Of our favorite koi pond plants lotus is certainly at the top of the list. Lotus is elegant and architectural, standing with most leaves and flowers held well above the waters surface. Here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire the hardier varieties seem to winter over quite well provided they are submerged in water below the ice.
Lotus (nelumbo) are one of the largest water garden plants. Flowers range from white to yellow, light-very deep pink and combinations of those colors. Water creates a mercurial effect beading up when it touches the waxy surface of lotus leaves. Lotus is versatile and grows well in container gardens as well as in the pond. Lotus needs full sun, fertilizer and space to grow.
Lotus come in three basic sizes:
Teacup: miniature or bowl lotus that grow from several inches to 1 foot and are temperamental.
“Dwarf”: lotus, actually quite large with plants growing 3-5’ and flowers +6”. These “dwarfs” are the most compatible to the average size pond or water garden and come in the widest range of varieties.
Full Size: magnificent plants with leaves up to 3’ in diameter and in excess of 6’ from the waters surface. Incredible flowers up to 13”.
Lotus is still a common food item in Asia. Both the tubers and seeds are utilized in their cuisine. Immature seeds are gathered by the Cajuns of Louisiana and are snacked on raw.