How to plant and grow lotus flowers?

How to plant and grow lotus flowers?

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The characteristics of the lotus

  • Type: flower, flowering plant
  • Height: up to 2m
  • Flower color: white, yellow, pink, red
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • Exhibition: sunny
  • Type of soil: clay, rich in humus
  • Varieties:Nelumbo nucifera 'Alba grandiflora', Nelumbo lutea, Nelumbo nucifera 'Osiris'

Origins and characteristics of the lotus flower

In the plant kingdom, the lotus has a special place. This dinosaur plant, which has flowered the earth for more than 177 million years, is the only one capable of rising from muddy waters to deploy its flower with infinite grace over water. For many civilizations, this peculiarity represents the path of the human soul from dark mud to a bright sky.

In Asia, the lotus flower is used both as an edible plant and as a medicinal plant. And everything is eaten in the lotus: the rhizomes, the leaves, the stems, the petals, the seeds and even the stamens! Cooked in sweet and savory recipes or consumed in order to treat many ailments, this exceptional flower is also used to weave a precious vegetable silk, to adorn the temples and to make sumptuous bouquets in a vase.

There are dozens of lotus varieties, some of which come from horticultural selection.

How to cultivate lotuses in a pond?

Contrary to what one might think, lotus culture is not limited to Asia! Yann Mumber and Gérard Malinvaud, both passionate about this sacred flower, have published a magnificent book on the lotus in which they explain how to cultivate it in our climates. If the Nelumbo (from its Latin name) needs three hot summer months (25 to 30 °), it withstands cold winters perfectly. It will therefore please throughout France, where it simply needs more attention in mild oceanic climate.

In a basin, the rhizome must be buried in a large container half filled with substrate, the budding part above the ground. After a suitable fertilizer supply, the surface is covered with pozzolan and the container is carefully immersed in the sunniest part of the basin. A few weeks later, the first floating leaves appear… Magic.

How to grow potted lotuses?

On the balcony or on the terrace, some dwarf varieties thrive wonderfully well in pots and some even grow them in large teacups! Extremely decorative, the "bowl lotus" more and more amateur gardeners are seducing by their ease of cultivation and their fascinating beauty. The principle consists in burying the rhizome in a round or oval pot filled with half of substrate, the sting always in the open air, then to cover the whole with a layer of pozzolana.

After a delicate watering, the pot is positioned well flat in full sun, then filled with water to the surface. Once the first leaves have appeared, we finally apply a suitable fertilizer supply.

Cultivation and care of the lotus

The lotus is a flowering plant that needs to be fed regularly. So be sure to use a fertilizer specially designed for aquatic plants when the vegetation is recovering (in March or April) and to use it every month until about July.

If the summer season is very dry, sprinkle the lotus leaves regularly to prevent them from suffering from dryness.

In winter, make sure to protect your lotuses from frost. Install them under at least 60cm of water so that the stump does not suffer. If you have the possibility, you can also extract your lotuses from the pond and install them in a greenhouse, at a temperature of around 10 ° C during the winter season. You just have to install them in a basket in a large container filled with water (large bin type).

Lotus diseases and pests

Among the pests lotus, we find nutria which strongly appreciate their rhizome. If you live in an area with nutria, protect your pond with a wire mesh.

Black aphids are very invasive and also appreciate lotuses. Get rid of these pests manually, without using phytosanitary products. To do this, sprinkle the leaves with a stream of water. Immersing the leaves in water also helps to get rid of them.

Find out more:All the detailed advice from Yann Mumber and Gérard Malinvaud can be found in the book "Lotus, know them and succeed in our climates" published by Ulmer editions.


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