Sprouting Lotus Seeds

To start with, i recently read this article about the American Lotus spreading near Detroit.Lotus in Detroit
"The American lotus is threatened in Michigan, and there is a fine as high as $500 for picking it, according to the state Department of Natural Resources."

Just so everyone including the DNR is clear, i didn't pick any plants. I merely "gathered" some seeds from the floating seed pods. Plus that law is ridiculous.

How can a plant be "threatened" in Michigan but in other states be a nuisance species. That's like saying penguin's are endangered here in the US. Or that cow's are threatened in Siberia. It's not like this is the last pocket of the species on Earth being killed off by people. Down south the lotus is taking over entire rivers.

It's threatened in Michigan because it's cold here. The water needs to be clean and warm for them to grow, 99% of the time Lake Erie is neither of those two things. Like i said earlier i found it near the Consumers Energy power plant water discharge pipes. If the plant wasn't discharging warm water constantly the lotus plants would probably die.

With that said, here's how the Lotus seeds are looking so far.

The ones on the left are some original dry seeds (that i "gathered") and the ones on the right are the seeds that i sanded the shell and have been soaking in warm water for 5 days. I put the cup of water sitting on a heat vent to make sure it stayed warm.
Notice how much they have swelled up with water from their original size. how to grow lotus seeds at home, in a cup of water,
Three days ago i removed the shell from two more seeds. One seed i removed the outer shell only. The other seed i cracked completely in half.
inside a lotus seed, swelling seed
It turns out that completely removing the shell is the way to go. That seed sprouted after only 3 days. It took the seeds with the partially sanded shells 6 days for the first one to sprout. So removing more of the shell means faster sprouting. It must be because removing the entire shell allows for more water to be absorbed faster.

Here's what the seed looked like after 3 days, compared to 5 days for the other seeds.
grow lotus plant in cup of water lotus leaf growing from seed, american lotus fast growing lotus plant, grow at homehow to grow a lotus in a bowl of water
I sprouted these seeds in a wet paper towel in a zip-lock bag rather then in a cup of water.
lotus emergent leaf, stems, roots
Not surprisingly the lotus grows best in swampy, organic, muddy clay soil. I was going to use kitty litter because it is primarily clay. But i ended up using soil from my back yard, which is mostly clay with a little bit of top soil.

I bought 4 pots from Home Depot the other day. They were in the back corner of the store and due to a clearance pricing mistake, 2 of them cost only 1 cent each. Totally legit.

Here's pictures of the lotus planted 1 inch deep in mud in about 3 inches of water.
lotus growing in bowl of water and mud
Here they are after day 10 or so. They are still growing as long as i don't let them dry out. After reaching the surface they started to dry out so i covered the pot with saran wrap. I'll definitely "juice 'um" with some fertilizer to get them growing big.

grow water plant in 2 liter bottle
experiment of lotus plant, seeds

1 comment:

GumbyandPokey said...

That is so cool! I found your post while trying to look for information about the tours they give every year.