How Does a Lotus Plant Adapt Itself in Water

The lotus plant, also known as (Nelumbo nucifera) are gorgeous flowers known for their beautiful pink, white, or yellow blooms as well as their ability to live submerged in water.

You’ll see them and small or large ponds, but they can also be grown on decks or indoors within a flower bed.

Lotus plants are native to southeast Asia and are often used in traditional Chinese medicine. The lotus plant can also be eaten, a custom common in Vietnam, and East Asia.

Live Aquatic Hardy Water Lily | Pre-Grown, Pre-Rooted, Hardy Water Lily for Your Pond or Patio Water Garden | Drop-N-Grow Convenience -Red

One of the most spectacular things about the lotus plant is that the flower actually opens and closes with the rising and setting of the sun, making for a perfect display in parks, forest preserves, and private residences.

The Lotus’ Plant Adaption in Water

While the lotus plant can survive in soil, it is most commonly found and grown in water. The structure of the plant, its roots, leaves, and stems allow it to survive in this environment.

The flowers of the plant are fairly wide and have a disc-like shape. This helps them to absorb plenty of sunlight and is the reason why you’ll commonly see them floating on top of the water.

The size of the leaves will vary by variety but can reach up to 40 inches in width.

The leaves and stems are also coated in a thin waxy substance that acts as a water repellent, which prevents them from becoming engulfed in water.

It’s this hydrophobic quality that prevents the plant from becoming inflated with water.

The lotus plant is also known to hold large amounts of various heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium–largely due to its water-based location.

This and other factors have also been linked to the flower’s antibacterial properties.

This allows them to fend off diseases from microorganisms–and makes them useful for medicinal purposes.

The roots, leaves, and fibrous stems of the lotus plant produce heat energy to regulate surrounding water temperature.

This allows the plant to produce an ideal environment for growth and health. It also allows the plant to attract a number of different insects which feed on the pollen produced by the flower.

Read Are Lotus Flowers Poisonous to Dogs?

Trenton 10Pcs Water Lotus Flower Plant Bowl Pond Bonsai Seeds for Home Garden Yard Decor (Mixed Color)

Growing a Lotus Plant From a Seed

The lotus plant is relatively easy to grow. All you need is about a cup of lotus seeds, a large pot or small pond, and water.

The seeds should be sprouted for about five to seven days beforehand. You’ll also need rich clay soil, a mixture of sandy soil, to provide seeds with an ideal growing environment.

It’s best to use an aquatic fertilizer with an NPK of 20-10-20 or 10-14-8 so that the seeds have all the nutrients that they need to grow.

Sprouting the Seeds

To sprout your seeds, place a handful of them and a 16-ounce glass cup. Next, fill the cup with warm water and place it in a sunny location.

Allow the seeds to sit for about 5 to 7 days until they sprout. The water should become cloudy during this time, and when it does come out, remove the seeds.

Also, be sure to change the water every day to prevent the seeds from becoming infected. Once the ceilings have sprouted to about 3 to 4 inches, they are ready to be planted.

The seeds should be about twice their original size at this point. Be sure to handle the seedlings with care as they are very delicate and prone to splitting at this time.

Planting the Seeds

Take a two- to five-gallon plastic container and fill it with soil–this container should not have drainage holes.

This will allow the roots of the plant to develop and give them room so they won’t become overcrowded during this time.

Fill the container with soil and be sure to add sand or clay to the soil to help with aeration and moisture retention.

It’s best to find a dark or black container as it will retain heat much better than lighter ones, which will allow the seedlings to stay warm.

After the seeds have sprouted (and when they are at least 3- to 4-inches long), it’s time to establish and plant them in their growing location within this container.

Next, place the newly sprouted seeds in the soil at least 3-4 inches deep.

It’s best to spread the seeds about 4-5 inches apart so that the roots will have ample room to grow. Set the container into a pond and make sure that it is set on a level surface.

