Lotus Planting and Care Instructions

Lotus Parts

Carefully remove the lotus rhizome from the plastic bag, using caution not to break the growth tips. Growth tips are the new leaves and flower buds that will grow from the nodes of the rhizome.

Not quite ready to plant? The rhizome may be kept in its plastic bag in the vegetable section of a refrigerator.

Do not allow it to be crushed or crowded to avoid breaking growth tips. Do not allow the tuber to freeze.


Planting Your Lotus

Lotus tubers vary widely in size and appearance depending on the type. A healthy tuber is usually firm to the touch with one or more growing tips and may have rounded or elongated internodes. Be very careful when handling the tuber because breaking the growing tips will slow the growth of your lotus and in some cases will keep it from growing at all. The tips are often covered with a black sheath. Do not remove this protective sheath. 

Any rounded container with no holes is acceptable for growing the lotus.

Lotus BowlsLotus Bowl

Suggested pot sizes are:

  • Bowl lotus – pot 15” or less in diameter, 7-10” deep
  • Small - medium lotus – 16” or more in diameter, 10-12” deep
  • Large lotus – 20” or more in diameter, 12-18” deep                                      

The rounded container allows the runners of the lotus to grow around the bottom of the pot instead of getting jammed into a corner. If you plant your lotus in a pot with holes and drop it into your ornamental pond there is a good chance that the lotus will escape through the holes and grow to fill a large portion of your pond. Our lotus are intended for ornamental use only. Please do not plant them in open water unless you want them to fill the entire area.

Put several inches of clean topsoil – just plain dirt - into the pot. Do not use potting soil; it is too light and particles will float when water is added. Add enough water to raise the water level to about 2-3” above the soil. Make a trench in the soil and place the rhizome into the mud with the growing tips pointed up. (See diagram below) The lead, or front, growing tip should be pointed toward the center of the pot when possible. Place the pot in a warm, sunny area with direct sunlight. In a few days the true roots, small hair-like projections, will grow and anchor the rhizome into the soil. Replace water as it evaporates.

The growing tips will soon give way to the first small leaves, called coin leaves or floating leaves. Raise the water level as the coin leaves emerge. Small-medium lotus are good with 3-5” of water above ground while large lotus like deeper water. The coin leaves will float on the surface of the water as they begin the process of photosynthesis to help provide energy for the plant to grow. Within a few days the first aerial leaf will emerge from the water. Lotus need to receive full, direct sunlight for most of the day in order to grow and bloom.When aerial leaves appear begin fertilizing lotus using a good all-purpose fertilizer or aquatic fertilizer. Follow directions on package for dosage.                                                              

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