The lotus is an aquatic plant with interesting leaves and stunning flowers. It’s most commonly grown in water gardens. It is very invasive. The botanical name of lotus is Nelumbo nucifera, also known as Indian lotus, sacred lotus, or simply lotus, is one of two extant species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae.

It has a very wide native distribution, ranging from central and northern India (at altitudes up to 1,400 m or 4,600 ft in the southern Himalayas[4]), through northern Indochina and East Asia (north to the Amur region; the Russian populations have sometimes been referred to as "Nelumbo komarovii"), with isolated locations at the Caspian Sea.

Table of Contents


3-6 ft. (90-180 cm)

Width-Circumference (Avg)

3-4 ft. (90-120 cm)

Approximate pH

5.5 - 9.0

Types of Lotus Flowers

American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

The American lotus can be confused with a water lily but unlike the water lily, the American lotus has uncut leaves that are circular and blue-green in color. It can also get up to over three feet in height and has delicate flowers that come in either yellow or white with more than 20 petals each. It is usually marketed commercially as Water Chinquapin or Yellow Lotus.

Angel Wings (Nelumbo nucifera)

This lotus has unusually large leaves that can get up to two feet in diameter and they are large, round, and waxy green in color. The petals are pointed towards the center and curl slightly on the ends. They are white and very fragrant and they can be up to 10 inches in diameter. They bloom best from July to September and can get as high as six feet. The flowers also do very well in shallow water and shallow gardens because they do not need a lot of water to thrive.

Asiatic (Nelumbo – Alba grandiflora)

Growing up to four feet in height, this lotus is pure white and beautiful. It is a very large flower with a wonderful fragrance and large, pea-green foliage. Best of all, this type of lotus is produced almost all year around in large masses.

Blue Star Lotus (Nymphaea nouchali)

Native to the southern and eastern parts of Asia, this lotus has violet-blue petals and reddish edges. Other colors can include purple, white, fuchsia, or mauve, which has led to its nickname of the Red and Blue Water Lily. It contains roughly 15 angular petals and leaves that are round and green with a darker green underside.

Carolina Queen Lotus

With a look very similar to tulips, this lotus grows up to six feet high and has petals that are rose-pink in color. They are great to medium- or large-sized ponds and they do best in full sun.

Celestial Lotus

An intermediate-sized, single-petal variety with 80 petals per bloom and a beautiful red color, this flower blooms from mid July to late August and has soft leaves. The petals are approximately eight inches in diameter and it is also called the Red Celestial Lotus.

Chawan (Nelumbo)

These grow up to 30 inches high and are perfect for medium containers and ponds. The petals are ivory-white with margins and veins that are deep pink in color. The name actually refers to a rice bowl, which the flower resembles.

Cherry Lotus

With petals that are purplish-red and fade to pink later on, this flower gets roughly 18 petals per bloom and is approximately eight inches in diameter. It blooms from late July to late August and has wide petals and coarse leaves. It is a very beautiful type of lotus.

Chinese Double Rose (Nelumbo)

With double blooms, this type of lotus has two-toned petals of creamy white and deep pink and it grows up to two feet in height. It is a free-flowering lotus and slightly resembles a peony.

Curious Lotus

A prolific bloomer, it can hold from 300 to 6,000 petals and has striations that are barely visible. The Curious Lotus is a two-headed bloom with the bottom one consisting of reddish-pink petals and a top bloom that is dark red and has petals that are much shorter than they are at the bottom. Blooming from early to late August, this flower has leaves that are soft to the touch and is reproduced through lotus roots, not seeds.

Green Maiden Lotus

A small lotus that gets no more than three feet high, it is considered a dwarf variety and has petals that are soft pink but change to yellow by the third day. It does best in full sun and for those who live in zones 4-11. It is perfect for small to medium ponds and even containers.


Examples of hybrid lotuses include Nelumbo Alba Grandiflora, Nelumbo Baby Doll, Nelumbo Chawan Basu, Nelumbo Momo Botan, Nelumbo Red Scarf, Nelumbo Sweetheart, and the Nelumbo cultivar “Shirokunshi” Tulip Lotus.

