Friday, July 24, 2015

One Fancy Flower

Several years ago I grew a lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) from seeds from a seed pod sold for dried flower arrangements. It lives in a big container at my parents' place in Michigan, where it spends the summer on the terrace and the coldest part of the year in the garage. Earlier today my mom send me pictures of it blooming for the first time this year:

The entire plant, with a bit of the backyard as backdrop

A close-up of today's flower

The lotus is growing in a little less than a foot (ca. 30 cm) of clay-y soil, covered by similar depth of water during the plant's growing season. This water gets dumped out in the fall when the container is moved into the garage for the winter, and the rhizome overwinters in the moist soil until it is brought out and filled with water again in the spring; small leaves begin appearing a few weeks later. If we had a pond of sufficient depth it would probably even survive planted out. This year I fertilized the plant a couple of times in May with some regular liquid fertilizer poured directly into the water, to which it appears to respond well - the growth is definitely lusher and healthier this year.

3 comments:

  1. I have wanted a Lotus for as long as I can remember. I can never find it at the nurseries. I should try your trick of growing my own from a seedpod from the craft store.

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    Replies
    1. You should! They are relatively easy to germinate and grow up well if you can give them plenty of light and warmth. Some mail order aquatic plant nurseries carry them, including many named varieties but they tend to be very pricy.

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