Lotus Plant Care – Learn How To Grow A Lotus Plant

(Image credit: Ginginna)

The lotus (Nelumbo) is an aquatic plant with interesting leaves and stunning flowers. It’s most commonly grown in water gardens. It is very invasive, so care has to be taken when growing it, or it will quickly take over its environment. Keep reading to learn more lotus plant information, including lotus plant care and how to grow a lotus plant.

How to Grow a Lotus Plant

Growing lotus plants requires a certain amount of diligence. The plants will spread quickly and easily if grown in the soil, so it’s best to plant them in containers. Make sure your container has no drainage holes-- lotus roots can easily escape through them, and since your container will be underwater, drainage is a non-issue. If you’re growing lotus plants from rhizomes, fill a container with garden soil and lightly cover the rhizomes, leaving the pointed tips slightly exposed. Submerge the container in water so that the surface is about 2 inches (5 cm.) above the soil line. You may have to put a layer of gravel on top of the soil to keep it from floating away. After a few days, the first leaf should emerge. Keep raising the level of the water to match the length of the stems. Once the weather outside is at least 60 degrees F. (16 C.) and the stems extend several inches (8 cm.), you can move your container outdoors. Sink the container in your outdoor water garden no more than 18 inches (46 cm.) from the surface. You may have to raise it up on bricks or cinder blocks.

Lotus Plant Care

Caring for lotus plants is relatively easy. Place them in a spot that receives full sun and fertilize them moderately. Lotus tubers can’t survive freezing. If your pond does not freeze solid, your lotus should be able to overwinter if placed deeper than the freeze line. If you’re worried about freezing, you can dig up your lotus tubers and overwinter them indoors in a cool place.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.