1.  Check to see if the seed is viable (will grow) by dropping it in a glass of water. If it FLOATS, throw it away. It will either produce a very weak plant or not grow at all. Keep the seeds that sink to the bottom.

 Seed Float or Sink Test

2. Scarify (scratch) the seed to remove the dark brown seed coat on the outside. STOP as soon as you reach the creamy tan color. Filing or cutting deeper sometimes causes the seed to rot before it begins to grow.

Scarified seed

3. Drop scarified seed into water that is several inches deep. Tap water will work well.  If the water becomes cloudy pour it out very gently and refill with fresh water. Place in a sunny or well-lighted area.

4. Seed will begin to sprout in a few days. First, a tiny leaf will grow and float on the top of the water. Next tiny, pink hair-like roots called adventitious roots will grow from the seed. When this happens transfer the seed very carefully to a growing pot that has several inches of soil covered by several inches of water. Push a small indentation about the size of the seed into the soil and carefully place the seed into the hole, leaving the leaf to float to the top of the water. Push a little soil around the sides of the seed - it is not necessary to bury it.

Seeds ready to plant

 5. Once the lotus grows more floating leaves or an aerial leaf add a small amount of fertilizer (1/2 small aquatic fertilizer tablet or 1/4 teaspoon of granular fertilizer with balanced formula). Place the fertilizer away from the seed to avoid 'burning' the delicate plant.

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