How To Propagate Lotus Plants?

There are two ways to propagate Lotus plants when you want to multiply them. Both methods are easy to do, even if you are a beginner.

Multiplying a Lotus consists of dividing its underground stem or harvesting its seeds. This helpful guide shows you how simple it can be to propagate your Lotus plant.

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Reasons Someone Would Propagate Lotus Plants

Plant lovers will propagate Lotus plants for different reasons. Some popular motivations for multiplying this plant include:

  • A source of food
  • To have in outdoor ponds
  • For business ventures

A Source of Food

Some individuals multiply their plants for a continuous source of food. Virtually all parts of Lotus plants are edible. Many Asian cultures have been eating some Lotus plants for over 7,000 years.

Stems, seeds, and flower petals are tasty additions to many dishes. The Lotus is a versatile edible plant for stir-fry, soup, or as a side dish.

To Have in Outdoor Ponds

Other people may propagate their plants to add more to their outdoor ponds. They are a terrific way to balance the ecosystem in landscape water areas with fish.

They aid in maintaining water temperature, and the leaves protect fish. Lotus plants also help regulate oxygen at the water’s surface.

These aquatic plants are hardy and can live in zones 5 to 10. This feature makes them ideal for many locations throughout the U.S.

For Business Ventures

Many nurseries divide and multiply Lotus plants to sell throughout the year. As a result, there are over 36 types of Lotus plants and dozens of hybrids.

The demand for more plants increases as more individuals take a liking to this delicate species. Consequently, the Lotus market is a viable business in India and other areas in the world.

Check out, Are Lotus Plants Poisonous to Cats

Why It Is Necessary to Split Lotus Plants

Lotus plants will grow aggressively well in the right conditions. However, if they become overcrowded, it can cause issues, both in ponds and containers. 

In Outdoor Ponds

Too many plants in a pond covering the surface can trap heat in the water. Additionally, this coverage prevents oxygen from mixing with the toxic gasses on the water’s surface.

Insects can also damage your Lotus plants more without fish reaching and eating them. Finally, too many plants can make it difficult to clean a pond properly.

The ideal pond coverage should fall between 40 and 60% for the best balance.

In Containers

Lotus plants that run out of room in containers can grow on top of each other. These crowded plants will produce smaller blooms and fewer flowers overall or look sickly.

If Lotus plants become congested in containers, their root stems will die off. As a result, the plants will constantly compete for nutrients and suffer.

Check out, How to Plant Lotus Bulb in North Florida

How to Propagate a Lotus Plant

Producing more Lotus plants to sell, eat, or enjoy in your space is simple. Let’s take an in-depth look at the two ways to propagate a Lotus plant successfully.

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Dividing the Underground Stem

If you have existing Lotus plants, you can harvest the underground stems for future ones. One easy way to produce more Lotus plants is by dividing the root stem.

Step 1: Choose the Right Time

However, you cannot divide the rhizomes, also known as the root stem, at any time. The best time to divide rhizomes is during their dormant period. Otherwise, you could kill the plant.

The Lotus plant growth slows down during the fall, and it does not bloom. The energy used to produce leaves and blossoms now goes to the root stem.

This dormant period is ideal for dividing the underground stem. Alternatively, you can also split a Lotus plant in early spring before its growing season.

Step 2: Remove the Lotus Plant From the Water

Carefully remove the plant from the water. Whether in a container in a pond or indoors, use two hands and be gentle.

Then, remove the entire plant from the container to expose the root stem.

Step 3: Locate the Root Stem and Cut It Away

Find the horizontal root stem or tuber. It should be dark-colored, and like a potato, many plants can grow from one rhizome. Similarly, it should contain ‘eyes’.

Unravel the tuber carefully, taking caution not to break any growing tips. Doing so will kill the plant.

Cut and divide the tuber with a sharp knife between the ‘eyes’. Separate sections that have viable growing tips. This way, new plant growth will come from each eye section.

You can make more than one cut if the root stem has multiple eyes. Selecting large rhizomes is a simple option for propagating numerous Lotus plants at once.

