Step 1 Scarify each seed by sawing through the hard seed coat with a hobby knife until you see the seed's cream-colored interior. The seed coat must be split for germination. Step 2 Enlarge the cut with a small triangular file. Step 3 Place the scarified seeds in warm water in a shallow pan. The water should be between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Step 4 Change the water twice a day. Over the next 3 days, the seeds will begin to appear lumpy. Shortly after that, they will begin to sprout. Step 5 Put about 3 inches of soil in the bottom of a plastic bucket. Plain garden soil will work well. Step 6 Add enough water to the bucket to cover the soil by about 3 inches. Let the bucket sit overnight to allow the soil to settle. Step 7 Plant the seed about 1 inch deep. This will re-stir the sediment and it will take awhile for the water to clear. Add water to maintain around 3 inches of water above the soil. Step 8 Transplant the lotus to its final growing place after a couple of weeks. This should not be done until the lotus has a number of leaves floating on top of the water in the bucket. Step 9 Turn the bucket upside down after draining the water to release the lotus tuber, roots, and plant. Be careful not to break off the plant, as this will kill the lotus. The joint between the plant and tuber can be very brittle. Step 10 Plant the lotus in 3-5 inches of soil in its final growing place. Step 11 Place a rock over the tuber to keep it from floating up. Lotus tubers have a tendency to float. If you are adding the lotus to a fish pond, the rock will also keep the fish away from a tuber. Step 12 Add a couple of pond fertilizer tablets to the outer rim of the final location for your lotus. Step 13 Cover the dirt and rock with a couple of inches of pea gravel and place the lotus in the sun. Lotus require at least 6 hours of sun per day.
Easily sprouted by scoring the short end of the seed and leaving in a bowl of water. Nymphaea, or the "true" water lily, has its place in myth and legend, beginning with the ancient Greeks who dedicated the plant to the nymph, a type of water demigoddess.
Zones 4 - 11. This aquatic perennial's tuberous roots colonize the soil at the bottom of earth-bottom ponds, or the soil in containers fully submerged in lined ponds. The stems of the leaves can reach the surface of water that's nearly two feet deep-and then continue upward, above the water, a few inches or even a foot farther.
The roots don't tolerate frost but the tubers and roots are hardy anywhere the water above the soil is deep enough that the pond's surface-ice doesn't freeze all the way down to the soil, and yet is not so deep that their leaves can't reach at least a bit above the water's surface to get the full sun they need to grow and flower: From the frost-free tropics of Zone 11, then, all the way down to the seriously-Wintered Zone 4 of Northern Vermont and Canada.
Few plants, aquatic or terrestrial, have such a world-wide versatility. Growing your lotus in a plastic tub that's submerged in water: Plant the tuber shallowly, on its side, in a dishpan-sized plastic tub of heavy soil. Don't use potting soil, which is so fluffy it would just float away when you submerge the plastic tub. Leave the tuber's growth tip exposed.After two or three of the small starter leaves have sprouted, you can lower the tub (carefully) to its "mature" depth.
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