Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to grow Lotus from seed....step by step!

I've heard negative and positives about growing Lotus from Seeds but i decided to try anyway. I purchased the seed pods from a dried flower arrangement at the craft store. I got about 42 mature seeds out of the pods (and several unripe). Fingers are crossed that it wasnt heat dried and the seeds are still viable. They were on sale so if they are no good i only wasted three dollars. Lets hope i get lucky! Enjoy my how-to:)

DAY 1: March 30, 2011

I got all the seeds out of the pods by prying them with a knife. Easy enough.
I scarified them with a metal file till i saw the cream center. I just held them in place with a pair of pliers and sawed with the file. Its not hard but annoying. The seeds can be very thick and tough!
After i scarred them i put them in a plastic bowl in warm water. I know i scarred them good enough because you can see air bubbles escaping from the seeds. I set them in the window sill. The plan is to change the water and replace it with fresh warm water once or twice a day.Here's a picture of the scarified seeds in the water. And now we wait!

MARCH 31 After only one day of soaking the seeds are really beginning to swell!

April 2, 2011...(Day 4 of soaking)...I spotted one of the seeds splitting! I hope this means green is to follow soon!

April 3, 2011..... I see green!! it happened last night and all through today the "hooks" have been coming out. I did help them out a little by *gently* pulling off the hard dark coating around where the sprout was making its way out. I read this method on a lotus info site and it really seemed to help because seeds that hadnt sprouted are now out! one lotus seed in particular seems to be doing the best. its been the fastest and biggest sprout throughout the whole process. Every time i changed the water I swear i could see the sprout pushing its way further out right before my eyes. 



APRIL 4th, 2011...... (about 5 days after soaking) I decided 4 out of 8 of the seeds were ready to be planted. I used miracle grow garden soil. Since I live in Fl. clay isn't readily available. For now i put the seedlings in milk jugs with the top cut off by i have Rubbermaid bins ready for them once they get established. I stuck them in the soil with my fingers till just the green was out. and left a couple inches of water over them. They are now sitting in the sun, on the patio.I can't wait for them to really take off.
*As for the remaining four seeds I know there's life inside because i can see green but they just haven't found the strength to sprout yet. I'm hoping patience will pay off.



APRIL 5, 2011 (about a week after starting) a second stem is appearing!
after planting them they have been getting taller every day reaching for the surface! and now we wait for the unfurling of their very first leaf!!

APRIL 8TH....Only updates are that the sprouts have grown about an inch past the surface and the curled leaves are beginning to separate from the stems. also some of the plants have sprouted a second leaf from the seed.


Only problem I have encountered so far(and very minor at that) is that my water is getting a green bubbly film :( I have just been scraping it off by hand. I'm assuming its algae from stagnant water being in full sun all day.

APRIL 10, 2011 (around noon)
  • I went to check on my lotus and they seem to be in a very slow and stubborn stage but  the sprout that has been the strongest this whole process is unrolling its very first leaf today (finally) and the same sprout now has a second stem breaking the waters surface to start making leaf #2 !
  • All the other sprouts leaves are still rolled tightly but separated from the stem.
  • As for the remaining 4 lotus seeds. they are still being lazy, and not sprouting but I'm not giving up since I can see green in every one of them!
well i take back what i said about peeling the seed because the ones that hadn't come out yet when i did it are now rotting:( dont help your seeds! *on to better news...

April 11, 2011
**my first official floating leaf!!**


APRIL 13, 2011 *two weeks after soaking* I decided to start planting the lotus in more permanent more milk jugs:)

This is how I did it.

  1. Of course my sprout from a dried lotus arrangement from Hobby Lobby craft store*on sale ($3.99) * I did the math and I paid about 10 cents for each seed 
  2. 18 gallon toy tub from walmart 18" x 16"(about $6.00)
  3. miracle grow garden soil *1.5cu.ft. ($5.00)
  4. compost cow manure from home depot*40lb. bag ($1.50ea.)
  5. osmocote granule fertilizer (veggie and flower formula) ($14.00)
  6. gravel (I used the kind from the fish section. I had it from other projects) ($11.00)
*I waited till the lotus had two floating leaves with a third really thick stem that looked like it would be two more leaves.

