How to Fertilize Lotus



Once several aerial leaves have emerged it is time to begin fertilizing your lotus. Over-fertilization can damage a small lotus. Dr. Daike Tian and the researchers at Auburn University recommend fertilizing lotus by applying a good soluble fertilizer once every 20 days (4-8 grams depending on the size of the pot) after tubers have sprouted and several aerial leaves have developed.

Begin with a half dose (1/2 tsp of 20-10-20 fertilizer for a pot with five gallons of water) to avoid burning the new growth. Increase the dose to 1 tsp per 5 gallons of water for subsequent doses. Fertilize every twenty days. If you have a potted lotus in a garden pond and are using powdered fertilizer try rolling it in a small square of newspaper and pushing it under the soil in the pot. This keeps the fertilizer where it is needed and helps keep down algae growth.

Cut fertilizer to 1/2 tsp per five gallons of water in late July and stop fertilizing in early August to allow enough time for the nutrients to be absorbed by the roots. An abundance of unused fertilizer can damage dormant tubers during the winter season.


Many people prefer to use commercial slow-release tablets that can be purchased at retail centers and pushed under the soil. 

Be sure to follow package directions for any fertilizer that you choose. 


All pictures, photographs and content Copyright ©2009 Ten Mile Creek Nursery, Hartford, Alabama. Some Lotus photographs used by permission of and copyrights held by Drs. Ken Tilt, Warner Orozco-Obando and Diake Tian from the Auburn Univeristy Lotus Project. Website Design by Wiregrass Advertising, Enterprise, AL; Dothan, AL 
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