The Whybrew Family's
Lotus Growing Adventure

By Walt Whybrew - Click images to enlarge

I received six seeds from Babs Ellinwood (May 17, 2002) after accepting the lotus seed offer on the Victoria-Adventure web site. My wife also dug up three seeds she had received about three years ago. Starting on about June 1st I followed the seed starting directions found on Victoria-Adventure. Seven of the nine seeds started very quickly and the remaining two never germinated (one from the new batch and one from the three year old batch).

Seeds were started in a 2 liter bottle floating in a 55 Gallon fish tank that maintains a temperature of approximately 87ºF.


The seeds remained in the 2 liter bottle for approximately 3 weeks and grew very well. I transplanted them into a 6 inch deep container half full of sand. One of the seeds (at right) started in a container with 3 inches of yellow sand an 3 inches of water outside in full sun.

The seedlings remained in this container on picnic table in full sun for approximately 2 1/2 months. This was obviously too long given the crowding. The plants grew so much that I couldn't separate them for risk of damaging the roots that were intertwined. I hadn't expected the results to be so good. I just let them grow anticipating failure of some of the plants.

The plants needed to be planted but I was so busy that I hadn't had a chance to prepare the 140 gallon aluminum tank, scrounged from a neighbor a several years ago, for use. I had been using it as a holding tank for water plants with no place else to go. The welds at the corners had started to fail because the tank was filled with water with no side support.

To be used to hold the lotus plants I needed to seal the weld joints with silicon caulk and then bury the tank in the ground to counteract the water load. Visible corrosion suggests that there may be limited life to the tank, but it has lasted several years with water plants and fish in it.

After installing the tank in the ground I added several inches of garden compost to the bottom and then approximately 12 inches of yellow sand for a resulting water depth of about 8 inches when the tank is full to the top.

Always looking for a reason to play with the hose, my son Kyle filled the pond.

< Lotus plants in the pond doing very well. We'll see how it goes!



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