Under What Conditions Do Lotus Flowers Germinate?

The lotus flower blooms in calm waters and is native to eastern parts of the world, such as Japan. The petals of the lotus bloom in white or pink, and offer a starburst effect when fully open. You do not, however, have to live in places like the Far East in order to grow these delicate flowers. Under the proper conditions, a lotus flower will be able to germinate and bloom into a full grown plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Warm water
  • Cup
  • Thermometer
  • Clean sponge
  • 8-inch diameter pot
  • Heavy loam soil


    • 1

      Hold the lotus flower seed with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Scour the side of the seed coat with an 80-grit sandpaper to wear away only the top layer of the seed on that side. The seed coat must be penetrated in order for germination to take place. After a while, the surface becomes flat and shiny.

    • 2

      Continue rubbing the seed coat in the one spot until you break through the tough exterior and see a white-lined circle or oval. This indicates that you've successfully penetrated the seed coat, and it is time to stop scouring. If you suddenly notice a clear cream color coming through, you have gone too deep into the seed. You might still be able to germinate this seed, but it makes the seed vulnerable to infection.

    • 3

      Set the lotus flower seed in a cup of warm water. Check the water temperature with a thermometer to maintain a constant temperature of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the water is a contributing factor to the success of the germination process.

    • 4

      Change the water on a consistent basis, especially if it becomes murky or cloudy. Cloudiness is a sign of bacteria that could form a film in the water and delay germination. The size of the cup and the volume of water are factors that contribute to how fast the cloudiness and filmy scum develop. This effect can be delayed or reduced by setting the lotus seed in a larger cup with a greater water volume. Aside from changing out the water, scrub the walls of the cup with a clean sponge to remove any filmy residue or buildup.

    • 5

      Monitor the lotus flower seed to track its progress in the germination stage. Notice the seed double in size within a matter of days, and take on the consistency of leather. This swelling can cause the seed to float up to the surface of the water. After this point, inactivity is a normal part of the process. You will not notice any further changes for days or even weeks, until the seed is ready to sprout.

    • 6

      Wait for the seed coat to split open, starting from the dimpled end down. As separation occurs you will begin to see the green embryo. After the folded stem protrudes from the shell, carrying the first leaf with it, you know that the seed is germinating. The stem will eventually unfold itself and become straight, and grow 8 to 15 inches long. Once the leaf is unfurled and pushed to the surface, the seed is ready to be planted or relocated, even though no roots have formed yet. It's actually more beneficial to plant or relocate the seed before the root system develops, in order to prevent root damage.

    • 7

      Transfer the seed to a heavy loam soil-filled pot that has at least an 8-inch surface diameter with a minimum depth of 5 inches. This measurement ensures the seedling has enough room to adequately grow and sprout as it continues the germination process. The soil-filled pot is an intermittent step before you plant the flower in its final location outdoors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keeping the cup and pot next to a window where it will get natural sunshine can help expedite the germination process.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

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