Japanese Lotus

Each bloom has about 20 petals that are a lovely shade of pink and leaves that are smooth and roughly two feet high. It can grow in fairly cold climates and dates back hundreds of years. It only blooms from early to late August and it has subtle striations.

Little Green House Lotus

A true bowl lotus, it is considered a dwarf plant and only gets up to two feet in height. It has double blooms of white with pink tips and its leaves can get up to 10 inches high. It is great for small ponds and containers.

Lotus of Golden Wheel

This lotus has beautiful white petals, a red border, and nail-red tips along with a bright-yellow center. It blooms from early July to early September and it has leaves that are coarse to the touch. It also consists of 20 petals per bloom and it has great flower production and striations that are very subtle.

Lotus of Lace Gem

A double-flowering lotus that resembles a peony, this lotus is deep red in color with distinct striations and has petals that are almost eight inches in diameter. It blooms from mid July to early September and has about 120 petals per bloom. It also has large, beautiful foliage that complements the color of the petals perfectly.

Lotus of the Absolute Reality

With up to 24 single petals in a bloom, this lotus has wide petals and is a vibrant green color. It blooms from late July to late August and its leaves are very soft. The flower is dense and full and it is roughly 10 inches in diameter. It usually produces two to three blooms per summer and it has been around since ancient times.

Lotus of the Clear Moon

With up to 26 petals per bloom, this flower is greenish-white in color and has leaves that grow up to 16 inches in height with the flower itself being seven inches in diameter. It blooms from late July to late September and it has a pistachio-green bud in the center. The leaves are soft to the touch and the flower will grow even if you plant it in a small flowerpot.

Lotus of the Princess

This type of lotus has about 18 petals per bloom and leaves that are slightly coarse. It is deep red in color, has distinct striations, and it blooms from late July to early September. It has great flower production and the color will certainly catch your attention.

Lotus of the Wisteria Court

With 20 to 25 petals per bloom, this lotus is one of the largest of the Japanese lotus flowers. The petals are 10 inches in diameter and its leaves are coarse to the touch. It blooms from late July to mid August and has distinct striations and very large petals.

Momo Botan (Nelumbo)

Growing up to two feet in height, the Momo Botan is one of the best lotus flowers when it comes to blooming. The double petals are a rose-pink color and it has a long blooming season. In addition, this type of lotus has petals that stay open all day long and it looks beautiful in small to medium ponds and in containers.

Mrs. Perry D. Slocum (Nelumbo)

Growing up to four feet in height, this beautiful lotus has large double petals that open up a dark pink, then change to pink, yellow, and, finally, creamy yellow by the third day. The flower is so beautiful and eye-catching that a lot of people assume it’s an artificial flower when they first see it.

Nail Red Bowl Lotus

With creamy white leaves and reddish-pink tips, it is about the size of a small rice bowl and blooms heavily each August. The leaves are slightly coarse to the touch and it produces massive amounts of flowers when it blooms.

Parrot’s Beak (Lotus berthelotii)

The winner of several international flower awards, this flower has narrow leaves that are silver-grey in color and bright crimson flowers. They grow up to one foot in height and three feet in width and butterflies and hummingbirds love them. They look beautiful in Mediterranean and rock gardens and are also deer-resistant.

Perry’s Giant Sunburst (Nelumbo)

This type of lotus has large, cup-shaped, double-flower petals that appear on very sturdy stems right above the foliage once summer comes. Each of the flowers blooms for three days but closes up at night. After the flowers, a nut-like fruit appears in a receptacle that resembles a watering can. The flowers are also very fragrant and smell wonderful.

Red Lotus of Tatsuta

With about 18 petals per flower, they are deep red in color and have very distinct striations. It has a receptacle that is earth-toned in color and the inner petals have tips that are peaked. This type of lotus can also add a spicy taste to various foods.

Red Lotus of The Shine

With good flower production, this flower was specifically developed as a lotus flower. Its petals are light pinkish-red with darker red tips and a yellow center. Its leaves are roughly 16 inches high and its petals are eye-catching and elegant.

