The Lotus tuber must do all the work until the first two or three aerial leaves stand up above the surface of the water. The first few leaves will be coin leaves that sit on the surface of the water.The coin leaves are not what we are talking about when waiting to fertilize.
The first 1 or 2 fertilizer applications should be about half a dose. You can ruin a whole year of lotus enjoyment by over-fertilizing or fertilizing too soon.
We use, sell and recommend Waterlily World Fertilizer Tabs + Humates for your lotus as well as all of your other pond plants and waterlilies.
Fertilize with tablets every 2 - 3 weeks until late July or August 1st, at the latest.
Lotus will flower with lots of direct sunlight, in water that is not too deep or too cool, and wide pots with proper heavy loam soil. Never use potting soil. Do not apply gravel. DO NOT fertilize until you have aerial leaves growing out of the water.
the wider the container, the more flowers!
only 2 - 3 inches of water above roots*
Only 2 - 4 inches of water over roots*
Medium Lotus----14 - 24 inch wide containers
Only 3 - 7 inches of water over roots until it is well established, no more than 12 inches deep once established.
Tall Lotus---- 24 - 48 inch wide wide containers
Only 5 - 8 inches of water over roots when beginning tubers. 15 inches max, if in a very large pot with an established plant
Divide lotus pots every 2 years before they break dormancy in spring. The thick, hard fleshy tubers at the very bottom of the pot are new dormant plants, the part you keep. Everything black or mushy above them is no good. Be sure each section you divide has 2 or more unbroken chambers.