Nelumbo nucifera, also known as Indian lotus, sacred lotus, or simply lotus, is one of two extant aquatic plant species in the family Nelumbonaceae. It is sometimes colloquially called a water lily, though this more often refers to members of the family Nymphaeaceae. Lotus plants are adapted to grow in the flood plains of slow-moving rivers and delta areas. Stands of lotus drop hundreds of thousands of seeds every year to the bottom of the pond. While some sprout immediately, and most are eaten by wildlife, the remaining seeds can remain dormant for an extended period as the pond silts in and dries out. During flood conditions, sediments containing these seeds are broken open, and the dormant seeds rehydrate and begin a new lotus colony.
Why is the lotus the national flower of India?
Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.
India is rich in flora. Currently available data place India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. From about 70 percent of the geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial. India is rich in flora.
Parts of lotus
Types of lotus-
Where do they grow?
More than anything else, the lotus flower has cultural and spiritual significance to the areas where it grows naturally. The natural growing range of these plants extends across Australia, Russia, China, and Iran.
You're right if you think these are all very different climates. This is the first sign that the resilience and hardiness of this plant are pretty extreme, and it is not at all common in the plant world.
The lotus flower is one of nature's most beautiful creations. Nelumbo has existed on the earth for thousands of years, and their distribution is widespread. They grow in various climates from South America to Russia and everywhere. Countries such as India, China, Japan, and Korea regard the lotus as sacred in Asia. In North America, the lotus ranges from Southern California to Canada. And in Australia, you can grow lotus from the tropics of North Queensland to the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania.
There are two types of lotus, the tropical and the perennial temperate varieties. Both species look almost the same; the main difference is the standard type grows all year round, and the perennial varieties go dormant during the cooler months and re-shoot in spring.
The lotus comes in various sizes, with some varieties reaching 6 feet high (in dams and lakes), while other miniature types grow happily in a 6-inch bowl. In other words, there's a lotus to suit every situation. The lotus can be grown in various ways, from free-standing bowls on your patio to a pond in your backyard or a large earth lake on your property.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR GROWING LOTUS:
GROWING LOTUS IN POTS, BOWLS & PLANTERS:
Lotus are perennial plants that shoot in spring, then flower during summer & autumn before going dormant in winter. Lotus needs 6 hours of direct sunlight to bloom, so when deciding on a position for your new plant, make sure it has plenty of sunshine. Secondly, Lotus are water plants; if you're growing them in a pot or bowl, ensure you keep the water level 5cm over the soil but DON'T submerge the leaves. Regular tap water is acceptable to use. It's also essential to re-pot your lotus into a larger pot or bowl after your purchase. We suggest bowls and pots wider than 40cm with a depth of 20cm for small varieties and 80cm wide with a depth of 30cm for more extensive types.
To re-pot your lotus carefully, remove the plant from the nursery pot and DON'T disturb the ROOTS. Then place your plant in the middle of your new wide pot or bowl. Carefully put topsoil (good garden soil) around the lotus and fill the container 1/3rd with the ground, DON'T use a potting mix. Then add 3 cm of pea gravel over the soil and fill the pot or bowl with water; remember, DON'T submerge growing leaves. Fertilise with unique lotus satchels once a year between December and January. To fertilise, push the bag into the edge of the bowl or pot until it reaches the soil's bottom. Now a guide of how much fertiliser to use is…
Bowl/Pot 40cm – 60cm wide: 1 satchel.
Bowl/Pot over 80cm wide: 2 pouches.