?? Re: Lotus in pots

nkm56June 17, 2008

I have a lotus and several water lilies that I keep in large tubs of water rather than in the pond (koi, nuff said). I've been flushing out the water in these pots by overflowing occasionally, but tonight I noticed that all the lily pots have soured and the pads are turning black. The lotus, for the moment, seems fine. I haven't been flushing it out because some tree frogs decided to lay their eggs in the pot its in, and I don't want to disturb the tadpoles.

The question is, for those who keep lotus or lilies in pots, how do you keep your water from going stagnant? BTW, I do use mosquito dunks.

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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi nancy,
I don't do anything to mine, and they get algae, but don't seem to get putrid. Is your's well water? Mine is with lots of iron and a high pH.
I also think its important to have some other greens in there, while the lotus is starting up......like a small marginal with something like duckweed/azolla.
Other than that, I'm not sure what's going on with yours. Good luck with it.
P.S. I never flush mine out.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:52PM
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I keep swordtail platys or gambusia (mosquito fish) in my lotus garden pot for mosquito control. Guppies would work just as well. I add pond water with a bucket every few days. Of course, you have to move them indoors for winter. I keep mine in the house over winter in a large glass bowl with water, gravel and devil's ivy. Weekly water changes (30%) and betta food over the winter and they do great until spring when they go outside again.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:55PM
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I don't have well water, just city tap. I checked the lotus this evening, leaves are healthy and water seems fine. It's the lilies that are the problem. Not sure what's going on there. I have a small cattail I might put in there and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:35PM
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I haven't done any flushes with my lotus pot and the water is a little off color but it seems fine. My water lilly is in my small preformed pond and when I took it out the other day it smelled funky too and it has a filter so I don't know why. If smelled funky when I got it and it was in a still pond then. Sorry not much help. This is my first time growing both.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:57PM
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magdaloonie(6B-7A Magdalena, NM)

My first potted lotus, too. I've been occasionally scooping out 1/3 or more water and replacing it and I dumped in a bunch of duckweed and one hyacinth that has gone nuts. Some pond snails are also in there but I took out all the adults I could find as they were coating the backs of the pads with egg cases. The water is still dark green and I sure wouldn't drink it but it's not too bad.
The one small lily tub is in mostly shade and has duckweed and anacharis. That water is crystal clear with no filter. It's that tub's second year but I had minnows and a filter in it last year.
Could it be that the pots are getting too hot for the lilies? They seem more sensitive than lotus.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 2:03AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

nancy......how many years have the lilies been in the pots? Have you been fertilizing them well? How many leaves do they have?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:55AM
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Here's a picture taken last month, when everything was fine. It was blooming well and had plenty of pads coming on.

I fertilize normally with pond tabs, but have only recently started using Jobes. I'm wondering if Jobes has too high of a concentration of nitrogen. This same lily now only has a couple of pads that have not yet reached the surface, and one pad lying on the water. I pulled the rest off because they were black.

Also, we're getting very little sun here lately due to all the rain. I lifted the pot out of the water last night for a closer look, and the tuber seems fine, not mushy, and has a few small new pads coming out of it.

This lily was in the pond last summer, but it only put on a few blossems. That's why I moved it to the tub. It seemed to like it at first because it's already bloomed more in a month and a half than it had the entire summer last year. I'm mystified.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:27AM
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Thats pretty. Mine was blooming when I bought it and it has a bud but it hasn't opened yet. I wish I had known to repot it when I got it. Is it too late? Its in a taller than wide black nursery pot that it came in. It had a lot of leaves and junk on top from the place I bought it so I cleaned it out the best I could. I think it would be much happier in a wider pot.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:59AM
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pond_dragon(5b Imperial, Mo)

I'm in the same situation as you fool4flowers. I just bought my first 2 lotus a couple weeks ago. Still in nursery pots, taller than wide. I'm too afraid to repot it right now from all I've read on it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:34AM
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sdavis(z7b nc)

Hi Nancy,

It could just be, with too many frogs dumping too much spawn in a small volume of water, that unfertilised spawn is going off all at the same time, turning the water rancid

Perhaps thin out the spawn that does not develop, before it goes off...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:01AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Sounds like your water's getting too much fertilizer build up in it and getting too "hard"--to fix that you flush out the pot by overflowing it with clear water about once a week. You're just lucky that your lotus isn't doing that already too. You have to keep flushing water in a lotus that's being fertilized or the leaves burn up and then it gets a kind of a rot in it that makes it smell like cow manure and then it's a goner!
Why don't you invest in some good pond plant tabs like agsafe, etc? so that you don't lose your investment?
lotus growing instructions link

Here is a link that might be useful: lotus plant growing instructions

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Thanks, Sandy. Cow manure is exactly what it smells like. I usually do use pond plant tabs, but ran out and decided to improvise. Obviously a mistake. I have been overflowing the pots on occasion, but apparently not enough, and the fertilizers got ahead of me.

The lotus still looks really good, large healthy green leaves standing up happily, but I haven't been fertilizing it as much as the lilies because of the tadpoles.

I did a large water change on the lilies last night, and I need to make a run to my local pond store this weekend, so I'll pick up some more pond plant tabs.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 3:08PM
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akidleativy2(z9 CA)

I currently have over 100 lotus plants. The most impressive lotus pond I've ever seen had literally thousands of gorgeous, huge plants with a field of 4' tall blooms the size of your head! It was truly amazing, like something from a prehistoric time. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get a plant from this pond and the one thing I noticed right off was the foul smell of the muck they were growing in. I've leaned from trial and error, that Lotus don't like to be disturbed. That means no water changes or repotting. If you just leave them alone, they should be fine.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:37AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have many container ponds although since I just got a greenhouse am just starting with lotus. A friend who grows lotus very successfully uses composted manure in her soil mix and Multicote on the bottom when planting and never uses Pond Tabs or other spike fertilizer with them, she says they burn easily, you don't want to fertilize lotus as much as waterlilies.

FYI I've used Jobe's Tomato Spikes for almost ten years with no problems, on every other plant that I grow, especially waterlilies but didn't use them on the lotus. (unless saving money is a problem, anything packaged for ponds has a higher cost).

My containers are in size from a whiskey barrel down to an eight inch pot and I have about a dozen. None of them get stagnant and none of them are cleaned out except maybe once a year.

Raccoons dump the pots often and mud and gravel gets on the bottom and the mud does stink if I get in there and clean it but it doesn't hurt anything. None of the ponds stink when you are standing by them. It is only when you get in there and muck with them.

I use Mosquito Dunks religiously.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:49PM
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