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How To Keep Your Lotus 'Happy'

Once you have received your Lotus Tuber and the weather has warmed up to where nights are consistently in the 50's and daytime temperatures are in the mid sixties or warmer consistently, you should plant it outside, in a large, wide container using heavy loam soil with a few inches of water above the soil.  The size of the container and the amount of water above the soil will be determined by the variety of lotus you purchase. Place the container where it will receive strong sunlight (12 hours a day). In a week to ten days, you should have coin leaves growing on the surface of the water. Do not fertilize your lotus until your coin leaves have turned into aerial leaves. If you fertilize your lotus too soon, you may kill the plant.

Consistent temperatures are important when you plant your Lotus Tuber. It is important that the nights are consistently at least 50 degrees or warmer, and daytime temps should be at least 65 degrees, or warmer. Lotus don't do well with wide temperature fluctuations of highs and lows. It is important that you plant your lotus tuber by the middle of May, as this allows the tuber enough time to store enough energy to survive the winter months. Lotus are hardy plants, however, if you plant your lotus too late in the year, it won't be mature enough to handle a cold winter.

Once your lotus has aerial leaves, you should put them on a feeding schedule. Feed the lotus once each month or every three weeks, as needed using fertilizer tabs or packets of Landon Granular Fertilizer. (DO NOT ADD FERTILIZER UNTIL YOU HAVE AERIAL LEAVES!). After a month or so of growth, you may notice changes in the leaves of your plants. If one or more of your leaves are turning yellow and becoming chlorotic, you may need to fertilize again by adding small envelopes of Landon Fertilizer around the sides of the pot or you may use Waterlily World Fertilizer Tabs + Humates every three weeks to feed your plants throughout the growing/blooming season. These products have been specifically engineered to meet the nutritional needs of your aquatic plants. 

Chlorosis is caused from a lack of chlorophyll. Chlorosis causes the leaf to yellow. 

You must be careful to diagnose why the leaves are becoming chlorotic. 

Lotus are very heavy feeders.The stronger the plant, the more blooms, seeds and tubers it will produce. Fertilizing lotus and recognizing their needs and deficiencies takes some knowledge. When lotus leaves become yellow, you are alerted that there is a problem. Chlorotic leaves  may be a sign of a specific plant deficiency and you may have to do a little detective work to find out why that deficiency is occurring.

If you have recently fertilized you lotus, the chlorosis could be caused from overfeeding.  You will have to watch your plants closely to see if overfeeding is the problem. When plants have been overfed the leaves show signs by manifesting yellow patches in the leaf. 

Some typical problems that your plant may be having could be due to a mineral deficiency. Plants exhibit certain characteristics when they are deficient is certain minerals.

Iron Deficiencies show patches of yellow/white between the veins of the plant and these symptoms may spread across the entire leaf.

Calcium Deficiencies display misshapen  new growth with cupped, crumpled and curled leaves. If you treat for calcium deficiency, the old leaves will not respond to treatment.

Potassium Deficiencies turns leaf edges yellow and may form pinholes in the leaf where dead patches occur.

Manganese Deficiencies display yellow spots and elongated holes amidst the veins of the plant, on older growth.

Nitrogen Deficiencies affects the old growth first, turning leaves yellow from tip to stem.

Magnesium Deficiencies turn old leaves yellow from the tip inwards, while the veins remain green.

Phosphorus Deficiencies exhibit signs by turning old leaves dark green or a purple-green. It will move throughout the plant if not treated.

A point to remember,  that no matter what the cause of chlorosis, the old leaves are unlikely to recover.

Other factors to consider if you lotus leaves exhibit distress is loss of sunlight, compacted roots, high alkalinity as well as salts left behind from fertilizers.

Always place your lotus in full sun and divide your lotus every few years. Sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate are produced naturally in the soil due to minerals in the soil or  by simply weathering. Also, water-soluble sodium salts present in the ash, enhance the sodium content in water.

When dealing with salts left behind from fertilizing, it is important to fill your pot with water and flush out the salts, simply not topping off the pots, but actually flushing them of salt sediment left behind. You may then use 10-10-10 fertilizers occasionally throughout the summer to supplement your aquatic fertilizers.

*Please see our videos on 'How To Plant Your Lotus Tuber' 

 

 

 

 

 

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