A lotus plant can greatly beautify a pond. These plants grow for several years and will produce some beautiful flowers. Generally lotus flowers do not arrive in their first year, but there are exceptions. Although many gardeners stay away from lotus plants because of their reputation as difficult plants, growing and raising a lotus is not hard if you follow all the important steps. The lotus will reward your efforts in planting by growing for years to come.
Place the lotus tuber in the bowl and fill it with pond water. Let it soak for 10 to 14 days in a warm, sunny location. This will encourage the tuber to sprout.
Combine the garden soil and topsoil and fill up the pan to a depth of four inches. Imbed the tuber slightly in the soil, with the eye (the part that has sprouted in the previous step) pointing upwards. Do not bury the tuber in the soil, as this will encourage the soil bacteria to attack the plant.
Use some rocks to weigh down the tuber so that it will not float to the surface. Place two pond fertilizer tablets in the soil.
Cover the soil with small gravel to a depth of about two inches. Be careful not to cover the eye of the tuber. Add water until it is at a depth of 4-6 inches above the gravel.
If you are planting the lotus during the fall or winter, keep the plant inside until the last frost date in spring has passed, ensuring that it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day and that it is in a warm location. As leaves grow, add more water to the pail.
Regularly check the plant for caterpillars, aphids, snails and other pests. Remove any you come across. After the last frost date, move the plant outside.
If you are planning to transplant the lotus to a large container rather than a pond, fill the container with the same type of soil as that used in the pail. Do not add the gravel yet, however.
While outside, carefully turn the plant and the pail upside down, keeping your hand over the soil so that it does not fall out. Pour out the water. Remove the pail and carefully place the lotus roots into the pond or tub soil. Be careful not to damage the plant.
If you are transplanting into a tub rather than a pond, place two inches of gravel over the soil. This will prevent the soil from rising and mixing with the water. Add water to the tub.