Lotus in the Sun

Well i know now what it takes to get them to grow. Abnormally warm Michigan weather. It's been very warm, it was even 90 degrees here for several days and the plants grew great.how to grow lotus in your backyard pond, bucket
collect lotus seeds, american lotus
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The best thing about having them outside is that the pads don't dry up and turn brown. Growing them outside is definitely the way to go. High heat/humidity and lots of sun. The water in the buckets got up to 80 degrees. optimum lotus temperature, optimal, best, to grow lotus, hot
First though, let me go back. I originally learned about the American Lotus when working at the CE Power Plant in Monroe Michigan a year ago. consumers energy coal burning power plant, erie, monroe michigan, ce plant, lake erie
It has a bay next to the plant, which is part of Lake Erie.
consumers energy coal burning power plant, erie, monroe michigan, ce plant, lake erie
The seeds were everywhere, i picked up a few over the course of 3 days. old lotus seed pods, washed up on shore
pile of lotus seeds, hard shell
This is what the bay looked like last year sometime around July or August. You can see the huge lotus bed.
lotus beds, nets, ce plant, lake erie, channel
Early this year. It's foggy there a lot.
lotus beds, nets, ce plant, lake erie, channel, fog
A month and a half ago, still no signs of the lotus, but by now they are probably visible. The nets are used to stop plants and dead fish from getting into the turbines.
lotus beds, nets, ce plant, lake erie
While i was there last year i saw some weird seed pods and grabbed a couple of seeds that had washed up. I tried growing the plant indoors during the winter, but it didn't go well.
Here's what i've learned about trying to grow a lotus, inside, in Michigan, during the winter:

High heat - keep between 70-80 degrees, if it's too cold it slows down their growing. Heater, light. Not only for growing but also for starting the seed.

High humidity - don't let the leaf dry out once it reaches the surface, for me that meant covering the bowl with Saran wrap.

Let the roots start before planting in the mud - i noticed that if i put the seed and stem in the mud too early that the roots never started growing. But if i let the plant grow in a bowl of water the roots started fine. Then i was able to carefully transfer it to the mud.

4. Change the water frequently - i'm not sure if it's bacteria or algae but a white scum develops in the water during the first stages of growing.

Here's what i saw when i finally figured all of that out. If i planted the seed too early it would die. But if i waited till the roots grew an inch or two then planted it in mud it did ok.
lotus seed, starting to spread roots, tubers, rhizomes
I even checked the PH of the water. It's suppose to be between 6 and 8.
phydrion paper, ph scale paper, test water, optimum ph, lotus Link
The plant will grow just in a bowl of water for several weeks. There's enough energy in the seed for it to develop roots and put up around 4 lilypads.
lotus seed sprouting, spreading roots in water, mud
These were grown in just water.american lotus, asian lotus seeds, how to sprout how to grow a lotus plant in water, in a cup
This is what it looked like in March earlier this year. It was still too cold for the plants to start coming up.
Although i could get them to start growing, they would turn brown and soon die. brown lotus leaf, lillypad, humidity, grow indoors
Early this spring, on the way to the CE plant i got off I-75 at exit 11. There's another power plant on Lake Erie where the lotus plant grows right near the road.
You can see last years stems in the water.
lotus beds in the winter, stalks, power plant, lake erie
I already commented on what i thought about the lotus being protected here in Michigan. In Missouri, Rhode Island and other states it's a nuisance species, you can get fined for planting it. Here in Michigan it's protected, you get fined for taking it out. That's dumb.
the american lotus, protected species, do not disturb, lotus garden club sign, michigan
washed up lotus seed pods, shore, lake, winter
Anyway, i found it very difficult to grow them inside during the winter. But since it warmed up and i moved the buckets outside they are doing way better. Outside now there is high humidity and high heat, the two things i was having problems with inside.
I'll know by the end of summer how well they grew.

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