Today, I am going to share with you how to grow a lotus at home from seeds. Lotus seeds are really hard and will stay in a sleep state for a long time until the nature intervenes and wake it up & asks it to grow. To grow it into a plant, you have to take out a bit of the seed coating by scoring it with either a nail file or sandpaper.
I have been successful with my experiment to grow a lotus plant from its seeds. I not only grew 1 lotus plant. But now have about 5-6 of them.
By personal experience, I found out that to scar/ scratch/ scour the seed coat against a nail file takes ages. It took me about 30 minutes to scar 1 seed. Scaring the seed with a nail file takes only minutes. You need to scar the seeds till the white portion inside the brown coat can be seen. Please be careful when scaring seeds. Make sure you don’t scar your fingers too. :P
Before you start preparing your seeds for germination, do this simple test. Take all your lotus/ nelumbo seeds and soak it in water. The ones that floats will not germinate as those are either too old or spoilt seeds. The seeds that settle down in water have the chances to survive.
There are 3 places where you can scar the seeds.
1) on the rounded/ dimpled side of the seed.
2) on the side of the seed.
3) on the pointed side of the seed.
To check which way worked better, I tried all 3 methods. I even used the floating seeds. The floating seeds and the seeds scored on the rounded side did not germinate. The best ones were the seeds that I scared on the pointed side.
To scar the seed, hold the seed with your thumb and pointy finger and start rubbing it against the sandpaper. As soon as you see about 5mm of the white seed portion stop the process and keep it aside. Repeat this with all the seeds.
Now, take warm water. The water that you use must be any one of the below options:
1) Pond Water
2) Natural spring water
3) Rain water
4) Bawdi/ Well water
5) Natural Water – river water, etc
Do not use chlorinated or processed water as it will most probably hinder in the seed germination process.
Place the seeds into a bowl filled with warm water in indirect sunlight. The water should be slightly warm such that it can be easily touched. If it is too hot, then the seeds will be cooked. if it is too cold then the germination process might not happen or will be delayed.
In the nature, the lotus propagates more easily and faster with its tubers. The lotus plant which is grown with seed germination will take longer to flower than the plant which already has a tuber. The lotus plant will only flower after its tuber is formed. So it will probably be a year or 2 before you see a lotus bloom on your plant using the seed germination method.
After 24 hours, you will notice that the seeds have become larger in size and the color of the water will be brownish/ murky. Also, the seeds will be slimy. Just clean it with your hands and water. Do not worry, this is just a part of the process.
It is not necessary to place it in warm water after the first day. The warm water is only used for easy sprouting of the seeds. Within 2-3 days, you will see sprouts coming out of your lotus seeds.
Change the water in the bowl everyday till you see at least 1 open leaf emerge from your lotus seeds. Once you see that, put the lotus plant in a large container or a pond whichever is accessible to you.
To see a lotus germinate is a profound experience. I hope you have this experience too & share it with others. Enjoy!!!