Lotus Flowers Care: Cultivating Tranquility in Your Garden

HomeHow ToCare GuideLotus Flowers Care: Cultivating Tranquility in Your Garden

Author:

Published:

Lotus flowers are a precious aquatic plant belonging to the water lily family, with unique ecological characteristics. Their roots penetrate deep into the soil, creating a stable habitat beneath the water. The stems are flexible and gracefully contorted, presenting an elegant and noble demeanor. The large leaves typically float on the water’s surface. Lotus flowers have colorful petals, displaying a rich palette of colors such as red, pink, white, and purple, creating a myriad of postures. Different varieties of lotus flowers have unique flower shapes and bloom at specific times, forming beautiful scenes on the water from dawn to dusk.

The fruit of the lotus flower, the lotus pod, serves as the carrier for their reproduction. The pod is a flat, spherical object containing numerous lotus seeds. These seeds are highly nutritious, not only suitable for consumption but also used in traditional medicine. As summer arrives, the blooming period of lotus flowers unfolds from June to September, creating a beautiful spectacle on the water’s surface. At this time, when the morning sunlight penetrates through the water, reflecting on the lotus flowers, everything appears fresh and beautiful.

Symbolic Meaning of Lotus Flowers

In Chinese culture, lotus flowers hold profound symbolic significance, representing qualities such as purity, integrity, strength, and elegance. Lotus flowers emerge from the mud but remain unstained, symbolizing noble character untouched by worldly contamination. The bud of the lotus symbolizes unwavering determination in the face of hardships. The far-reaching fragrance of lotus flowers symbolizes a graceful and unpretentious temperament. Lotus flowers also have a close connection with Buddhism, symbolizing Buddha’s nature and wisdom. Many Buddha statues are depicted seated on or holding lotus flowers, representing the attainment of enlightenment beyond worldly concerns.

Care Guidelines

Water: Lotus flowers, being elegant aquatic plants, have strict requirements for high-quality water sources. The water depth is generally maintained at 30-50 centimeters; depths below 20 centimeters or above 60 centimeters can affect lotus growth. Lotus flowers prefer water temperatures between 15-30 degrees Celsius, avoiding extremes. The growth of lotus flowers is closely related to water flow; moderate water flow should be maintained, avoiding excessive turbulence or stagnation. Suitable water sources are crucial for the growth of lotus flowers.

Fertilization: Lotus flowers, being beautiful aquatic plants, require proper fertilization to promote growth and flowering. Specialized aquatic plant fertilizers and organic fertilizers can meet the nutritional needs of lotus flowers. When fertilizing, attention should be paid to the location, timing, ratio, and quantity of fertilizer to ensure that lotus flowers absorb nutrients fully. Additionally, contact between fertilizer and lotus stems and leaves should be avoided to prevent scorching or rot. Scientific and rational fertilization methods can protect the health and beauty of lotus flowers.

Pruning: Lotus flowers are beautiful and graceful, but regular pruning is necessary to maintain their health and beauty. Pruning aims to remove withered, diseased, and damaged stems, leaves, and flowers, preventing adverse effects on other parts of the plant’s growth and flowering. It is also essential to control the quantity and size of lotus flowers moderately to prevent excessive growth or occupation of too much space. Therefore, pruning should be done in the morning or evening to avoid midday when water evaporation or temperature differences are significant. When pruning lotus flowers, use sharp, sterilized scissors or tools to cut about 10 centimeters below the stem and apply soil or resin as a preservative to prevent rot. Pruned lotus flowers will be more beautiful and healthy, providing a delightful experience.

Soil: Lotus flowers prefer rich and moist soil, especially soil rich in organic matter or river mud. During planting, it is recommended to place a layer of broken stones or gravel at the bottom of the flowerpot to ensure good drainage. Then, pour in the soil and cover it to a depth of about 15 centimeters. To enhance nutrient supply, well-rotted cow dung or chicken manure can be added.

Potted Planting Recommendations: When planting lotus flowers, choose large and deep flowerpots with a diameter of at least 30 centimeters and a depth of at least 20 centimeters, providing sufficient growing space and soil. Additionally, place a larger pot outside the flowerpot to retain moisture. Adequate water and nutrients should be provided, using nutrient-rich soil or specialized lotus flower soil, and watering regularly. During the growth of lotus flowers, avoid touching the flower buds and periodically prune the leaves, paying attention to disease and pest prevention. Lotus flowers prefer a warm and humid environment.

