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Plant of the Week: Nelumbo Nucifera

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Hello sweet flowers! I'm back with a new post and this time I chose a favorite of two of my most loyal readers (who are also my friends). I'd like to dedicate this post to Skyne and Csi12asa. ♥

 

Nelumbo Nucifera, most commonly known as Lotus or Sacred Lotus is an acquatic flowering plant, which belongs to the Nelumbonaceae family and NOT the Nyphaeaceae (Water Lilies) family. Gosh, these Latin names are so hard to write. Even I mispell them.

This indescribably-beautiful flower is native to Asia and is the national flower of India (which by the way, in Hindu, a Lotus is called Padma) and the flower associated with Buddhism. According to a Buddhist legend, the flower represents life, purity of the body and mind, and enlightment. It grows in the mud, representing attachment and desire, then it rises through the water, which represents life, and finally rises above the muddy water unstained, pure. It represents the enlightment.

In Hinduism, the Goddess Lakshmi is usually represented sitting or standing on a lotus flower and holding two lotuses. According to Csi12asa, the lotus in Hinduism also represents purity and the number of flowers and the goddess' position and items she's holding vary from culture to culture in India. 

Now, back to the main point, the plant.

As you probably have guessed, it grows in muddy waters, as a marginal plant, meaning it grows on the margins of lakes or low level or almost flat bodies of water. I've seen people growing them in a pot with constantly wet soil and they seem to enjoy it as much, so it can be quite an easy garden plant (or not, depending if you make the same mistake as I did).

In 2017, I ordered 3 lotus seeds, and  plant sellers are always so kind and actually gift you more than you buy. I got 20! The same with the Plumeria seeds, I ordered 3 too (because seeds online are usually a bit pricy for what I expect a seed to be) and I got over 20 as well. Sadly in both cases, they didn't live long in the experiments I tried to do during winter, growing them inside. I will try to plant the lotus seeds this month since hot weather is coming back and who knows, maybe this time they will thrive outside and not in a mason jar on the windowsill. I'll also try and plant them directly in the mud in a container and not have them grow in the jar containing only tap water. LOL--wish me luck!

Anyway, to plant them, all you have to do is scratch the pointy end with a nail file until you spot the lighter brown color from the inside. Then stop, otherwise you risk opening the seed too much and it can rot and die. You can try and grow them in a glass jar or vase like I first tried, but the leaves became dry as soon as they rise above the water, so  maybe they need a larger container to float before actually rising. I don't know, really. This is a plant I'm still experimenting with. Luckly I still have 15 seeds. I suppose as soon as the plant produces more leaves and feels established, we could move it to a glass vase with pebbles and have it on our living room by a sunny (west facing) window or if we are to have them outside, I might as well just directly try with the mud.

Lotus flowers are very large and can be pink (my favorite), white, red or "blue", which is more of a purpleish blue, much like the Egyptian blue water lily, which isn't exactly blue, at least to me. And when you buy seeds, there's NO guarantee they will have flowers of the color you bought. Nature is that random, yes.  From my experience, they won't take long to produce the first leaves, which are peltate circular. Mine sprouted them two weeks after scratching the seed with the nail file. I then made the mistake to plant them in a muddy container when the leaves sprouted and they couldn't handle it, they weren't used to it, I suppose. As the plant grows, the roots develp a rizome and soon enough they will fill your container with lots of leaves, they are very quick! They can also handle cold climates, as long as it's not permanent. So North and Northeastern Europe might be out of the question, unless you can have them inside for other seasons than summer. Back to the flowers, they have serveral petals that open to reveal a seed capsule which is yellow and becomes green when the flower is pollinated and the petals fall, then it becomes brown as as sign the seeds are ripe. They will, with the help of birds and the wind, fall in the water and a new cycle begins. 

इसमें पोस्ट की गई:newsflowersuser contentenplantsoipyplant of the weekgreen goddesslotusCsi12asaSkyne
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