Red Lotus of Yohzan

With a very strong and tall step, this lotus is red in color with distinct striations and is an elegant, eye-catching look. It has about 25 petals per bloom and the red is a very dark, crimson-like red.

Red Lotus at Yushan

A semi-double flower with roughly 30 petals per bloom, this type of lotus blooms from mid July to late August. It has a deep pink color that fades quickly and leaves that are roughly two feet high with a slightly coarse feel when you touch them.

Rosea Plena (Nelumbo – Roseum Plenum)

An aquatic, flowering plant, the Rosea Plena lotus has leaves that are two feet wide and the plant itself gets up to two feet high. It is very fragrant and its single petals are usually pink in color but they can also be a rose-pink or white in color for the double-petal varieties. The flower blooms for three days, closing each night, then grows a woody and ornamental-looking fruit. Its tubers and seeds are used in Chinese cooking and there is a dwarf plant being developed for containers and small ponds.

Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

Because it can grow from even muddy ponds and rise to above the surface of the water, this type of lotus is sacred in East India. The leaves are easy to keep clean because it is difficult to wet them and the petals themselves are either pink or white and can get up to 13 inches in diameter. Also known as the Bean of India or the Indian Lotus, all parts of the plant are used in some way throughout Asia, including the roots, leaves, seeds, and stamen for food or snacks.

Sacred Pink (Nelumbo – Nucifera speciosum)

This is a beautiful pink-and-white lotus that grows up to four feet high and is considered very important in many Eastern religions. It is thought to have mystical effects and is perfect for zones 4-11.

Sunflower Lotus

The Sunflower lotus is free-flowering, has deep pink blossoms, and is perfect for small to medium water gardens and for containers. Best when planted in zones 4-11, the flower needs full sun and grows to five feet in height. It is a very showy lotus that is sure to be noticed.

White Lotus

Elegant-looking and known as the Tiger Lotus or the White Water Lily, it has large, beautiful white petals that sit atop a lily pad. It is part of the Nymphaeaceae family and is very popular in aquariums and in ponds.

White Lotus of Bowl

With large, single petals that are white in color, this flower has leaves that are eight inches in size and they grow profusely where they’re planted. They also have large, long thorns on the stem and the outer edges of the petals are somewhat peaked.

Yellow Lotus of The Shine

This lotus is a crossbreed developed in 1968 and has white petals with pink-red tips and a bright yellow center. Even when placed in a flowerpot, you can count on seeing two or three flowers every season. The petal is six inches in width and the leaves are about one foot in height, making it quite striking.

Growing Lotus

Growing from Seed

1. Scrape the seed with a file - Using a standard metal file, scrape the hard seed casing to reveal the cream-colored core. Do not file any of the core away or else your lotus will not grow. Filing away the outer casing allows water to reach the core.

  • If you don't have a metal file handy, you can use any sharp knife or even rub the seed against concrete. Just be careful not to scrape away too much of the seed.

2. Place your seeds in warm water - Use a glass or transparent plastic container so that you can see when the seeds start to sprout. Fill the container with dechlorinated water between 75 and 80 °F (24 and 27 °C).

  • After a day of soaking, the seeds will sink to the bottom and swell to nearly twice their original size. Seeds that float are almost always infertile. Remove them or they will cloud up the water.

  • Change the water daily, even after the seeds have started to sprout. When you remove the seedlings to change the water, treat the sprouts with care – they are very delicate.

3. Fill a 3 to 5 US gal (11 to 19 L) container with 6 in (15 cm) of deep soil -This size typically provides enough room for a young lotus to grow. A black plastic bucket will retain heat to better warm the seedlings.

  • Ideally, your soil should be 2 parts clay and 1 part river sand. If you use commercial potting soil to topsoil for houseplants, it will float to the surface once you submerge your tub in water.

  • Make sure the container you choose does not have any drainage holes. The plant may gravitate toward the drainage hole and begin growing outside of it, causing the plant to underperform.

4. Remove seedlings from water once they are 6 inches (15 cm) long - Your seeds should start to sprout after 4 or 5 days of soaking. However, if you transfer them to the potting container to early, they will likely fail.