Sunlight: Lotus flowers are devoted fans of sunlight, thriving in warm and bright sunlight. Therefore, placing the flowerpot in a south or east-facing position is a wise choice to ensure sufficient sunlight. If the sunlight in the living space is insufficient, artificial light sources such as fluorescent or LED lights can supplement adequate illumination. This not only ensures the robust growth of lotus flowers but also brings a more vibrant and colorful atmosphere to the home.

Temperature: Lotus flowers have extensive adaptability and can grow within a broad temperature range, typically between 10°C and 35°C. However, lotus flowers have a relatively weak resistance to cold climates. When the temperature drops below 5°C, lotus flowers enter a dormant state, temporarily halting growth and flowering. Therefore, adjustments should be made according to local climate conditions, such as moving the flowerpot indoors or to a greenhouse during cold winter temperatures, and maintaining a temperature above 10°C to ensure the safe growth and flowering of lotus flowers.

Planting Time: The best time to plant lotus flowers is in spring or summer when the temperature is above 15°C. You can use lotus seeds or rhizomes for planting. If using seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours and then bury them in the soil to a depth of about 2 centimeters. If using rhizomes, cut them into several sections, each with one or two eyes, and lay them flat in the soil, covering them with a layer of soil. Regardless of the method, keep the soil moist and water and fertilize regularly.

Morphological Features

The lotus is a unique group of plants with morphological features that combine the common characteristics of dicotyledonous plants with the distinctiveness of monocotyledonous plants. This makes the lotus a biological wonder, full of mystery and charm. The petals of the lotus, like blooming beautiful artworks, come in various shades of pink or white, in different sizes, arranged in layers, as if telling their own story. These graceful morphological features grant the lotus an unparalleled status in the biological world, making it one of the beloved flowers among people.

  • Rhizomes: The rhizome of the lotus is one of its vital organs, a thick stem growing horizontally in the underwater soil. The internodes are swollen, containing numerous longitudinal air channels that facilitate gas exchange for the lotus. The nodes of the rhizome are constricted, bearing black-scale leaves above and root-like indefinite roots below. Rhizomes store nutrients and play a crucial role in the reproduction and propagation of lotuses.
  • Leaves: Another distinctive feature of the lotus is its leaves, which are round shield-shaped, with a diameter of up to 90 centimeters. The surface is deep green, covered with waxy white powder, while the back is grayish-green. The entire leaf margin is slightly undulating, smooth, and powdery on the upper surface, with veins branching out from the center on the lower surface. The hollow leaf stalk can grow over 2 meters, with a sheath-like enlarged base. Lotus leaves can float on or rise above the water surface, performing photosynthesis and transpiration.
  • Flowers: The most captivating part of the lotus is its flowers, large blooms that either grow singly at the tip of the leaf stalk or laterally on branch ends, with a diameter exceeding 20 centimeters. Lotus flowers have 3 to 4 layers of sepals and petals, with petal-like outer sepals and numerous stamens and separate carpels. The pollen grains are single-grooved and boat-shaped. Lotus flowers come in various colors such as red, pink, white, and yellow. Typically, lotus flowers bloom in the morning and close in the evening, each lasting only 3 to 4 days. The flowering season for lotuses generally spans from June to September.
  • Fruits: The lotus fruit is a flat, disc-shaped fleshy fruit with a diameter of about 10 centimeters, featuring many sunken pores on the surface. Each pore contains a seed. The seeds are oval or kidney-shaped, black or brown on the surface, and contain oily endosperm and an erect embryo. Lotus seeds can float on water or sink into the soil to germinate. Lotus seeds can be stored for an extended period without losing vitality.

Distribution Range

Lotus is a widely admired ornamental plant native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Since ancient times, it has been considered a fascinating flower. Today, lotuses have spread globally to countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and are cherished by gardening enthusiasts worldwide.

Reproduction Methods

Lotuses can be propagated through two methods: seed sowing and rhizome division. Let’s delve into the specific steps and precautions for each method.

