How to plant Lotus tubers

Lotus (Nelumbo) are fast growing plants that will quickly fill the container they are planted in.

You will need to plant tubers in the spring before their leaves start to sprout.

When handling your Lotus tuber be very careful not to damage to growing points, if you break these off they will not regrow!

Select a round pot for your Lotus tuber

We recommend round pots for growing Lotus in. The tubers grow quickly and with a round pot they will grow in circles and quickly fill the pot.

Round pots are best suited to growing Lotus.

Add soil to the bottom of the pot

We us the same soil for growing Lotus as we do our Waterlilies, which is a loam based soil. Add a layer of the soil into the bottom of your pot. You want about twice the depth of your Lotus tuber.

Add a loam based soil to pot

Position your Lotus tuber onto the soil

Carefully place your Lotus tuber on the layer of soil, being careful not to damage the growing points!

Carefully place the tuber

Add more soil over the Lotus tuber

Now add about the same amount of soil over the top of your Lotus tuber, again being careful not to damage the growing points!

You can now fill the pot with water, a slow trickle will make sure the Lotus tuber is not disturbed and prevent the water becoming cloudy.

Carefully cover with more soil

When to fertilise

Lotus plants are heavy feeders but do not add fertiliser until the plant starts producing aerial leaves.

The first stage of Lotus growth the plant will produce leaves which float on the waters surface like a waterlily, this provides the tubers with energy to start producing aerial leaves which stick up out of the water. It is at this stage you need to add fertiliser. Push a fertiliser tablet into the soil every two weeks until the end of August. For larger tubers you can add 2 tablets.


Although hardy, Lotus do require heat in the summer in order to grow a resting tuber large enough to last the winter. In cooler climates they will benefit from growing under cover. Make sure you position your Lotus plant in a sheltered site in full sun.

Nelumbo 'Perry's Super Star' lotus
Flowering Lotus plant