  • If you wait too long, your seedlings will start to grow leaves. You can still plant them – just take care to keep the leaves free of the soil.

5. Press the sprouted seeds into the soil about 4 inches (10 cm) apart - You don't have to bury the seeds in the soil. Set them just on top, then brush a light layer of soil over them to secure them. They will take root on their own.

  • It can be a good idea to wrap a small amount of modeling clay around the bottom of each seed to anchor it with a little weight. When you lower your container into the pond, an unanchored seed may find its way out of the soil and float up to the surface of the water.

6. Lower the pot into your pond - Lotus are aquatic plants, so the soil should always have at least 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) of water above it. If you have taller plants, the water can be up to 18 inches (46 cm) deep. Dwarf lotus need water between 2 and 12 inches (5.1 and 30.5 cm) deep.

  • The water should be at least 70 °F (21 °C). If you live in an area with a relatively cooler climate, shallower water will provide extra warmth for your lotus.

  • Lotus grown from seed rarely bloom in their first year. You should also keep fertilizer to a minimum during this first year. Allow your lotus to acclimate to its environment.

Growing from Tuber

1. Purchase tubers in early spring - You can buy lotus tubers online, or at a local nursery or garden center. Because of difficulty shipping, they are typically not available after they break dormancy in late spring. However, you may be able to buy some that have been grown locally.

  • For rarer hybrids, you may have to shop online. If there is a water gardening society with a chapter near you, ask them for recommendations. Some societies also sell plants themselves.

2. Float the tuber in a bowl in water between 75 and 87 °F (24 and 31 °C) - Place your tuber gently on the surface of the water. Place your bowl near a warm, sunny window, but out of direct sunlight.

  • If you're planning on moving the lotus to a pond, use water from the pond (as long as it's warm enough). Change the water every 3 to 7 days, or if it starts to appear cloudy.

3. Choose a round container 3 to 4 ft (0.91 to 1.22 m) in diameter - If set loose, a lotus will grow as large as the area in which it is planted. Your container reins the lotus in and keeps it from taking over your whole pond.

  • A deep container will decrease the chance that your lotus spills over the top and spreads across the pond. Round containers keep your lotus from getting jammed up in a corner, which can stunt or kill the plant.

4. Fill your container with dense soil - A good potting medium for lotus is a soil mixture about 60 percent clay and 40 percent river sand. Leave about 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) between the top of the soil and the rim of your container.

  • You can also use amended soil, with a separate layer of sand 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) deep on top. Make sure there is still sufficient space between the top of the sand layer and the rim of your container.

5. Press the tuber into the top of the soil - Embed your tuber slightly in the sand, then carefully weigh it down with rocks so that it won't float up to the surface of the water before it takes root.

  • Do not bury the tuber completely in the soil – it will rot. Make sure it's embedded only slightly at the surface.

6. Lower your container 6 to 12 in (15 to 30 cm) below the surface of your pond - Choose a sunny spot for your lotus that is away from flowing water and will give your lotus enough room to grow. Once your tuber is secured in place, you can lower it into the location you've chosen to plant your lotus.

  • Once seated in the pond, the tuber plants itself by turning downward into the soil mixture and growing roots.

Care for Lotus

1. Maintain a water temperature of at least 70 °F (21 °C) - Active growth begins when the surface water reaches this temperature. Your lotus needs warm water to grow to its fullest potential. Ideally, the air temperature should be at least 70 °F (21 °C) as well.

  • The lotus will start to send up leaves after a few days in water above 70 °F (21 °C). It blooms after 3 to 4 weeks in water above 80 °F (27 °C).

  • Check your water temperature every other day. If you live in a cooler climate, you may need a heater for your pond to maintain the appropriate temperature.

2. Keep your lotus in direct sunlight - Lotus plants thrive in full sun, requiring at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If your pond is partially shaded, you may want to prune or remove surrounding foliage that blocks out the sun.

  • In North America, the lotus typically blooms from mid-June or mid-July through early autumn. The blossoms open early in the morning and start closing mid-afternoon. Individual blossoms last 3 to 5 days, then molt. The process repeats through the remaining months of active growth.

