Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Lotus. The very name evokes visions of a southeast Asian garden with vines clamoring up tall tropical trees and the lovely Lotus flower rising up above the water reaching for the sun. The round leaves beading up the rainwater as it softly splashes down from the tall canopy above the black reflecting pond.
Every year I start new Lotus plants from seed and this year is no exception. I love to grow them in containers of all kind from the lowly plastic tub to tall urns with an Asian motif painted on the ceramic glazed surface.
Lotus can be grown either from rhizomes or seed. I do both, but I enjoy the thrill of growing from seed the most. It is like giving birth for the first time. It is a wonder and a joy all in one.
Lotus have a rock hard shell of a seed coat and in order to get the seeds to germinate you must nick that seed coat somehow. I prefer to use a stone bit on my Dremel tool as it works the best I have found. It's quick and sure and only take a little practice to get it right.
The whole point of nicking the seed is to expose the pale beige coloring of the cotyledon from which the germination will take place. It is not my intention to give a lesson here. Go to http://www.victoria-adventure.org/ for in-depth instructions on growing Lotus and Water Lilies.
I grow many different colors of Lotus here at the jungle. My favorite I guess, is the large leafed Lotus from southeast Asia. (nucifera) The seed is a bit bigger than the American Lotus and has an oval shape to it. It is not hardy even here in southern Alabama and has to be brought into a heated sun room or greenhouse to over-winter if I want it to flower.
Check out the link in this post and you will get hooked on growing some of the 700 Lotus, too!