Nelumbo nucifera

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Marilyn

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Nelumbo nucifera
« on: April 24, 2012, 05:56:44 PM »
Hello all,

I wonder if any of you have experience with growing lotus in the mediterranean climate, and in particular, where one might get hold of some seeds/tubers of these extraordinary plants? I have seen them in a few gardens in Italy and France, but never here in Portugal and rarely for sale. Some people say the cultivars can only be propagated vegetatively, but Chiltern Seeds has mixed cultivars available from seed - however, these are 6 quid a throw, for 4 seeds - a bit steep with no guarantee of getting the one you want.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
I work in hotel and private gardens, promoting sustainable landscape management in the mediterranean climate through the use of diverse, beautiful and appropriate plants. At home, I garden on two balconies containing mostly succulents.

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Alisdair

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 07:30:57 PM »
Marilyn, Don't you think that the lotus is so beautiful in all its forms that whatever emerged from the seeds would be well worth growing? And very much cheaper than buying named cultivars: Ten Mile Creek Nursery in the States have over 100 different cultivars for sale and will ship to Europe, but each costs about $25 and on top of that you have the costs of a phyto certificate and shipping.
Some UK water garden nurseries sell lotus plants too, though a narrower range, for example seven from Lilies Water Gardens in Surrey; similar prices, but no phyto needed for Portugal of course :).
Probably best to buy the plants while dormant in winter.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

ezeiza

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 10:57:21 PM »
Absolutely, a single hotdog will offset profusely within a couple of seasons. But for a really good display they must have ample room. Otherwise the plants look out of proportion: they are massive.

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Marilyn

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 10:01:14 AM »
Alisdair, you are absolutely right of course, even the utterly blowsy (typical of that breeder) "Mrs Perry Slocum" somehow manages to remain graceful! Seeds it is then.

Thanks also for your advice, ezeiza; I will be putting them in a large pool here in the garden at work, so they should not look too silly. I would really love to have a tub of them on my balcony but I think that might really be pushing my luck - a tub big enough to keep them going would surely risk the structural integrity of the building! :)
I work in hotel and private gardens, promoting sustainable landscape management in the mediterranean climate through the use of diverse, beautiful and appropriate plants. At home, I garden on two balconies containing mostly succulents.

HansA

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 06:57:46 PM »
Marilyn - here is a good german nurseryhttp://www.nymphaion.de/xtc/index.php/language/en/cat/c45_Lotosblumen.html , the plants I ordered from them had a very good quality.
They sent me a rhizome which grew well. Problem with most/ all Nelumbo is they need a lot of nutrients (> a lot of green algae or green water) and a deep loamy soil (and as already mentioned Alberto normally some space where the delicate rhizome can run) - as my space is limited and they were not very floriferous  with me I stopped to grow them.
bulbgrower on the balearic islands, spain
landscape architect

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Marilyn

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 04:56:42 PM »
Thanks for the info, Hans; that site has a really wonderful selection. Following further research I think I might try them in a tub after all, as well as in the garden pond; then divide them when they get too big for the pot. I had a peek at the sites Alisdair mentions as well, but it does rather seem I have missed the boat with dormancy, quite apart from the great expense of getting "hotdogs" (I love that image :D )
I work in hotel and private gardens, promoting sustainable landscape management in the mediterranean climate through the use of diverse, beautiful and appropriate plants. At home, I garden on two balconies containing mostly succulents.

ezeiza

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 06:55:16 PM »
Marilyn, a dwarf form (if this does exist) would be suitable for the largest tub but the normal forms will demand a large pond. Otherwise the plant will never grow large enough
 to mature (and flower, that is).

Daisy

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Re: Nelumbo nucifera
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 09:16:46 AM »
My Nelumbo nucifera are flowering again.



I love their seedheads too, but I was wondering if it makes any difference too their flowering, if I dead head?
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS