How do you get potted lotus ready for winter?
Your potted lotus should be protected in winter if you live in areas where the temperature falls below freezing for extended periods of time. Your goal is to keep the tubers at the bottom of the pot from freezing. Here are some tips to help.
In the fall, before the first hard freeze you can use one of these techniques:
For areas with moderate winter temperatures (temperatures fall below freezing for only a few hours at a time)
1) Water is a great insulator so keeping the pot full of water may be all you need to do if you are in an area with moderate temperatures during the winter. We often have ice on top of the pots but the water in the pot never freezes all the way to the bottom of the pot where the 'root-ball' with the new tubers is located. If the temperatures are going to stay below freezing for a a little longer than normal the pot can be covered with a plastic bag or mulch can be mounded around the outside of the pot to help protect the root-ball..
For areas with prolonged periods of time with temperatures below freezing
2) Put pot in garage, basement or other unheated but protected space —if the pipes won’t freeze it is probably a safe place. The perfect temperature range for a dormant lotus is between 35˚-50˚F. The lotus does not need light when dormant. You just want to keep pot from freezing solid so a little protection is all you need. Keep pot full of water. Keep the lotus pot inside until all chances of freezing temperatures have passed.
3) Dig a hole in the ground the size of the pot and recess the pot in the ground. The top of the pot should be even with or slightly above the top of the soil. Before first hard freeze cover the top of pot with cotton cloth. Put several inches of mulch on the top of the entire cloth-covered pot. Remember to add water occasionally. The water will go right through the mulch and cloth. If you have melting snow you may not need to add water all winter.
4) Is your lotus pot in a pond that does not freeze solid? If so, just drop pot below the freeze level at the bottom of the pond . Raise the pot again in the spring.
When the spring temperatures stay consistently above 50˚F at night it is time to bring your lotus pot back out for the new growing season.
If you have any questions just give me a call!
Ten Mile Creek Nursery