STEP 1:  I poured 1 cup of osmocote fertilizer into the bottom of the tub.
STEP 2: I then filled the tub with about 9-10" of 1/2 composted manure and  1/2 garden soil, *mixed together well*. maybe slightly more compost than garden soil (I didn't measure)  However, I did make sure the top layer was manure to limit floating stuff.
STEP 3: I poured a very thin layer of aquarium gravel to also help prevent floating stuff.
STEP 4: I filled the tub with water until it stopped bubbling(the soil was completely saturated) and left about 3-4" of water above the surface of the gravel. scooped up what did float with a fish net.
STEP 5: my final step was to make an impression in the gravel and place my sprout down into it and LIGHTLY covered with gravel just enough to keep the seed from floating up. make sure not to cover too deep or cover growing tips.

**water is still Clearing but here is there current status.**

3days later 

well as you can see the rocks didn't help keep the soil from coming up so I guess you can just skip this step if you want. I did with the remaining three.

April 24, 2011


Here's one of my lotus from a second batch! its got floaters and aerials that measure a foot across!

Now the hard part is seeing if all this will pay off with beautiful Lotus blooms. Most likely I'll be waiting until next season but just maybe I'll get lucky:)


  1. Hi Shelby. I'm Carla, aka Clarabelle63 from the ponding forum. I've been following your progress on lotus from there and figured I should just bite the bullet and follow you on here! I am also interested in lotus and a new ponder with this being my third year with a small pond. If you remember from the forum, I purchased my first tuber and am in the process of hoping to make it grow successfully. I wish you good luck with your seedlings, and I will be watching! : )

  2. Aww thanks:) I remembeer you. i knew i really had to gain some patience by trying this from seed everyone says buy tubers but im cheap and brave i guess haha. Your lotus pic looked very healthy! So good luck to us both:) hope you get some arials soon!

  3. Your Lotuses are so beautiful. I see that your Lotuses are more bigger than mine, but I put them into the water much earlier than you. Where did you buy such lovely seeds? My seeds, from Seeds finder, were so un-healthy. I had to get 5, but I got 7. And only 3 survived. You can see my Lotuses from my blog:
    Or you can email me: By the way, I'm from Estonia, that because I have such different, hard name :)

    Good luck!

  4. well thank-you Tonis! I bought my seeds at the hobby lobby. its a craft store. i bought one of the dried lotus arrangements and got over twenty seeds for 3 dollars! it was a risk but as you can see the seeds were viable! i just cant wait for blooms! good luck with yours I'll be sure to go see your blog:)

  5. You bought your seeds from such store, which were not focused on seeds, and I bought my Lotus seeds from Lotus-store. And yours were viable and mine not :) Such interesting luck..

  6. lol i guess i did get lucky:) if you ever try again, Ebay website sells lotus seeds for cheap just don't buy from Chinese seed sellers(everyone seems to complain about them)and make sure you can tell the difference between a lily and a lotus a lot of sellers confuse the two and will sell you lilies if you are not careful.

  7. Yes, you were the luckiest one :) I have thinking about those Chinese seed sellers.. are they (seeds) viable, or not. China is such country, which makes things fast, but with low quality. Maybe it's the same with Lotuses. I have seen that, too that some lilies (especially Nymphaea caerulea) is called Egyptian Lotus - actually it's not the real Lotus. Some kinds are more, with name Lotus, but I, like many people knows, love Lotuses, so I see the difference between those two lovelies.

  8. Good im glad you know what to look out for! I hate seeing people getting ripped off.

  9. Hi!

    Watch my blog, I have just edited my post, my Lotus has about 10-15 cm (4-6 inch) grew. So, mud has a lot of food for Lotus. Thank you so much, that you helped me! :)

  10. ill go look im glad they are doing well!

  11. Your Lotus is so, so beautiful. I wish I had such Lotus. I have to put more mud onto the bottom, in my vase.

  12. Thankyou right now mine are in one gallon milk jugs with the top cut off. About 4 inches or so of mud and about three inches of water over the dirt. They Are really taking off all have second stems now and all have at least one floating leaf. They are growing so fast i think im going to put them in their final tub before they start geting their tubers. the tubs i have for them are 18 gallon buckets they are about 16 inches deep and 16 inches wide, so the lotus should be able to get big and hopefully bloom!!

