As a symbol of creation, the lotus stakes its place as a sacred flower in Buddhism and Hinduism. To be sure, lotus is one of the most exotic and beautiful creatures in the plant kingdom: the big, dramatic stalked leaves are attractive, and they shed droplets of water like quicksilver — gorgeous! The buds and blossoms are utterly magnificent, and the large, unusual seedpods are decorative in their own right.
Despite their big size, lotuses grow from a surprisingly delicate, banana-shaped rootstock. Get one in spring and handle it exceedingly gently, especially when potting it. Favorite lotus varieties include ivory white with hot pink margins 'Chawan Basu,' yellow-to-cream 'Perry's Giant Sunburst,' and rosy pink 'Momo Batan.' Here are the growing requirements:
A short summer won't do — lotuses really need two or even three consecutive months of temperatures over 80°.
^ Patience: Lotus often spends its first season just getting used to life in its tub and in your water garden. Lush growth and — maybe, just maybe — those sensational flowers usually happen the second season.
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