How To Grow Lotus Plants From Seed

Growing lotus plants from seed is rewarding and not as difficult as you might think.

Growing lotuses from seed will give you lots of plants for very little money, and there are dozens of different lotus species to grow.

In this article I’ll show you how to plant and care for seed grown lotus plants in your garden pond.

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lotus flowers

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), also known as Indian Lotus and Sacred Lotus are popular, easy to grow pond plants that add beauty to garden ponds.

They grow and bloom best in full sun but they’ll tolerate partial shade.

There are two types of Lotus plants – tropical and perennial varieties.

Tropical lotuses are best suited to warm tropical or subtropical areas, but perennial lotus plants can be grown in cooler climates because they go dormant during the winter months and come back in spring.

Lotus plants bloom during summer and fall in many different colors including white, pink, red, purple and yellow. [1]

white lotus flower


Collecting lotus seeds

To collect lotus seeds you’ll need to wait for the seed head to dry out.

The seeds will turn dark brown when the seeds are fully dry.

Gently remove the seeds and plant them straight away or store them in a paper envelope until you’re ready to plant them.

If you don’t have access to fresh lotus seeds you can buy them online and from most garden centers and nurseries.

lotus seed pod

Planting lotus seeds

The best time to plant lotus seeds is late spring when the temperature is consistently warm and the risk of frost has passed.

Before planting, you’ll need to scrape off a tiny part of the seed coating to help with germination.

You can use fine sandpaper or a nail file to gently remove a couple of millimetres of the hard seed coating, but try not to damage the core of the seed.

Soak the seeds in warm water overnight and then plant them in a container filled with heavy topsoil or clay soil.

Don’t use regular potting mix because it will float to the top of the water when you place the pot in the pond.

Fill the pot to the top with water and place it in a warm spot.

It usually takes about 10 days for lotus seeds to sprout.

lotus plants in pond

Caring for seed grown lotus plants

After the seeds have sprouted and the first leaves have begun to appear you can place the pot in the pond.

Make sure that the pot is situated in a spot that receives full sun.


Fertilizing lotus plants will help to produce an abundance of flowers but wait until the plant has a few aerial leaves rising out of the water before you start fertilizing.

Use aquatic plant fertilizer tablets that you can push into the soil for the best results.

Lotus plants that are grown from seed don’t usually bloom in the first year because the plant’s energy is focused on producing tubers under the ground.

lotus flower

So there are my tips for growing lotus plants from seed.

With a bit of patience and the right conditions, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning lotus flowers in your backyard pond or water garden.


Have you tried growing lotus flowers from seed? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Pond Plants and Water Gardens that you may find interesting.

growing lotus seeds

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener with a special interest in ponds and water gardens. For over a decade, I've been designing and creating beautiful gardens that feature stunning water features, from small garden ponds to large water gardens. Read more