Seed Sowing

Seed sowing is a propagation method based on lotus seeds. This method can be widely used and is suitable for cultivating new varieties. The operational process for seed sowing can be divided into the following steps:

  1. Collecting seeds: Lotus seeds generally mature in September. At this time, the fruits turn brown with visible cracks. Use scissors to cut the fruits, and place them in a well-ventilated and dry place to air-dry. Once the fruits naturally split open, the seeds can be extracted.
  2. Seed treatment: Lotus seeds have hard seed coats, and a treatment is needed to facilitate faster germination. There are two methods for seed treatment: making a small incision with a knife or soaking the seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Treated seeds should be sown promptly to avoid reduced germination rates.
  3. Sowing: Prepare containers and soil before sowing. Containers can be pots, buckets, or boxes with drainage holes, and the size depends on the need. The soil can be a mix of river sand, garden soil, and decomposed leaves—loose, fertile, well-draining soil. Fill the container with soil, compact and level it. Then evenly spread the treated seeds on the soil surface, cover with a thin layer of soil or river sand, compact and moisten. Move the container to a warm, bright place.
  4. Management: After sowing, keep the soil moist, watering once a day, and avoiding waterlogging. Maintain suitable temperature and light conditions, with temperatures ideally between 20-30°C and exposure to sunlight for 6-8 hours or more. In general, lotus seeds can germinate within 10-15 days.
  5. Transplanting: When lotus seedlings reach 5-6 leaves, they can be transplanted into ponds or other large containers. Before transplanting, drain a portion of the water from the pond or container. Carefully remove the seedlings with the soil block, place them in the pond or container, surround them with soil, and secure them with bamboo sticks or wires. After transplanting, water promptly, maintaining a water level of 10-15 cm.

Rhizome Division

Lotus rhizome division is a complex and meticulous craft that requires a strict understanding of lotus growth characteristics and rhizome structure. The operational process for rhizome division can be divided into the following steps:

  1. Choose healthy lotus rhizome sections, each with at least two nodes, ensuring a smooth cut without damaging the rhizome nodes.
  2. Apply lime or charcoal powder to both ends of the rhizome sections to prevent rot and infection.
  3. Place the rhizome sections in moist sand, cover them with a layer of sand, keep them moist, and avoid excessive watering to prevent rotting.
  4. In spring or autumn, when the rhizome sections sprout tender shoots, transplant them into a water area with a depth of about 20-30 cm and a water temperature of about 15-25°C.
  5. Regularly weed, fertilize, and change water in the water area during the summer to maintain clean water quality and sufficient nutrition.
  6. In summer, when the lotus blooms, you can enjoy its beautiful flowers and harvest seeds, leaves, and lotus pods for consumption or medicinal use.

Pest and Disease Control

Lotus, being a beautiful and useful aquatic plant, is susceptible to various pests and diseases that can affect its growth and quality. This article will introduce common pests and diseases of lotus and their control methods.

Diseases

As an ornamental plant, lotus faces challenges from various fungal diseases that may appear on its leaves in pond-side clusters. Lotus leaf spot disease often manifests as gray-white or light-yellow spots with dark brown rings at the edges. As the spots merge, the lotus leaves may wither due to fungal invasion. To prevent this, it is recommended to use fungicides such as carbendazim or mancozeb at the onset of the disease to ensure effective control.

Lotus rust disease may also occur on lotus leaves. It typically features small circular yellow or orange rust spots, with significant depressions around these spots. Similar to lotus leaf spot disease, early treatment with fungicides such as sulfur or Bordeaux mixture is advisable to prevent the occurrence of rust disease.

Lotus powdery mildew can impact the appearance of lotus flowers. It forms white powdery substances on the petals, and if not controlled promptly, the entire flower may be covered, diminishing its beauty. To address this issue, spraying fungicides like propiconazole or tebuconazole is recommended to ensure that lotus flowers can be admired in good condition.

Pests

Lotus, as a representative of aquatic plants, often attracts various insects seeking food and reproduction. However, some insects can pose a threat to lotus, such as:

  • Lotus Leafhopper: A small, semi-transparent insect that sucks the sap from lotus leaves, causing yellowing, drying, and wilting. Control methods include timely trapping with yellow sticky traps or water nets and spraying insecticides like imidacloprid or pyrethroids.
  • Lotus Leafroller: A small gray or brown moth whose larvae bore holes, nibble, roll, or weave webs on lotus leaves. Control measures include manual capture or removal of affected areas and spraying insecticides like dichlorvos or cypermethrin when lotus leafrollers are detected.
  • Lotus Weevil: A relatively large black beetle that bites lotus petals, stamens, and carpels, affecting viewing and pollination. To control lotus weevils, timely manual capture or water surface netting and spraying insecticides like malathion or fenitrothion are recommended.

