There are many different ways to germinate lotus seeds, and the method you choose depends on the species of lotus. The correct way will allow your lotus seedling to get the appropriate amount of light and nutrients it needs to grow quickly and healthily.
How to germinate lotus seeds?
Lift up your seed, which may be round or flat; there is a small brown spot, the resting bud, from which the new leaves will grow. It is a good idea to mark this side up before sowing so you can tell which way is up when planting.
The best time to germinate your lotus seeds depends on whether they have been pre-soaked or not. If the seed has already started to germinate (the brown spot has turned green), then it is not necessary to pre-soak the seed; instead, go ahead and sow the seed straight away. If the brown spot has not yet turned green, soak your seeds overnight in tepid water before sowing.
Steps to germinate lotus seeds
To help your seeds germinate you can poke a small hole into the soil or add a layer of sand to the top of your potting mix, add water and allow this to drain through.
- Fill a pot with sterile potting mix and tamp down to remove air pockets. Then place your lotus seed on top so that the brown spot is facing downwards and cover with a thin layer of fine grit or sand.
- Water the pot well, allow the excess water to drain off, and then put the pot in a tray containing roughly an inch of water. As the seed begins to germinate it will produce a small taproot which can be damaged by direct contact with the soil. Keeping the young shoot above water until the first leaves appear will avoid this problem and give you time to harden off your seedlings.
- Place in a bright but not sunny position, out of direct sunlight to avoid scorching, until the brown spot turns green, then plant in its final container or into your pond.
Cut lotus seeds for germination
To cut lotus seeds, keep them in water for a week or two. This will allow the embryo to fully develop on the inside without growing into the seed on the outside. After this time has passed, gently slice off one end of your seed with a sharp knife, being careful not to damage the young plant inside. Put it straight into your pots or ponds.
Different ways to germinate lotus seeds
- Sow your seeds in spring into individual pots of moist, well-drained soil. Make sure that the growing medium is not waterlogged as this may cause the roots to rot and the stem to collapse.
- Add peat moss or sand to the potting mix as extra protection for your seedling’s delicate tap root. This will also help aerate the growing medium and improve drainage as well as preventing it from becoming waterlogged.
- If you are planting several lotus seeds in a single container, leave at least two inches of space between each seed so that they will not compete for resources.
- Place the pot in a tray of water and maintain the soil’s moisture until your seeds germinate, then remove it from the tray and allow excess water to drain off. You can tell when your lotus seeds have sprouted when you begin to see their leaves emerging through the surface of the soil.
- Keep your lotus seedlings in a cool, partially shaded location until you are sure they have become established and are growing well.
- You can transplant your young lotus plants into your pond as soon as their leaves begin to show signs of drooping from the weight of the water. Allow them to become fully submerged before moving them.
- Add a slow-release fertilizer to your pond water every two weeks during the growing season, or apply liquid fertilizer weekly when they are in their pots.
- Feed mature lotus plants with balanced plant food once per month. You may also like to read this article germinating seeds in paper towel in House I love.