Sacred Lotus – How to grow and care for Lotus Plants

Sacred Lotus - How to grow and care for Lotus Plants

Lotus Plant-Nelumbo Nucifera

Lotus is an aquatic flowering plant in the family of Nelumbonaceae. These beautiful flowering plants are native to Asia, Australia, Queensland. Lotus is the national flower of India. Lotus plants can be easily grown at home indoors.

Plant structure is as such that the roots of lotus plants are planted in a soil of pond or river and the leaves float on the top of the water surface. Flowers can be seen above the leaves of thick stems and may usually grow to a height of 150 centimeters.

Lotus dry seed heads are commercially sold throughout the world for its use in herbal oils, medicines and decorative purposes. Flowers, leaves, roots of lotus plants are used for food wrapping and garnishing. In some countries, the rhizomes are used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried and other dishes.

Other NamesIndian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, Egyptian bean

Lotus Plant Information

Origin                                   :               India

Family                                  :               Nelumbonaceae

Scientific Name                  :               Nelumbo nucifera

USDA Zones                       :               4-11

Plant height                        :               8-12 inches (Dwarf Varieties), 6 feet

Flowers                               :               White, pink, red, purple, blue

Soil                                      :               Garden soil

Sunlight                             :               Moderate

Temperature                    :               70-80F

Fertilizers                         :               Liquid fertilizers

 Lotus Plant Varieties


Scientific Name         :               Nelumbo alba Grandiflora

Height                          :               90-120 cms

USDA Zones               :               7-11

Specification              :               White flowers, large green leaves

Double Rose

Scientific Name         :               Nelumbo Chinese double rose

Height                          :               45-60 cms

USDA Zones               :               4-11

Specification              :               Deep rose color in fully double

Momo Botan

Scientific Name         :               Nelumbo momo botan

Height                          :               45-60 cms

USDA Zones               :               4-11

Specification              :               Double rosy pink flowers

Rosea Plena

Scientific Name         :               Nelumbo roseum plenum

Height                          :               90-120 cms

USDA Zones               :               4-11

Specification              :               2 feet round leaves, white & pink flowers

Sacred Pink

Scientific Name         :               Nelumbo nucifera speciosum

Height                          :               90-120 cms

USDA Zones               :               4-11

Specification              :               White-pink flowers with yellow center

How to Grow Lotus Plant from Seed Indoors?

Lotus flowers are beautiful aquatic plants that represent beauty and purity at home indoors. These flowers are available in wide range of sizes and red, pink, yellow and white colors. Plants can be grown easily from seeds and tubers but will not produce flowers during the first year. Here is the step by step procedure to grow lotus plants from seeds.

Before planting, place the seeds in a glass containing warm water. Change the water in the glass for every day until the root sprouts. When placed the seeds in water, the size of the seeds may change to the twice its original size. You need to change the water even after the root sprouts.

Pick the Right Pot

Now pick up the right pot of size 6 inches both wide and depth. You can also use a plastic bucket for planting the seeds. Make sure the pot or bucket does not have any drainage holes at the bottom which may impact on the plant performance.

Choose Soil

Now fill the pot with 2 parts clay and 1 part sandy soil. Add a layer of potting mix soil about 6 inches above it. Press the seeds gently into the top of the soil about 2 inches. After placing the seedlings in a pot cover it with a fertile soil.

Watering Lotus Plants

Place the pot in a shallow water maximum of 20-30 cms deep and the best temperature to grow lotus plants is 70F. Once the temperature reaches 80F, the plants will begin to bloom. The first spring leaves appear as it floats on the water surface. Also, the plant should receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Dwarf lotus varieties can grow up to 1 foot tall with leaves 2-3 inches in diameter. Some other lotus varieties can reach a height of 6-8 feet tall with leaves 18-36 inches in diameter.

Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Aphids Powdery mildew
Honeydew Fusarium Wilt
Whiteflies Fungal disease
Spider mites Root rot
Leaf miners Black spots
Beetles Damping off
Gnats Yellow leaves

Nutrient Deficiency Problems

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Spindle yellow leaves, pink tints
2 Phosphorus Dull yellow foliage, slow growth
3 Potassium Purple leaf tips, brown edges
4 Calcium Dark green foliage, roots turn black color


Use a good aquatic plant fertilizer such as slow or fast release fertilizers. When the lotus plants grow vigorously, use twice the amount of fertilizers per gallon of soil. Before applying fertilizers on to the plants, follow the instructions and warning labels carefully.

