The lotus plant grows in aquatic conditions like ponds, rivers, and lakes. There are more than 100 species of lotuses. They have been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. Some people also eat them.
The flowers are pretty stunning to look at, with some types capable of having more than 100 petals. If you are interested in growing a lotus plant at home, here is the way to go about it.
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Growing a lotus plant
First, you need to scrape the lotus seeds with a metal file. Keep scraping them until you see the cream-colored core. Do not scrape at the core. Put the seeds in warm water (75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit).
Within 24 hours of soaking, the seeds will start to swell and eventually become twice their size. If any of the seeds float to the water’s surface, remove them since it indicates that they are infertile. Change the water daily.
Take a big container that has a capacity of about 3 to 5 gallons. Fill the first 6 inches with soil. Make sure that the soil consists of 1 part river sand and 2 parts clay. Double-check to ensure that the container does not have any drainage holes so that the seeds do not escape through them.
About 4-5 days after seeds have been immersed in water, they should start sprouting. Once the seedlings are about 6 inches long, transplant them into the soil container. Plant the seeds about 4 inches from each other. There is no need to bury the seeds deep in the sand. Just let them sit at the top and cover them lightly with soil.
Take the container and lower it into the pond. Submerge it in a way that the water surface is about 2 inches above the soil. Ensure that the water is warm (about 70°F) or the lotus plant won’t grow properly.
Within a few days, you should see the first leaves emerge. Lotuses usually do not bloom in their first year. So do not be disheartened when you see no flower within the initial year of planting seeds.
Use only minimal fertilizer during the first year or the foliage might burn. Once the lotus plant is established, you can fertilize it once every 3 to 4 weeks. “It is important to protect the Lotus roots from freezing… Lotus can winter over in the pond if the pond depth is below the freeze line for your area… In late fall, the yellowed foliage should be cut off and the plant lowered to the deepest part of the pond,” according to The Flower Expert.
Benefits of lotus plants
A 2013 study discovered that two polysaccharides in lotus seedlings have anti-inflammatory properties. The seeds of both red and white lotuses can be used to minimize inflammation.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), lotus seeds are said to restore the vital force in the human body. TCM also recommends lotus leaves and extracts for women to stop excess bleeding during periods.
Lotus plants might also get rid of your acne problems. “Sebum is the waxy substance that can cause acne breakouts when it builds up and clogs your skin’s pores. Adding lotus to green tea and applying it to the face can significantly reduce the amount of sebum that your glands produce,” according to Healthline.
The stems of lotus plants are rich in nutrients and minerals, including potassium, which can help you efficiently manage blood pressure. Just boil the roots for about 10 minutes and you can add them to your salads.