Lotus: National flower of India – Beautiful and perfect aquatic plant
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They are aquatic plants with beautiful flowers. The plants are grown easily from the seeds and tubers. They have both commercial and cultural significance. It can be grown in home as well in a big plastic tub or in a cement pot.
Quick Details of Lotus
|Other Common Names||Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, Egyptian Bean, Lotus|
|Type||Flowering water plant (outdoor).|
|Light||Bright direct light|
|Water||It is a water plant|
|Temperature||Can survive harsh climate|
|Soil||Any garden soil or clay soil|
|Common Diseases||Brown blotch, lotus rot, black spot.|
|Scientific name||Nelumbo Nucifera|
Overview of Lotus
They are aquatic plants belonging to the family of Nelumbonaceae. The roots are planted in the soil submerged in water and the leaves grow above the water. The flowers are mostly pink in color and are present at the center of the plant. They are present on the tip of a thick stem that grows a few centimetres above the leaves.
The stem of the plant is rich in potassium and vitamin C. They are grown as ornamental plants. cultivated for their medicinal properties and cultural significance and also grown as a vegetable. It is the national flower of India
Usage and Advantage of Lotus
- The lotus shoot and root are consumed.
- The flowers are sacred and offered to God.
- The lotus plants have cultural and religious significance in the Hindu mythology.
- The plant is used in traditional medicine to reduce blood sugar levels, stomach ailments, and relieve inflammation.
- They are used as a cure for acne.
- It is used in Chinese medicine to ease menstrual pain and excess bleeding
General Care for Lotus
Soil: The plants grow best in a soil that is a mixture of clay and river soil or any garden soil. The clay soil can be mixed or topped with any potting soil or garden soil
Light: They prefer bright direct sunlight. Cannot survive cold conditions
Watering: They are aquatic and require to be present inside water with a minimum height of 20-30 cm above the soil bed. They cannot withstand very cold conditions and therefore the water should be warm.
Pruning: The plants spread very fast. The excess growth can be pruned or removed to prevent the spread of the plants. The leaves can be cut down to provide proper aeration. Dense growth can cause diseases. The yellow leaves and stems can be removed to have a healthy plant.
Fertilizer: They can be fed with any liquid fertilizer rich in nitrogen and sulfur. The plants grow vigorously hence twice the amount of fertilizer can be added for proper growth.
Pests and other problems for Lotus
Lotus brown blotch disease: The leaves show brown coloured blotches or spots. This can lead to withering of the leaves. This can be caused due to overcrowding of the plants.
Control: Proper aeration can prevent the cause of blotches. Removal of the disease leaves and addition of phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizers can reduce the cause.
Black spot diseases: Deep dark spots are seen on the leaves which further spread. This can cause the leaves to wither.
Rot: This affects the under-ground stem. The plants wither and die. Usually seen in fields that have been growing the plants continuously for 3 to 4 years. This can be prevented by crop rotation.
Some of the common pests include aphids, moths, pear green moths etc
Addition of fertilizers, insecticides can prevent the occurrence and spread of most of the diseases.
Propagation of Lotus
The lotus plants can be grown from the seeds or the tuber.
Seeds: The outer tough cover of the seeds can be scraped out and the seeds are soaked in warm water. The seeds start to swell in a few days and sink to the bottom. The seeds are let to sprout. The water can be changed regularly. Once the seeds sprout and grow to a height of 6 inches the seeds can be removed and either simply placed on the soil submerged in water or buried ½ inch below the ground. The soil used should be a mix of clay and sand or any garden soil. The seeds will start forming roots and grow. The pot/ pond should have a minimum of 3-5 inches of water above the soil.
Tubers/ rhizomes: The tuber is placed on the surface of the water and let to grow. The water should be warm and should be placed in a spot with enough sunlight. The water should be changed regularly. Once the tip starts to grow a new shoot, the tuber is pressed on the surface of soil, which contains almost 40% garden soil and 60% clay. This can further be submerged into a water present in the vessel or the pond.