Pruning & Repotting Lotus Plants

Prune your beautiful lotus flowers if necessary. Cut the stems and yellow leaves above the surface of water prone to diseases. It helps the plant to stay healthy and also prevents from diseases.

When you re-pot the lotus plants to bigger pots it should hold 2-3 inches of water. Lotus can be re-potted in the early spring season when the growth begins. You can pick the tubers from the original pot when you observe the green shoots.

How to Propagate Lotus Plant from Cuttings?

Lotus is an aquatic flowering plant in which the underground stem is edible and dried seed head utilized in floral segments. These plants can be propagated by dividing the underground stem which resembles the desired parent plant characteristics.

From Rhizomes

Harvest rhizomes when the lotus plant part above water slows as nutrients are directed to the underground stem. Make sure you harvest the rhizomes carefully to prevent from damaging and growing tips.

Now place the rhizomes in a fertile soil before it begins to sprout. It should contain 2-3 segments as cutting the fleshy stems, surface vulnerable to infections and decay. Water a little and make sure it receives a minimum light to thrive quickly.

From Tubers

To propagate lotus plant from tubers, firstly fill the bowl with warm water. Let the tuber to float on the surface of the water. Now place the bowl near warm window location. Also, change the water in the jar for every 3-7 days.

Make sure you do not expose the tuber to the direct sunlight or freezing temperatures. The tuber sprouts within weeks and now the lotus plant is ready to transplant.

Place it in a pot containing a mix of clay, sandy soil and the pot must have holes at the bottom to drain completely. Insert the pot in a bucket full of water and tuber on top of the soil. After few days you can place the pot into the pond. If necessary you can place a stone at the top of the tuber to weigh down or float on the surface of the water.

How do you Care for Lotus Plants? 

  • If possible give your lotus plants as much as sunlight (8 hours a day) to thrive.
  • Test the nature and ph of the soil before planting lotus seeds or tubers in it.
  • Fertilize your lotus plants using pond tablets that are specially made for aquatic plants.
  • Use gardening tools like cutters, shears, and blades to cut the dead stems down to the soil.
  • Maintain the water temperature about 70F to bloom lotus flowers quickly when you prefer to grow at home indoors.
  • Water regularly until the seed germinates and to maintain the soil moist but not completely wet.
  • Keep pets (dogs and cats) away from lotus plants when planted in the soil during it’s growing season, as they can spoil beautiful flowers from blooming.

Is the lotus plant edible?

Lotus is an herbaceous perennial aquatic flowering plant in the family of Nelumbonaceae. Not only the seeds but all the parts of the plant like leaves, flower buds, stalks, and roots are also edible. These are mostly used for decorative purposes and in lotions, sweet-scented perfumes.

How do you care for lotus plants in winter season?

Take out the lotus plant container from the pond and place it in full sun during the spring season. The plant may grow faster and water the plant to some extent over the soil surface. You can return back to the pond in early summer or fall season so as not to get damaged.

Why the leaves of lotus plant turn yellow?

Lotus stems have hollow, straw-like spaces in them and by cutting those stems water can be transferred into the tuber, drowns and kills the entire plant. During frost condition i.e. in the fall season, due to insufficient amounts of nutrients supplied to the plants (liquid fertilizers) plant leaves may turn yellow.

For more information refer:  Why are my plants turning yellow?

How is lotus plant adoptive to live in water?

Lotus plants are hydrophytes meaning that plants can live in water.  the epidermis layer of the plant is covered by a waxy layer called cuticle to protect from being infected and also to allow it to float on water for photosynthesis process.

Do lotus plants have companions to grow?

As lotus plants grow well in the water there are no such companions to be planted with. These plants can grow and bloom flowers quickly by absorbing enough nutrients from the water and sunlight when planted.

What are the medicinal benefits of lotus plants?

Lotus plant seed, flower, leaves, and roots are used in medicine to stop bleeding and for curing the disorders digestive tract, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches and regulates blood pressure. It also helps to relieve stress and headache problems.

Sacred Lotus - How to grow and care for Lotus Plants

It’s fun to grow and enjoy beautiful lotus plants starting from seeds or cuttings in your garden space that spreads beautiful fragrances and keeps surrounding hygiene. If you have wonderful ideas about growing lotus plants, please share your experience with us.

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