Handle the rhizomes carefully, as these parts of the Lotus plant are fragile. Although the Lotus flower is cold-hardy, its components are still quite delicate.

Step 4: Return the Original Plant

Gently return the original Lotus plant to its container and place it in the water. Use slow movements to prevent air pockets from entering the soil.

Trapped air could force the original tuber to float, preventing it from re-rooting.

Step 5: Choose and Prepare the New Growing Pot

Use a container without drainage holes for your new tuber. Put one inch of moist aquatic soil specific for water gardens. It should have a consistency resembling mud.

Next, put two to four aquatic plant fertilizer tabs in the middle of the pot. Then, three to four more inches of soil to the container for layering.

Step 6: Add the New Tuber

Place the new tuber into the container, careful not to cover it entirely with soil. Ideally, press it halfway into the dirt with its growth tips exposed.

Position it at a 15° angle with the stem shoot just barely in the soil.

Anchor the root stem with small rocks or gravel in sections to secure it.

Step 7: Fill With Water and Place In Full Sunlight

Next, fill the container with fresh water, ensuring you cover the growth tips completely. Anywhere from two to four inches of water is sufficient.

Keep in mind that more shallow water will keep warmer than deeper water.

Place the container in full sunlight or somewhere with at least six hours of daylight. Change the water daily or when it becomes dirty.

Step 8: Follow a Regular Fertilization Routine

Place two or three fertilizer tabs into the center of the container every three weeks. This way, the tuber will receive enough nutrients to foster new growth.

Read How To Plant Lotus Bonsai Hydroponic

Harvesting Lotus Seeds

Another way to propagate Lotus flowers is through its seeds. Not all seeds will be fertile or viable, though.

You can harvest seed pods between four to six months after planting the parent Lotus. However, they must turn black before you can remove them for later propagation.

Any sooner than this, the seeds will not be fertile or viable for growth. Some Lotus varieties will not flower in the first year, while others will.

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Step 1: Select the Ideal Flower

When harvesting Lotus seeds, choosing the ideal flower will help get the best possible seeds. Identify the biggest, healthiest flower blooms on the Lotus plant.

Step 2: Wait for the Best Time

Allow the flower to remain on the plant until the end of the season. Allow all the petals should naturally drop off before picking the bloom.

Wait until the seeds in the pod turn dark brown or black. If you pick seeds when they are pale-colored or green, you cannot propagate them later.

Another distinct attribute to show the seeds are ready is sitting loose in the pod.

Step 3: Cut the Pods and Dry Them Out

Carefully cut the Lotus seed pod away from the plant stem. Place all the pods you collect into a paper bag.

A paper bag in a dark, well-ventilated area is ideal for drying out Lotus seeds. The room should allow the pods to remain at above freezing temperatures.

Ample ventilation in a paper bag or sack will help this process.

Leave the Lotus seed pods to dry out for three or four days. They should be crisp and dry before removing. Otherwise, they will be prone to rotting and mold.

Step 4: Separate the Seeds From the Pod

Once completely dry, use a sieve and bowl to separate the seeds from the pod. Place the sieve over an empty bowl. This setup makes it easy to separate the seeks from the pods.

Put the pods in the sieve and break them apart in sections to reveal seeds. Throw away any pods and rub seeds in your hands to remove plant debris. Then, sift out the seeds for collection.

Step 5: Store and Dry the Lotus Seeds

Carefully place all Lotus seeds into a reusable plastic bag that contains peat moss. Then, completely bury the seeds and seal the bag.

Place the bag in a cool, dark location, such as a pantry or refrigerator. Be careful not to let the seeds freeze.

Step 6: Remove and Germinate Later

Lotus seeds are notorious for their long-term storage capabilities. You can keep these seeds for later propagation for extended periods.

Be careful to keep them dry and above freezing during storage.

How To Propagate Lotus Plants
How To Propagate Lotus Plants

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The Takeaway

Propagating Lotus plants can be a fun hobby or provide a viable source of income. Knowing the proper way to divide and multiply this plant is vital for future growth, and choosing the best seed pods to help germinate additional Lotus plants is critical for success.