Big leaved tropical plants

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Lotus Seeds

Should you have ever wondered how to germinate lotus seeds, look no further. There are several varieties available for purchase but in case you wish to try before you buy there are cheap seeds available in Indian food shops. These were a pound (£) before the sell by date which wasn't much even then.

Lotus seeds in retail packaging

Germinating Lotus Seeds

Lotus seed being held between fingers and sawn with a hacksaw

  • Using a hacksaw, cut through the outer shell of the seed.

Sawn lotus seeds showing the white interior

  • Saw until the white interior shows through.

Step 2

Lotus seeds soaking in water.

  • Soak them in water.

Stems emerging from germinated lotus seeds

  • That's about it really. After just four days the seeds have germinated and are throwing out a stem.

Lotus shots reaching the surface

  • 19 days later and the lotus plants have reached the surface (vase height 30cm).

That's the easy bit. Transfering the lotus plants to a bucket in the greenhouse in March somehow did not live up to the plant's expectations. They each produced a single small leaf which slowly ebbed away and the plants just gave up. Perhaps if this had been carried out later in the summer things might have been different.

Stories exist of people having success in the Netherlands growing lotus to flower and successfully overwintering them outside. The process requires dedication and an awful lot of timber boards!

The alternative of course is to sell up and move somewhere truly tropical if you really want to grow lotus flowers.