Dividing lotus and lilies

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by EricV, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. EricV

    EricV

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    Thinking ahead a bit, obviously, since there is about 6" of ice on my pond. :)

    My pond has been up and running about 1 1/2 seasons, so my lilies definitely have to be divided this year. It seems I can do this any time I like, right? Right now they are just a bit to deep in the pond to pull out and stay dry with my chest waders on, so I'd like to wait until the water warms up to where I'm not freezing.

    I also put in a lotus in about May of last year. Looking at the pattern of the stalks, it looks like it made its way all around the pot (24" maybe) but it didn't fill in the center. Does this need to be divided each year or can I wait a year or two still? When I do get around to dividing the lotus, can I put two tubers in the pot so it's not so sparse?
     
    EricV, Jan 28, 2018
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  2. EricV

    Lisak1

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    I can advise on lilies - divide them any time. Divide them hard. Be firm with them or they will rule your life! haha! You need one good tuber with a growing tip in a pot - maybe two if it's a large pot - and you'll have another hardy and hale plant growing in no time. When you re-pot, add some good fertilizer to the mix and you'll be all set. Some swear by kitty litter, others use heavy garden soil - your choice. The standard pots they come in from the nursery are generally not the right kind of growing pot for the pond - too deep and not wide enough. I switched to standard oil pans like you'd use to change the oil in your car - got that tip from @addy1 ! I also have one big lily growing in a dishpan - but it's a bit bigger than I like as it gets REALLY HEAVY.

    Lotuses are not my area of expertise - my daughter handles all the lotus separating and planting and fertilizing and growing. I know they are much pickier about how they are handled than lilies are. And you don't fertilize until you have aerial pads. And I believe she generally keeps more than one tuber in the pot.
     
    Lisak1, Jan 28, 2018
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  3. EricV

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    Indeed they will. I divided mine last year after 3 seasons and it was an insane feat. I cut them down to almost nothing, but they grew back pretty fast. I should probably not let them go 3 years again, but in reality, I probably will. They did look amazing during the third season.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Jan 28, 2018
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  4. EricV

    Lisak1

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    They should put a warning label on those things - DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON ME! haha! They are well adapted to the pond life.
     
    Lisak1, Jan 28, 2018
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  5. EricV

    adavisus

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    Lotus trot around the outside surface of the tub,in circles. After two growing seasons there will be a gnarly mess of old dead tubers, which is a pain to separate, the old from new delicate sprouts
     
    adavisus, Jan 28, 2018
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  6. EricV

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I just let my lotus grow, they seem to do just fine. I have not divided since I planted them around 6 years or so. They are in their own pond, a 300 gallon stock tank.
     
    addy1, Jan 29, 2018
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  7. EricV

    bagsmom

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    I have a similar question. I have a cluster of water hawthorn, lilies, and parrot's feather growing on the same side of the pond. The parrot's feather is putting out new growth already. But when things warm up, should I just hack it all back? Right now, the old stuff is ugly, but it is providing shelter. I know the water hawthorn is supposed to like the cool spring temps, so it might start doing something in the next month or so.
     
    bagsmom, Jan 29, 2018
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  8. EricV

    CountryEscape

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    My water lilies didn't bloom well last year at all, but I had not divided them for 3 seasons. I finally divided them late summer, and although they all came back, I got few flowers. My plan is to divide them every year, at least every 2 years, and then fertilize them at the same time. I think others on here suggested osmocote in the bottom of the pan. I've also used a small paper towel, if I want to fertilize the lilies while they are submerged, and put the osmocote in that, twist it shut, and after pushing a hole large enough for the case into the mud, shove it in there and then cover it up. It will dissolve and release to the roots.
    I want to know more about lotus! I sooooo want to have one or two of them, but have never had luck. I can't find them as plants in my area, and growing them from seeds was easy, but getting them going in the pond after that turned difficult, they all died. Maybe I put them out too early, the water was too cold? Some say they need moving water, others say no movement and in a pot. Some say the water can freeze above them in the winter, as long as the tuber in the pot doesn't freeze, others say theirs freezes solid some years and comes back. I have room in my ponds, or would maybe put a few in my pasture pond, if I thought I could keep them alive there better! The sides are very steep on all sides but where the horses go in to drink, so could fence off a small area there. Thoughts? I know they can be invasive in the wild, I've seen them growing in large lakes and along the edge of rivers where the water is more calm! But, I eventually want some in my backyard ponds.
     
