Lotus Plant

Water lilies (Nymphaea) and lotus (Nelumbo) are jewels of the aquatic world. Symbolic in both ancient and times they’re celebrated for his or her beauty and immortalized in art and religion. Many of them are easy to grow and reward the gardener with fragrant and luxurious blossoms from June until October. Both plants are best planted in spring. Water lilies start faster and typically have a faster rate of growth than lotus, which are notoriously slow to start out and wish warmth and many of sun to flower.

While most water lilies are grown outdoors, it’s possible to grow small sorts of these plants in containers indoors. The keys to success are providing many light and a sufficient amount of water also as keeping the water relatively clean (for your sake which of the plants).

water lily floating on the water's surface
Botanical NameNymphaea (Water lily);  Nelumbo (Lotus) 
Common NameWater lily, Lotus
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial
Mature SizeWater lily: 3 to 6 inches tall and 4 to 8 feet wide; Lotus: 3 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide 
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeTop soil 
Soil pHNeutral
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorWater lily: blue, purple, yellow, red, white, pink, orange; Lotus: white, pink, yellow
Hardiness Zones4 to 10 (for hardy varieties)
Native AreaAsia, Australia, North America
top view of a water lily

Types of Water Lilies

There are two main divisions of waterlilies: hardy and tropical. Hardy water lilies will survive winters if they’re planted below the freezing line during a water feature, while tropical water lilies got to be stored over the winter or treated as annuals.

In addition to cold hardiness, tropical water lilies differ from hardy water lilies in several ways. Tropical water lilies:

  • Can have larger flowers
  • Have longer stalks that hold the flower higher above the surface of the water, and that they tend to possess larger lily pads
  • Come in a variety of colors, including blues and purples; hardy waterlilies come only in reminder yellows, reds, whites, pinks, and pastel orange
  • Are more fragrant
  • Come in day-blooming varieties (diurnal) and night-blooming varieties (nocturnal); hardy waterlilies are only day-blooming

Types of Lotus

The Nelumbonaceae family includes two species of louts: lotus and water chinquapin. Nucifera is native to tropical regions of Australia and Asia and has pink or white flowers. Lutea also referred to as water chinquapin, has yellow flowers and is native to North America, where it grows in ponds, lakes, swamps, and other still bodies of water.

Water Lily and Lotus Care

Plant water lilies and lotus in large plastic containers or baskets specifically designed for aquatic plants. If necessary, you’ll line baskets with burlap or landscape fabric in order that the soil doesn’t fall flat the cracks. Several sheets of newspaper are often placed on the rock bottom of containers for an equivalent purpose.

If you don’t happen to possess a pond, a whiskey barrel or planter are great alternatives for a water feature. confirm to research the last word size of your plant before you purchase it. A waterlily with a 6-foot spread won’t thrive during a whiskey barrel or alittle tub. There are many options available on the market altogether colors and sizes.


Make sure your waterlily or lotus gets enough sunlight—at least four hours, but ideally six hours or more. Some lotus won’t flower unless they get six hours of sunlight daily.


Always use topsoil that’s free from herbicides and pesticides. don’t use potting soil, which has elements that will float. The containers should be large enough to permit the rhizome room to spread. Since the rhizomes creep across the surface of the soil, a wider pot is preferable to a deeper one.


Strike a balance between plants and therefore the area of the pond; plants should cover approximately 65 percent of the area. Also, concentrate to depth once you are planting your aquatic plants. With new plantings, initially place the pot slightly below the surface and gradually lower it because the plant grows. Once the plant is established, the pot can remain at the specified depth.

Planting too high will cause hardy plants to freeze within the winter; too low will prevent young plants from receiving enough sunlight. Waterlilies like better to be planted no but 4 inches and no quite 18 inches below the surface; lotus should be between 6 and 18 inches below the surface.

Temperature and Humidity

Lotus and hardy water lilies are going to be hardy if their tuberous rhizomes don’t freeze. Plant the containers in order that the soil line is below the freezing mark in your pool. Lotus flowers are late to emerge within the spring, as they like warm weather and can start to grow once the water temperature has risen above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tropical water lilies are often stored over winter by lifting the plant from the container and storing the rhizome during a bag filled with damp sand or a mixture of damp sand and sphagnum at 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


Fertilize your plants with tablets that you simply press into the soil around the plant. don’t fertilize directly into the water, as you’ll change the pH of the water and harm both plants and fish. Fertilize plants once a month. Tropical waterlilies are heavy feeders and will be fertilized generously throughout the season.

Potting Water Lilies and Lotus

Planting instructions vary for tropical and hardy water lilies. Tropical water lilies should be planted a bit like annuals. They often come as bare-root plants. Place them within the center of a container and let the crown of the plant rest just above the surface of the soil. With hardy water lilies, plant the rhizome at a 45-degree angle with the growing tip positioned toward the center of the pot, resting slightly above the soil level. Cover the soil with gravel or a skinny layer of sand.

Plant lotus during a plastic pot sized for your water feature and therefore the ultimate size of the plant; lotus grows to the dimensions of its container. Start with about 2 inches of sand, followed by 2 to three inches of topsoil that has some clay content. Dig alittle trench together with your hand, then lay the lotus plant tuber into the ditch therefore the leaves face up. Gently cover the tuber with alittle amount of soil, but don’t compact it. Be very careful to not damage the tuber or runners that reach from the tuber. Add water until the soil is saturated mud, without puddling on top.


Each flower on the aquatic plant lasts three to 5 days. They open during the day and shut in the dark (unless they’re nocturnal). Once the flower is finished, it’ll slowly sink into the water. Seed pods form, and therefore the ripe seeds fall under the soil below. Seed production is expensive to the plant. to make sure many blooms, cut the dying flowers as they sink below the surface. Follow the stem down as far because it goes; either cut it or snap it off together with your fingers. Also, clean off dead or dying leaves in the same manner.

Lotuses die down at the top of the year. Cut them right down to a couple of inches above the rhizome.

Growing Water Lilies Indoors

It’s possible to grow water lilies in containers as small as 12 inches across and a minimum of 9 inches deep. you’ll use a salad or bowl or maybe alittle aquarium. This method works best with very small dwarf varieties like Nymphaea ‘Pygmaea Helvola’.

Start with a soil-based planting mix designed to be used in aquariums. Rinse the combination under running water to scrub away loose dirt. Place the combination into the container and plant the lily following its planting instructions. Carefully fill the container with water to a depth of about 6 inches. Place the container where the lily can get a minimum of four hours of sun every day (or supplement with an energy-efficient grow light, as needed). If the plant fails to bloom, it’s probably not getting enough light. Add water as required to take care of the first water level (or regardless of what the plant seems to like). In spring and summer, fertilize with alittle amount of liquid fertilizer for aquatic plants, every two weeks; follow the merchandise recommendations for quantity.

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