tub with an inch of soil and put the fertilizer stick on top (prevents leeching into the water).
2.    Fill the tub with soil mix to within 4” of the top of the tub.
3.    Lay the lotus tuber flat at the edge of the tub, with the growing tip pointing towards the middle, and the leaf standing up.  Do not bury the tuber!  Simply cover the tuber with a couple of half bricks, and stake the leaf if necessary.
4.    Do not attempt to divide the tuber.  Do not cover the leaf with soil.
5.    Spread about an inch of pea gravel over the top to hold everything in place, and to prevent the soil from clouding the water.  Most of the tuber should still be visible.
6.    Submerge the tub in the pond so it is about 6” below the surface.  You may need to use bricks to elevate the tub to the correct height.

 

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