Growing lotus tubers as an edible vegetable is very different than growing lotus as an ornamental flower. You must plant your vegetable tubers in large shallow ponds rather than pots or containers. Planting from vegetative tubers is preferable to planting lotus seeds. When planting from tubers, you will know what the desirable traits of the parent tubers will be. If you are interested in growing edible tubers, you will want to choose a large lotus specimen rather than a small one. Edible lotus tubers should be grown 2-4" in diameter for cooking purposes. Another reason lotus tubers are more preferable that growing from seed is that lotus tubers have multiple growing tips.
Create a large, shallow, natural bottom pond for your lotus tubers. The soil should be part heavy loam and part clay. Plant your lotus rhizomes in the shallow water of this pond, your rhizomes should have at least two growth tips. The rhizomes should be planted at a 15 degree angle in the soil, keeping the growth tips exposed. Keep shallow water above the rhizomes throughout the growing season.
Rhizomes begin to form at about the same rate that leaves appear on the plant.
Rhizomes may be harvested in late summer, early fall or in the spring BEFORE they break dormancy.
Lotus are considered a staple in many countries. Lotus can be found in many Asian cuisines. Lotus is included in many Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese recipes and dishes. All parts of the lotus can be used.