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|Nom commun||Purple Water Lily|
|Germination||The White Lotus Seeds can be sprouted in warm water and potted individually, or they can be planted before they sprout. The number of seeds to germinate will determine the container size, everything from small pots to dish pans to small ponds. Put a layer of soil in the bottom, add water to the brim, level and compact the soil once it has settled after being filled with water. Then distribute the seeds as evenly as possible over the soil and drizzle a thin layer of white sand through the water, over the seeds. This helps to anchor them and to see them as they sprout. Adding water after putting the seeds are put in can dislodge them, as can placing the container in a pond, so if you need to add water, be very careful. To keep the water around 80 degrees you can use a heating pad placed under the container. When the seedlings have made several leaves, you can transplant them in your pond.
Or you can float your lotus tuber in pond water for 10-14 days in a warm sunny place (water temp 70-80 degrees) before planting. Change the water frequently. If the water is allowed to get too cold at night this can kill the new growth and the tuber will rot. You can use a heating pad set on the low setting under the pan of water to keep them warm. This allows the tuber to sprout and will increase your success in growing lotus. Don't plant the newly sprouted tuber in a cold pond. Wait until your pond gets up to 65-70 degrees. Once established in your pond they are a hardy plant and will come back year after year in even the coldest of climates when the water warms up.
When your lotus is ready to plant, fill up a 5 to 10 gallon or 12? x 12? pot with 6" of topsoil with pea stone at a rate of 75% topsoil 25% pea stone. This will improve aeration in the soil. Place the lotus tuber with the growing tips straight upwards centered in the pot. Gently press the tuber into the mud being very careful not to damage the new growing tips. Add a 1" layer of gravel to cover the tuber and to keep the tuber from floating. Lotus are very heavy feeders, but should not be fertilized until they have put up two or three leaves. After they have set leaves they should be given 1 or 2 tabs of fertilizer per pot. Place it in the pond no more than 8 inches deep of water over the top of the pot. In the fall move the lotus to the deep water. Don't cut all the stems off as they provide oxygen to the root system. Germination can take longer. Be patient!
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