    CountryEscape, Jan 31, 2018
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  9. EricV

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Mine are in their own tub, 300 gallons, they get fed a slow flow of dirty water from the big pond. I don't divide, the kitty litter they are growing in STINKS!
    I don't fertilize them. They are, depending on the where the tuber is, 1 foot to 2.5 feet below the water surface. I don't think any have frozen solid. If they do I would think the tuber would be mush, like potatoes etc. This was our coldest winter, will wait and see if they come back this summer, most likely they will.
    I, at one time, was going to groom them and offer up some tubers, but digging in that smelly stuff, was not on my list. So I just let them grow. They have been in the container for around 5ish years. They started out in pots in the pond but always blew over, so gave up, 1/2 filled the stock tank with kitty litter and turned them loose.
     
    addy1, Jan 31, 2018
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  10. EricV

    Lisak1

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    Yup - cut the old stuff back. Once pond plants get established, you can be pretty firm with them. They're tough to kill!
     
    Lisak1, Jan 31, 2018
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  11. EricV

    Lisak1

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    Ours are all in pots - some in the pond, some outside of the pond. The ones in the pond we just make sure the pots are below the ice and they come back every year. They are a bit more temperamental than lilies - you have to be more careful when you divide them and when you fertilize them, but once they get going they are so pretty!
     
    Lisak1, Jan 31, 2018
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  12. EricV

    Patfish Ignore the mask and cape

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    last spring I got 10 lotus seeds from ebay (China)
    I planted 5 and all sprouted, planted all into one pot.
    I think only one or two survived the overcrowding.
    I'm hoping when I repot in the spring the tubers are healthy.
    did get lots of ariel leaves but no blooms yet.
     
    Patfish, Feb 1, 2018
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  13. EricV

    EricV

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    I think I'm going to leave my lotus this year and hope it comes back. When I do divide it, I will try to offer up tubers here.
     
    EricV, Feb 1, 2018
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  14. EricV

    JamieB

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    I hope my lilly makes it. I’ve only got one ( so far!) and it was a cutting from a lady, no flowers last year, I dropped it in the deep end of the pool to over winter. I dread having to fish it out in spring to move it closer to the surface. No clue what kind it is, or what color it will be.
     
    JamieB, Feb 1, 2018
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  15. EricV

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I bought the lotus tubers I started with, have not added any since. Tried a few seeds never had much luck, just don't have the time to mess with them right now.
     
    addy1, Feb 1, 2018
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  16. EricV

    bagsmom

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    I saw some neat youtube videos about lotus tubers - how to plant / how to divide. They are apparently a bit fragile, especially at certain points in the growing season. I'm leaving mine alone this year, too - but the videos will be really useful when the time comes!
     
    bagsmom, Feb 2, 2018
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  17. EricV

    adavisus

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    Yup, the leading growing tip of a lotus runner is very delicate, tap it and the runner is a gonner.

    This photo of an edible lotus runner shows the growing habit of lotus well, the wintered tubers are beginning to put out runners, these can trot six feet a month in the growing season

    edible-lotus-tuber1.jpg
     
    adavisus, Feb 9, 2018
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  18. EricV

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    I am starting lotus seeds again this year. Last year I got them started indoors and moved them to a stock tank with kitty litter. They were doing great- then the deer found them! Out of 50, only 4 made it but I fear they may have frozen this winter. I have 80 more seeds from Michaels crafts. Started 6 this weed in the greenhouse.
     
    mrsclem, Feb 9, 2018
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  19. EricV

    Patfish Ignore the mask and cape

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    Cant wait to see if the ones i grew from seeds survived the winter.
    I just dropped the pot to the lower shelf and hoped for it to survive.
    They were $.99 seeds from china. Didnt bloom first year but we shall see.
     
    Patfish, Feb 18, 2018 at 1:38 AM
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