The lotus flower is a gorgeous plant that holds tremendous meaning in the eyes of Buddhists. The blossom represents purity of the body, mind and speech. It grows with the flower floating atop the water while its stem and roots reach down into the muddy ground underneath – much like the human attachment to feelings of desire. The following steps will guide you through the process of growing a lotus flower at home.
Step 1: Prepare the Lotus Seeds
Lotus seeds are large, brown and are harvested from within seed cones. You can gather seeds directly from the cone to plant. Keep in mind that the seeds should be taken as soon as the cone has dried otherwise they may be shaken out by the wind.
Using a metal file or similar tool, carefully grind down the pointed end of the seed. This is necessary to ensure that the flower will sprout instead of rotting.
Step 2: Soak the Lotus Seeds
Next, you will need a glass or container of warm, non-chlorinated water. Drop the seeds inside and allow them to begin soaking. If you notice any seeds floating on the surface, remove them. This is usually a sign that the seeds are infertile. Those that sink to the bottom should be kept.
If you want to make sure the floating seeds are infertile before discarding them, try filing the tip down further until you see the white interior. Then allow the seed to soak again. If it does not swell like the other seeds, then it is infertile. Infertile seeds should be removed to keep the water as clean and cloud-free as possible.
Step 3: Change Out Water & Monitor Lotus Growth
The water inside the container should be changed out every day. Continue doing this until the lotus seeds begin to sprout, usually after approximately 4 to 5 days. Keep in mind that the lotus sprouts should be handled with care because they are very delicate at this stage. Even if you see growth after 4 to 5 days, the seeds should continue to soak for a few additional days until they measure about 6 inches long.
Step 4: Plant Your Lotus Seeds
Choose a 3 to 5 gallon container to begin growing your lotus flowers in. Black plastic is often recommended because it holds heat better. The container should not have holes for draining because the seeds can get caught in the openings and not reach their fullest potential.
Fill your container with about 6 inches of soil. A mixture of 2 parts clay to 1 part river sand is recommended. Once your pot is prepared, carefully wrap a small amount of modeling clay around the shell of each seed to serve as an anchor. Do not apply clay to the sprout.
Press the seeds into the soil. They should be covered with a thin layer of soil but the sprout should remain uncovered. Once done, carefully lower your pot into a shallow body of water. This should be no deeper than 18 inches and at a temperature of about 70 degrees F. Now you can sit back and wait for your beautiful lotus flowers to blossom!