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Apricot Blossom Lotus is AWESOME! Breathtaking 1st day flower is orange-red and each day the flower changes, finally the last day flower is white with pink tips. Absolutely magical! The carpels are bubbled which add interest. This lotus plant will look heavenly in your water garden setting and watching the lotus flowers progress each day is amazing!
1. Take a 14 - 24 inch wide, or wider, no holes container filled with 2/3 topsoil mixed with 1/3 pool filter sand,(this mix should hold together if you grab it).
2. Dig a trench with your hand through the soil for the long bottom part of the tuber to be placed in the soil. Now gently place the tuber in the trench and carefully cover in the sections between the growth tips which will remain sticking up above the soil.
3. You may place ONE single stone between two growth tips to prevent the tuber from floating once the pot is submerged.
4. Gently fill container with 2 - 4 inches of water. OR, when you are submerging in your pond--only allow two to four inches of water above the surface of the soil.
5. Place in Full Sun (8 - 12 hours of sunlight daily. Lotus need LOTS of sun and room to bloom.
*Many gardeners do not plant their lotus plants in adequately wide containers and get few flowers or only leaves because of the cramped growing space. The more room and leaves the plant produces, the more sugar those leaves can produce--the more lotus flowers in the sunlight the leaves can provide sugar for, along with the proper nutrition.
Fertilize only AFTER you have established plant with 2 standing aerial leaves.
Fertilize monthly with pond tabs. The first one or two treatments can be a small dose of only one or two tablets as to not burn the plant.
As you get more leaves standing high above the surface on a dwarf or medium plant you can increase fertilizer to 4 pond tablets or more ever two to three weeks as you see fit but be sure not to overfeed a lotus. You can always test the plant by giving it two tablets per week and never push the tablets into a root and break the root, gently choose a spot away from the root if you run into the root system. generally the roots grow at the very edge of the containers round and round like a wreath.
When to Re-pot a Lotus
You will want to re-pot your lotus plants every two years in spring BEFORE they break dormancy as they will generally run out of soil and become overgrown after two seasons. Only the white tubers in the root mass need replanted, the old black thin rotting roots are no longer alive or growing.
What Is Loam Soil?
If you are lucky enough to have good topsoil in your backyard, by all means, use your topsoil. All you will have to do is add fertilizer. If you are not so lucky--and your backyard is sand or heavy red or yellow clay, you can mix up a batch of loam soil.
You can create your own loam soil by mixing these two ingredients together
Mix together thoroughly with a little water. Your soil should clump when squeezed. If your soil is mixed properly, it will not muddy your pond water.
You can purchase inexpensive bags Topsoil at Lowes or Home-Depot. Good soil clumps together as a ball in your hand with only a little moisture.
Don't buy brands like Scott's or Miracle-Gro, as they will contain too much organic matter that can foul your water. Buy an unbranded bag of topsoil instead.
You can purchase Pool Filter Sand at any store that sells pool supplies.
Loam soil is well suited for all aquatic plants (except oxygenators). Oxygenators rarely need to be planted, just anchored in the substrate or in a container filled with sand or 1/8 inch pea gravel.
Sand holds little water but does allow for aeration and drainage.
Some DO's and DON'TS regarding Aquatic Planting Soil
DO NOT use potting soils ( as they are too light and will float right out of the pot). Potting Soil has organic material that will rot and foul your water!
DO NOT add too much composted material (as it is too rich in organic matter and it will ferment underwater and destroy the ecology of your pond).
DO NOT use 100% calcined clay as there is no nutritional value in calcined clay.
DO NOT add rocks, stones or pebbles to the top of your planting container as this will inhibit the growth of your plants. Plants do not grow in rocks and stones in nature!
DO NOT purchase API Aquatic Planting Media or Microbe-lift Aquatic Planting Media as these products are NOT suitable for waterlilies, lotus or most other pond plants. They are suitable for submerged grasses ONLY!
Bog Plants (Wetland Plants) prefer poor, acidic soil.
The texture of loam soil will retain nutrients and water as well as bind to the nutrients in your fertilizer, where they can deliver these nutrients to your plants. The Pool Filter Sand will allow some drainage and aeration Once you have created loam soil for your pond plants, you are ready to plant waterlilies, lotus and marginal plants in your water garden or pond. Enjoy!