  13. Your lotus are growing wonderfully! Last year I started some lotus in the 3_!-5 same buckets as you did. I grow two more and put those in pots into a small bog pond. Sadly the only lotus that made it through the winter were the ones in the bog pond! I couldn't figure this out because I live in zone 9a where we rarely freeze if at all!. Someone told me it was due to the miricle grow soil rotting my tubbers? I'm not sure if this is true because the lotus in the pond had the exact same potting media.... so I'm not sure wshat happened. This year I'm growing from seed again and will give it another try. Right now I'm waiting for a bloom from the two survivers of last year! I've made a bog pond to give the new lotus a place to live, this ones bigger than the last. Hopefully they will make it through the winter this year for me! Congradulations on your beautiful lotuses! They are truely lovely! Growing from seed is so fun!! I know I'm surely hooked on growing lotus! Good luck and show us a picture when it blooms!

  14. It's remarkable to see how quickly things started coming together. It seems like this is an oddly interactive process! Thank you so much for posting all of this. I've been toying with the idea of giving it a go, but had no idea where to start. I was really surprised that you got your seeds from a hobby shop -- and that they were viable! This is an excellent post. Thank you again!

  15. HOlly molly!! Guacamole water lily!!

  16. It's 2013, & I just cut holes in 33 lotus seeds. They are hard as rocks! After 20 minutes, 31 seeds to go & 2 bloody fingers I pulled out my Dremel and finish up the job managed to shoot two out to oblivion & saw into a fnger, but it was much quicker than a carpet blade! Being the left brain type I hadn't read all the instructions & am trying to find out is it true, do I have to go & cut these up again in a few days?
    Does anyone have pictures of lotus blooming that they grew from seed? Don't they bloom the first year?? I might need some encouragement!!!

    1. hi there!!, 3 days back i started with growing lotus from seeds, the best way of soaking them is to use a file and rub the tip of the seeds till you see a light colored layer of the seed..or you may use a coarse stone and rub the seeds against it... and it is much safe. i too am hope full to see a fully grown plant out of the seeds, i blog is

  17. Question.....When you first place the seeds in water, are they suppose to float or sink?

  18. Disregard the last question. I place 8 seed in a container and one was a floater. After a day, it sank to the bottom. It is now day 3 and so far, I have 6 out of the 8 that are sprouting.

  19. Thank you for posting this, I will God willing grow some lotus leaves, and it is for religious purposes, I thought that I would share something on here, that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used to encourage the women in particular, I'm not sure about men (Allah knows best) after their menses to take their water and lotus leaves and purify themselves. I done a little research on the leaves and they have some great self cleansing properties and pick up bacteria. I am so delighted to start growing some lotus leaves. Allahamdulillah.

  20. hi,

    do you need to change water regularly?


    1. as per my knowledge we need to change water every month

  21. What I do for changing the water. When I notice the water is getting scummy I'll use a jar to collect and drain off the scummy looking water, then replace it with fresh water. Sometimes this is every day, sometimes it's just once a week. But usually every day due to evaporation I'll add another few jars of water to keep the water level consistent. I started the seeds by scraping them against the pavement until the center was exposed, and then left them to sprout in 2 liter bottle filled with water.

    1. you have to change the water AT LEAST EVERY DAY, !! I changed mine 2 or 3 times, it has the oxygen that the seeds need to spout,, its not a cleanliness issues, its an oxygen issue.

  22. This is fantastic! Why didn't I ever think of going to a craft store for seeds??? LOL The things you learn online...

  23. Quick question to all experts:
    How do you prevent mosquito from settle in your pots?

    1. I haven't done this yet- however, I have a pond, and I'll be putting the milk jug in there, so the water is still moving.