Main Values

The lotus is a beautiful and useful aquatic plant with a rich history and cultural significance in China. The main values of lotus can be categorized into three aspects: ornamental, medicinal, and economic.

Ornamental Aspect

As an elegant and splendid flower, the lotus has been admired and loved by literati and scholars since ancient times. Its fragrance, noble posture, and vibrant colors make it particularly dazzling in the summer sun. Different varieties of lotus exhibit various colors and shapes, each with its unique charm. Pink and red petals are as gorgeous as satin, while white lotus flowers resemble pure, flawless snow. The different forms of double and single-petaled lotus flowers showcase diverse and exquisite appearances. The setting of lotus leaves, like an umbrella, with lotus flowers enhances the poetic and picturesque scenery of the water area.

Medicinal Aspect

Lotus is a miraculous plant with various parts containing valuable medicinal properties and culinary resources. Each part has unique effects and uses, resembling a treasure trove waiting to be explored and utilized.

  • Lotus petals can be used for tea or cooking, possessing heat-clearing, detoxifying, cooling blood, and stopping bleeding effects.
  • Lotus stamens can help calm the mind and aid sleep, proving beneficial for treating insomnia, palpitations, and neurosis.
  • Lotus seeds can tonify the kidneys and solidify essence, offering assistance in treating spermatorrhea, premature ejaculation, and impotence.
  • Lotus pods can aid digestion and appetite, providing benefits for conditions like indigestion and loss of appetite.
  • Lotus leaves can promote diuresis and reduce swelling, contributing to the treatment of edema and hypertension.
  • Lotus rhizomes can invigorate blood circulation and disperse stasis, beneficial for injuries from falls and irregular menstruation.

Economic Aspect

Lotus, as a versatile plant used for ornamental, culinary, and industrial purposes, is beloved by people. The beauty and unique flavors of lotus have attracted chefs to incorporate it into various dishes. Delicacies such as lotus seed soup, lotus pod pastries, lotus heart tea, and lotus leaf powder can be crafted by skillfully using different parts of the lotus. Additionally, lotus essential oil, known as “lotus dew,” is popular in the fields of perfume and cosmetics. The extraction process requires precision and high-precision instruments to ensure purity and quality. Lotus oil, known as “lotus oil,” is widely used in lubricants, and paints, and is favored by manufacturers of health and cosmetic products due to its pure quality and rich nutritional composition.

The rich value of lotus demonstrates its irreplaceable ecological and economic significance, highlighting the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.

Challenges and Threats

Lotus, in addition to its role as a natural scenic beauty, is an essential resource in ecosystems. However, lotus faces various challenges and threats, including environmental pollution, climate change, biological invasion, and human destruction, posing serious threats to its survival and development.

  • Environmental Pollution: Environmental pollution significantly impacts lotus, affecting its health, reproduction, and the balance and stability of the entire ecosystem. To protect the lotus, strengthened water source protection and pollution control are essential.
  • Climate Change: Climate change is a major driving force for lotus growth, and its impact on lotus will become more significant over time. Adapting to climate change and regulating water levels are necessary measures for lotus conservation.
  • Biological Invasion: Biological invasion is one of the biggest enemies of lotus. Some invasive aquatic plants or animals, such as water hyacinths, water ferns, and tilapia, may invade the lotus ecosystem, weakening or destroying the lotus’s survival and diversity. Strengthening measures to prevent biological invasion is crucial for lotus protection.
  • Human Destruction: Human destruction is one of the most severe threats to lotus, directly harming lotus populations and affecting the ecological balance and environmental health of lotus habitats. Efforts to protect lotus must include measures to prevent human-caused damage.

Let us help you

Our most reliable information, advice, tips & tricks for you and your garden

You agree to our privacy policy and to receive emails from Flower Know How which you can unsubscribe from at any time.

Hello nature

Bring your garden inside your home!

Read More

You Might Also Like

Other Articles

More From Flower Know How