If you are not growing the seeds in a pot on a flower bed (or on a deck), make sure to keep at least two to four inches of warm water above the soil.

This requires frequent monitoring and watering come out so you may want to create a calendar.

Lotus Seeds for Planting|30 White Pink Lotus Flower Seeds for Indoors| Dwarf Bonsai Lotus Flower Seeds for Pond|Giant Water Lily Plants Live Seeds

Read How To Plant Lotus Bonsai Hydroponic

Common Issues With Growing Lotus Plants

Just as is the case with any other plant, Lotus plants, in rare cases, develop certain issues during the growing process some of these issues can be caused by their environment, while others may be related to nutrition.


It’s common for lotus plants to develop chlorosis, which is an iron deficiency that often causes yellow leaves and may even cause death in the lotus plant.

The best and quickest way to fix this issue is to apply a quality fertilizer so that the plant gets the nutrients that it needs first.

However, it’s best to test the pH of the water in which the plant is located.

Environmental changes and the plant’s surroundings can throw off the water’s pH balance, resulting in nutritional issues with the lotus.

Also, it’s best to fix this problem ahead of time, as it can be hard to treat during its late stages.

Lotus Root Rot

If you notice small brown spots on the stem of the leaves, or visibly wilted and browning leaves on your plant, chances are that it is developing root rot.

Root rot is a common disease for plants that often results from overexposure to wet or moist conditions.

Given the typical water-based growing environment of the lotus plant, this disease is rare.

When it occurs the roots and stems of the lotus plant will become necrotic, turning the leaves brown and causing them to eventually die.

Most lotus varieties have been cultivated to prevent rot, but in others, it can develop from pathogens and the plant’s location (such as a pond or swamp).

The most common method used to combat this disease is the application of decomposed organic fertilizer or a combination of thiophanate-methyl and carbendazim.

You’ll also need to trim off any damaged leaves and stems from the plant, as they will suck up nutrients needed for healthy and growing areas.

Aquatic Plant Sapphire Dwarf Lotus Flower 5 Seeds indoor/outdoor

Common Pests

With the exception of serious pH imbalances or overpopulation of microorganisms in the water, you are fairly unlikely to have pest issues with lotus plants.

However, if your lotus plant is located indoors, or in a flower bed, it will often become fair game for common plant pests.

That being stated, continual monitoring and fast eradication will help prevent significant damage from most pests.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are small, oval-shaped pests are known to cause significant damage to both indoor and outdoor plants.

A spider mite infestation will often display in the form of white or yellow speckles on the leaves of the plant.

As the mites continue to ravage the plant, they will eventually cause holes and yellowing of the lotus’ leaves.

They can be tricky to get rid of (especially for lotus located in large ponds and swamps), but common methods include natural insecticides such as neem oil or diatomaceous earth.


These pests are tiny black or orange bugs that can cause a nutrition deficiency, stunted growth, and deformed leaves on the lotus plant.

They will slowly engulf the plant’s surface, starting on the leaves and working their way down the stems.

These pests don’t typically cause life-threatening damage, they can transmit various diseases to your lotus.

Growers usually apply beneficial predators such as frogs, fish, or insects to rid of these pests. However, neem oil and insecticidal sprays and soaps can also be used.

How Does a Lotus Plant Adapt Itself in Water
How Does a Lotus Plant Adapt Itself in Water


Mosquitoes are also common pests of lotus plants, especially ones located outdoors in swampy and open grasslands.

They will often breed and lay eggs on top of the water and plant leaves, and the adults will often feed on the nectar of the plant’s flower.

To get rid of them, you can use Bti products or mosquito dunks. Keep in mind that these pests are more annoying to growers than they are harmful to the plant.

Related plant articles:

Summing Things Up

Hopefully, this post has given you a thorough understanding of how the lotus plant adapts to water and some insight into how it can be grown. If you plan to grow your lotus plants from seed, first make a list of all the materials and tools that you need and decide the manner in which you will grow them.