  24. You actually don't need to file it, you can use a nail clipper!

  25. I started some Lotus at 2 different times. They we also from 2 separate suppliers, one from China in spite of the warnings not to get seeds from there.
    After researching the process, relying on you-tube, I tried to use sand-paper, which barely made a scratch. The a file, which didn't have any better results. I finally used the Dremmel. I made a groove from end-to-end, being careful to stop when I see cream color. Using this method, I have a success rate of 10 for 10. I did experiment by scaring the pointy end, another on the blunt end, and another in the middle. Of those 3 only one was successful.
    The batch from China has been the most successful.
    I don't know what I'm doing, so everything is an experiment. If those of you who are reading this, have better ways, please post them, I'll be watching.
    I have been increasing the water level almost daily. I now have them is 5 gal. buckets.
    One of the sites I used for research, said to use clay to plant them in. I don't know where to get clay, so I used kitty litter which is pure clay. After getting the litter wet, and making clay muck, I planted the sprouted plants, which were probably 8 to 10" long. I don't know how many to plant in a bucket, so I have 2 buckets with 3 plants, and 1 with only one plant. They seem to be surviving OK in the clay. Most are nearly to the top of the bucket. I will be moving the buckets into a pond in the next couple of days.

  26. @chubbypoptart thank u for ur valuable information

  27. this is my blog where i made arts with waste materials

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  32. Question: So you said you got the dried arrangement from Hobby Lobby. How did you determine which dried lotus pod to purchase that would give you seeds that would actually grow? I work at hobby lobby and would love to try growing a lotus from their dried arrangement.

  33. This is amazing! You can definitely consider yourself a true horticulturalist after taking on this endeavor! Plus, your log of steps and materials and the entire timeline is so perfectly concise; you're really an amazing blogger and you're also such a huge help to those of us who scour the internet for information like this on growing interesting and new things! Happy growing! Thanks again!

  34. Great info. I'm trying this out now. I'm in Florida too but in North Florida where there is nothing by clay soil so I plan on using that for planting them once sprouted.

  35. All interesting enteries. I have a Koi pond in which I've grown "purchased," lotus plants and had some gorgeous blooms, my camera snapped all the time. This winter I purchased 5 seeds from India. I came on this site seeking all I need to know in growing from seeds. I'm in Zone 6 so perhaps I should wait another month before starting my process. Thanks for the idea of obtaining seeds from pods. I was fascinated by the pods too, they contain beauty of their own, so I kept a few and placed them in a nice container along with some poppuri (sp?) I hope I didn't damage them with chemical from the scented oils I felt duty bound to add. Hope they dodged the oils. At any rate I shall give a couple of them the OLE college try. Boy, I'm excited as I've purchased several types of seeds and find it real rewarding to grow from seeds. Thanks again for the input and I plan to check back. Wish me luck and if become successful with this endeavor I will share my results with you fine folks.

  36. how much time it require to grow lotus

  37. Hi! Great site, and info! I have lots of success germinating the lotus seeds, BUT, by after the stem and first closed leaf go above the water level, they turn black and rot! I change water every day. Any thoughts? Thanks! Pat in NJ

  38. Hats off to all of you for your comments and suggestions. I got my seed from a reputable source in China. I do not prefer to buy from China but most suppliers in the U.S. get them from there anyway. It definetely was cheaper. That being said, I will be using your guidelines for starting my seeds shortly. I have two small ponds and several extra fish tanks for inside storage for the winter here in zone 5a. Thanks again, trooper_jay, retired homeland security officer.

  39. Hi there!... Few days back I purchased Blue lotus Nymphaea caerulea,asian water lily pad seeds.. those are too small.. I am worried how do I start from where...after seeing your seeds they are so big as compare to my seeds...please help...what I do in first step..

    1. Lotus seeds are big, where as water lilies seeds are small, however Technic is same for all. For example put 2 seeds without scrubbing skin and 2 with scrubbing so, the water can make them sprout faster.

  40. Your post really gonna help the people like me who are looking for such terms and info.... I am glad i visited here and learned.

    Flower seeds online

  41. Thanks for the informative blog. Have followed your steps and the pods are in water now. Let's see by when and what comes out of them...

  42. I not only grow lotus but all colored water lilies as well ! I put lotus seeds without doing anything directly into ponds not too deep, but 50 cm deep, it took time but they sprouted and grown into plants, then, I shifted them in bigger ponds. I have 12 varieties of lotuses and water lilies.