Sacred to the Egyptians, the gorgeous lotus is the national flower of India and believed by Buddhists to have sprung from the earth to proclaim the birth of Buddha. It is also the symbol of purity. The flowers of the Nelumbo nucifera “Green Maiden” range in color from the most delicate pink to white, yellow and bicolor.
There are both temperate and tropical lotus, so look for the tropicals.
Take a ceramic pot that’s at least two feet deep and cover the bottom with humus soil or clay and sand. Use garden soil instead of potting soil. Then, put two handfuls of Dynamite 13-13-13 in the pot and place the tuber on top of that.
The tuber should be planted with the delicate growing tips pointed up. (Try not to break off these tips, or you will set back the growth.) Carefully top this with egg rocks to hold down the tuber and add sand to give the pot a clean look. Then fill the pot to the top with water. The lotus tuber should be 10 to 15 inches below the water’s surface.
The tubers are generally available by mail order the first few months of the year. They like full sun but do not like dry windy weather, so if you have one now, put it in a shade house or protected area this time of year.
Divide them in the spring. Clean off the roots (which will seem like anacondas by that time) and put in new soil, repeating the above directions.
MIAMI HERALD ARCHIVES