How to grow the lotus flower
The lotus flower (Nelumbo Adans., 1763), is a genus of aquatic plants, the only genus of the family Nelumbonaceae, appeared around 80 million years ago, with only two species, originating from America, Asia and Australia. In this sheet we will see the techniques and how to grow the lotus flower. In order to grow the lotus flower, a round tank of at least 170-200 liters (or a very large pot) is needed to allow the tuber to grow. At this point the bottom of the tank or container should be filled with dark peat or with clayey soil typical for artificial ponds; after this operation fill the tank to the rim with warm water (around 30 ° C). At this point place the tuber on the surface of the water where it should float taking care to change the water often (5-7 days); in the meantime, algae should be formed. Once the tuber has developed some green parts, take care to anchor it at the bottom, without interrupting it, possibly with the help of a stone.
The lotus flower in order to develop and produce flowers needs bright and sunny places for many hours a day. Especially the more rustic varieties such as Nelumbo nucifera and Nelumbo lutea endure the cold even when the surface layer becomes ice during the winter. If the plant is grown in pot it needs moist soil, quite heavy and gravelly or even muddy mixed with clay. We recommend a subtrate composed of 30 cm of soil and 30 cm of water at a temperature of about 25 ° C. It is a plant that needs to be watered, in the hottest hours, at least every 3-4 days. As for the fertilization this should be done during the period of winter vegetative rest by administering in the tank or on the ground a slow-release granular fertilizer specific for green and flowering plants; even better if you find tablets made from seaweed that promote the production of flowers.
The reproduction of this plant can also occur by seed or by division of the rhizomes.We start from seed remember that we must scarify (with a sharp knife) the rigid outer capsule, after which they should be placed for about two days in a container containing lukewarm water and only subsequently they can be planted in pots, on the ground or in the water covered with a thin layer of earth. It is good that the room where this operation is carried out has temperatures around 28 ° C. After about two weeks, when the germination takes place, a layer of compact clay soil is placed on the bottom of the container, where the seed is interlaced with the bud facing upwards to the base of the collar; at this point the ground is completely covered with water. On average, the flowering takes place after 60-90 days. If, on the other hand, you want to reproduce from the rhizomes, they must be divided when they are well developed (normally after the third year of life) using a well-sharpened and disinfected tool. As for the seed, the rhizomes should be buried for five centimeters in a horizontal position and then covered with earth and gradually filled with water, for about a week, and during the hottest hours (to avoid thermal stress). From the propagation with the rhizomes, plants similar to the mothers will be obtained. For the period of planting the period to be preferred is the spring after you are sure that there will be no more nocturnal frosts.
The lotus flower does not need any particular pruning except the removal of the old leaves and the damaged parts as well as it is a plant very resistant to insects and fungi.