A gathering place for the Art of Gardening and Natures Beauty

Gardens of Etsy is a gathering space for artisans and friends.
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A place for inspiration.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lotus Experiment...............

I just love the art of water gardening, always looking and experimenting with new ways to enhance mine. I have always had my favorite, water lilies growing there, but I always dreamed of having a lotus plant in my garden. The local nursery's stock was just not an option $, so I thought I would try to germinate and grow my own from seed.
First I cut the seeds out of the pod

Then I scarified each seed by sanding the outer shell until I could see the cream colored flesh inside. Placed the seeds in a small bowl of water, at a depth to just slightly cover them, changing the water 3 times a day. After 3 days, the seeds looked larger from the absorption of water. About 5 days later, I noticed a crack in some of the seeds. The next day some revealed a stout green shoot emerging. Within a weeks time, they grew very fast, still keeping them just below the water line, With the seed staying at the bottom they stand straight up ever reaching for the top of the water, I used a large vase for this part and yes kept changing the water 3 times a day.

At this stage I decided to plant them.

Ordinary dirt even clay based is fine for lotus. Think about where they grow naturally, in muck and mud of a still water pond. I used 8 inch round flower pots, place a plastic grocery bag at the bottom (to keep the roots in the pot) and some rocks to hold the bag down, then filled each flower pot with the soil & clay mixture. I made a hole in the center and gently placed the seed in. Firmed the soil around it and placed a thin layer of pea gravel on top of the soil, to keep the seed from floating out of the pot and to keep the dirt in.

I submerged the pots into a large black tub, (the kind you find at outdoor parties used for ice & drinks).
Lotus plants need very warm water to grow and at least 6 hours of sunshine and must be grown in still water. So for now I have them on my deck, until that is I finish the bog they will be placed in next year.

Success! My first leaf appeared about a week later, very exciting!

However the mosquitoes were also loving this still water tub. So I used a tiny piece of a mosquito dunk to control this.
Refreshing the water from time to time, I will keep these growing in this tub for the summer & fall, for they will not produce any flowers until next year (hopefully!) only leaves for now. I will bring them in when the weather turns here in New York & place them in the basement in water for them to become dormant (at a temp of at least 55 degrees). Never dead head the leaves of a lotus, for they keep feeding the tuber. I will experiment with one and lower it to the lowest point in my pond where the fish hibernate to see if it can survive a winter here.
Next spring they will be placed in the bog to grow.

This is the bog I am working on. A Thank you to Julie (willowtreepottery) for her bog garden she created and showed us a while back. Great idea for a different way to garden. Love that! Had to try it! This is also the garden I will be planting the wonderful gift of Money seeds I received from her for the backdrop of the bog, Thanks Julie.

My bog ~ I dug the hole level to the surrounding soil of the garden, quite the workout! I will be filling it partially with a peat moss and soil mixture. In the picture you see a straight black liner leading to the bog. This is the drainage from 2 gutters on our house that will feed the bog as it rains. Here in the country, with well water, we have to conserve, so I thought this would be the best solution for that.

My last picture of them, taken just the other day, at 12 weeks old, So far so good! My baby lotus nursery :)
I am already looking forward to next spring :)
to be continued..................