The aquatic environment
The lotus is a special type of flower that requires an almost completely watery habitat, as it grows naturally in small lakes or ponds. At home it is possible to recreate this type of environment using vases or generic containers with a depth of about 50 cm; the water destined to recreate the habitat must be enriched with dark peat (decaying organic material of plant origin, in which the plant remains are not identifiable) and changed at least once a week. The ideal water temperature instead is around 30 degrees (so, in the case of outdoor cultivation, it is advisable to proceed in the spring period), but the flower resists even at much lower temperatures, up to about -15 degrees , provided however that the water does not form too thick a layer of ice.
How to cure the lotus flower
First of all, you can decide to grow the lotus flower starting from the tuber or from the seed. In the first case, it will be necessary to immerse the tuber inside the vase full of water or the pond in which the ideal habitat of the plant will be recreated; the tuber will float, and should only be anchored to the surface of the pot or pond when it has developed green elements. For the actual growth of the flower it will take about 2 months. In the second case it is instead advisable to check the behavior of the seed which is in contact with the water: if it sinks, it will probably give life to a lotus flower; vice versa, it is better to choose to use another seed. The seeds should initially be placed in a container full of slightly calcareous water and a few centimeters of peat, while once the tuber develops follow the previous instructions. The lotus, once flowered, requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight; moreover, despite resisting very low temperatures, it fears ice: therefore it is advisable to prevent the formation of too thick a layer of ice, which would certainly bring the plant to death.
How to fertilize the lotus flower
If you decide to cultivate the lotus flower from the seed, during the first year of cultivation it is not necessary to use fertilizers; as for the tubers, fertilization must be carried out during the spring period (although it is not strictly necessary, but it can favor the propagation of plants and the more luxuriant growth of flowers) by using a fertilizer suitable for aquatic plants. These types of fertilizers, very rich in all organic and mineral substances, must be slow-release, guaranteeing a constant supply of nutrients during the sun exposure phase. The ideal fertilizers for this plant are bovine or equine manure - in proportion 2:10 compared to the amount of land - and must be well anchored to the bottom of the pot or pond. The preferred form is the conical one.
Lotus: Diseases and pests
The lotus is a flower capable of living in the most adverse situations and therefore has a natural resistance to pathogens and diseases, however it is important to eliminate the already damaged leaves as they could represent a weak point of the flower and become a vehicle for infections. Another potential weak point of the plant - a situation to be avoided - is root rot, which risks compromising the natural defenses of the flower; this condition can be easily solved by regularly changing the water in the container. The insects that can attack the lotus flower are mainly aphids (also called plant lice) or cochineals, which can be eliminated either by chemical methods using pesticides or by biological methods. It is advisable to perform a preventive cure for the spread of insects during the winter.