3. Prune dying blossoms and yellow or damaged leaves - If your lotus starts to take over your pond, you can also cut away new growth, but keep in mind it will grow again until the lotus is repotted in spring.

  • Never cut flower or leaf stems below water level. Roots and tubers use stems for oxygen.

4. Use pond tabs to fertilize your lotus - Pond tablets are fertilizer made especially for aquatic plants. Wait until your tuber has developed at least 6 leaves before fertilizing it, and don't place the fertilizer directly against the tuber itself.

  • Small lotus varieties only need 2 tablets, while larger varieties may need as many as 4. Add fertilizer once every 3 or 4 weeks, stopping in mid-July. If you continue to fertilize your lotus past this point, it won't be able to prepare for dormancy.

  • If you grew your lotus from seed, don't fertilize it during its first year.

5. Watch for pests - While pests vary depending on your geographic location, aphids and caterpillars may be attracted to lotus leaves. Applying a small amount of powdered pesticide directly to the leaves will protect your lotus plant from these pests.

  • Liquid pesticides, even organic ones, have oils and detergents that can damage your lotus.

6. Move your lotus to deeper water in the fall - Lotus plants can spend the winter in ponds as far north as Michigan or Minnesota as long as the pond is deep enough to protect the tubers from ice. The tuber should at least be below the frost line, a depth that varies depending on where you live.

  • If your pond is relatively shallow, you can remove the container and leave it in a garage or basement until spring. Mulch around any above-ground pots to keep the tubers warm.

7. Repot the tuber every year - In early spring, when you spot the first sign of new growth, give your lotus fresh soil and return it to the original container (unless the container is damaged). Replace it in your pond at the same depth it was before.

  • If your lotus took over your pond the previous year, inspect the container for cracks. You may want to get a larger container to better hold the lotus, if it grew over the rim.

Pests & Diseases


  • Aphids

  • Honeydew

  • Whiteflies

  • Spider mites

  • Leaf miners

  • Beetles

  • Gnats


  • Powdery mildew

  • Fusarium Wilt

  • Fungal disease

  • Root rot

  • Black spots

  • Damping off

  • Yellow leaves

Benefits and Uses of Lotus

The lotus is also a good medicine used for worship and decoration. In addition to flowers, lotus seeds, leaves, stalks, roots and tubers can also be used medicinally.

  • If there is bleeding from the uterus, keep eating lotus infusion. It is effective even if there is bleeding during pregnancy.

  • Eating dried lotus and drinking boiled water of lotus increases sperm count.

  • Honey from the lotus is a special medicine for eye diseases. The honey of the lotus is an ingredient in many medicines

  • To remove body odor, dry petals of the lotus, the petals of the rose, and apply the mixture to the body. This will keep the body warm; It also helps to get rid of sweat.

  • Mixture of the dried lotus and add one teaspoon each to milk to increase body strength.

  • For cracks on the skin, apply the mixture of lotus, gooseberry, and sandalwood.

  • Lotus syrup is a remedy for hemorrhoids and dehydration in women.

  • Applying a mixture of lotus leaves and gooseberry is a relief for headaches.

  • Roasting the stamens of the lotus and the underside of the lotus will cure diarrhea.

  • Fry a cup of lily petals and a cup of rose petals and set aside. Dissolve three tablespoon of sugar powder in enough water and heat it with two cardamom powder. Add roasted lotus and rose petals and fry well. Take one teaspoon twice a day to relieve urinary infections. And eliminates body fatigue.

Lotus Seed Medications

Soak the lotus seeds in hot water for some time. After that, and eat it with grinded seeds of lotus and sugar, diarrhea will subside. Researchers also say that neferine, an alkaloid ingredient in lotus, which is a precautionary measure against cancer. The seeds can be applied for leprosy and other skin diseases.

Medicinal properties of Lotus leaves

  • According to Chinese folk medicine, lotus leaves and roots can be boiled in water to regulate the menstrual cycle.

  • Mix lotus leaves and green tea and apply it to the face to get rid of acne. It can be used for dehydration and inflammation.

  • The leaves can be rubbed on the scalp for headaches.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All