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How to Germinate Blue Lotus Seeds

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Despite its name, the legendary Egyptian blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) really isn’t a lotus plant. So, if an advertisement offers seeds of blue lotus for sale, check carefully to see whether the offer is for Nymphaea spp., a water lily plant, or for Nelumba spp., a lotus plant. The seeds, and how to germinate them, differ greatly — but only the water lily has blue flowers.

Water Lily vs. Water Lotus

Blue lotus, Nymphaea caerulea (U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12), is a tropical water lily, explains Missouri Botanical Garden. Synonyms include Sacred blue lily of the Nile, Egyptian blue water lily and cultivar ‘Blue Beauty’ (common names Blue Beauty and Pennsylvania), according to North Carolina State University Extension. Hardy Nymphaea spp. survive in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, says Missouri Botanical Garden. One difference between tropical and hardy water lilies is that tropical water lily flower stems extend above the water level while hardy water lily flowers float at water level.

Lotuses belong to the genus Nelumbo (USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10). According to Pond Lotus, Nelumbo lutea are North American natives while Nelumbo nucifera grow on multiple continents. No blue hybrid of these two species has been developed, yet.

According to New York Botanical Garden, water lilies and lotuses differ in leaf shape, seed pod location and water depth. Water lily leaves are thick and waxy with a notch in each leaf; lotus leaves are thin and papery. Water lily seed pods form under water while lotus seed pods stand above water level after the flowers die. Water lilies prefer water that is 24 to 60 inches deep, and lotuses prefer water about 12 inches deep.

Germinating Nymphaea Caerulea Seeds

Seed Area explains how to grow blue lotus water lilies from seed. Because of hybridization, water lilies grown from seeds may not look like the parent, according to Victoria Adventure, so start with confirmed Nymphaea caerulea flowers to make sure you’re harvesting blue lotus flower seeds.

Select a Fertilized Flower

A fertilized flower will be submerged with a coiled or spiraled stem. An unfertilized flower will sink on a straight stem.

Capture the Seeds

Capture the Nymphaea caerulea seeds by surrounding the fertile flower with a plastic bag. Close the bag with a twist tie or other loose fastener. Be sure there is water in the bag. Or, wait 10 days and place the fertilized flower in a bucket of distilled water. When the seeds burst out from the flower, they will float in the bag or bucket thanks to their attached flotation arils. The arils will dissolve in a few days.

Collect Viable Seeds

Viable seeds will be gray, green or brown and may sink. Seeds that won’t germinate will be tan, white or reddish.

Store Seeds Until Planting

Pat tropical water lily seeds like Nymphaea caerulea seeds dry with paper towels and store them in a refrigerator until ready to plant. (Hardy water lily seeds should be stored in distilled water without disturbing the coating until they are ready to plant.)

Planting the Seeds

Fill small containers with garden soil, not potting soil. Spread seeds across the top and cover with a thin layer of fine sand.

Submerge the Seeds

Fill an aquarium or fishbowl with enough distilled water to submerge the seeds to a depth of no more than 3 inches of water.

Lighting the Seeds

Provide warmth and light for the seeds and growing seedlings. A grow light placed 18 inches to 24 inches above the seeds works well.

Transplanting the Seedlings

When the first leaves reach the water’s surface, carefully remove the seedlings. Rinse the soil off. Place seedlings in containers half-filled with bone meal and aquatic plant fertilizer. Fill containers to the top with garden soil. Submerge in 2 to 4 inches of water. Replant the seedlings into a pond or tub after about six months.

How to Germinate Blue Lotus Seeds. Lotus blossoms served as a symbol of rebirth in ancient Egypt, where they bloomed profusely in the Nile during the days of the pharaohs. The blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea), also called Egyptian blue water lily, has largely disappeared from the Nile in modern times, but thrives in …

Nymphaea caerulea – Sacred-Blue-Water-lily – Egyptian-Blue-Water-lily seeds

Seeds of Nymphaea caerulea – Sacred-Blue-Water-lily

The water lily family, Nymphaeaceae, is an old and evolutionarily primitive one, and is grouped with buttercups and magnolias in the order Ranales. Furthermore, fossil evidence suggests that nymphaeas have not changed much over the past 160 million years. All they have done is move about the globe, keeping in the tropical and temperate zones. There are about 50 species in the genus.

Waterlily has a widespread cultural significance, especially in Egypt where the lotus motif is a frequent feature of temple column architecture. Nymphaea caerulea, the Egyptian Blue-Water-Lily, opens its flowers in the morning and then sinks beneath the water at dusk, while the Egyptian White water-lily (N. lotus), flowers at night and closes in the morning. This symbolizes the Egyptian separation of deities and is a motif associated with Egyptian beliefs concerning death and the afterlife.

Growing from seeds:

Nymphaea caerulea requires full sun, fertile soil and will benefit from regular fertilization. It is best grown in about a foot of water. Because of its heavy nutrient demands it tends to fight off algae that compete for nutrients. Seeds are best off being started in pots submerged two centimeters below the surface of water in some sort of basin big enough to hold all your pots. The pots should be filled with a rich, clayey loam and the seeds pressed into the surface before submersion. For this process, it is recommended that you use bottled, distilled or clean rain water rather than tap water to fill your basin. Reports of using seed propagators have also produced positive results with these seeds for at least one grower that we know of. Plants may be grown directly in the ground, which should be bedded with fertile soil, or in pots that are sunk below the surface of the water. Once established, it can easily be propagated by dividing the rhizomes. Being from warm locations naturally, this species requires steady warmth of about 75 degrees throughout the germination process.

Seeds of Nymphaea caerulea -  Sacred-Blue-Water-lily The water lily family, Nymphaeaceae, is an old and evolutionarily primitive one, and is grouped with buttercups  and magnolias in the order Ranales. Furthermore, fossil evidence suggests