How to Plant Lotus Seeds


Lotus are a beautiful flower that grows in water. A lotus seed is a very hard nut that is completely impervious to water. Lotus seeds can remain viable for many years, and there have been claims of 200-year-old seeds germinating and growing. Many people think lotus are very difficult to germinate and grow. However, with the exception of frequent water changes early in germination, the lotus is not hard to grow.

Step 1

Scarify each seed by sawing through the hard seed coat with a hobby until you see the seed's cream-colored interior. The seed coat must be split for germination.

Step 2

Enlarge the cut with a small triangular file.

Step 3

Place the scarified seeds in warm water in a shallow pan. The water should be between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Change the water twice a day. Over the next 3 days, the seeds will begin to appear lumpy. Shortly after that, they will begin to sprout.

Step 5

Put about 3 inches of soil in the bottom of a plastic bucket. Plain garden soil will work well.

Step 6

Add enough water to the bucket to cover the soil by about 3 inches. Let the bucket sit overnight to allow the soil to settle.

Step 7

Plant the seed about 1 inch deep. This will re-stir the sediment and it will take awhile for the water to clear. Add water to maintain around 3 inches of water above the soil.

Step 8

Transplant the lotus to its final growing place after a couple of weeks. This should not be done until the lotus has a number of leaves floating on top of the water in the bucket.

Step 9

Turn the bucket upside down after draining the water to release the lotus tuber, roots, and plant. Be careful not to break off the plant, as this will kill the lotus. The joint between the plant and tuber can be very brittle.

Step 10

Plant the lotus in 3-5 inches of soil in its final growing place.

Step 11

Place a rock over the tuber to keep it from floating up. Lotus tubers have a tendency to float. If you are adding the lotus to a fish pond, the rock will also keep the fish away from a tuber.

Step 12

Add a couple of pond fertilizer tablets to the outer rim of the final location for your lotus.

Step 13

Cover the dirt and rock with a couple of inches of pea gravel and place the lotus in the sun. Lotus require at least 6 hours of sun per day.

Things You'll Need

  • Lotus seeds
  • Hobby knife
  • Triangular file
  • Shallow pan
  • Bucket or other large plastic pan
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Pond or large ceramic vase as a final planting site
  • Pond fertilizer tablets
  • Medium or large rock
  • Pea gravel


  • Growing Lotus from Seed
  • How to Grow Lotus
  • Growing Nelumbo (Lotus) From Seed & Seedling Cultivation
Keywords: lotus cultivation, lotus gardening, sprouting lotus seeds

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.