How to Fertilize Lotus
What fertilizer is best for lotus?
How much fertilizer do I use to fertilize my lotus plants?
When do I fertilize my lotus plants?
Wait for several floating leaves or an aerial leaf to appear before you begin fertilizing your lotus. Over-fertilization can damage a small lotus. Dr. Daike Tian and 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.
Most fertilizer application rates are based on the amount of soil in the container. Always check product instructions before applying fertilizer. Begin with a half dose (1/2 tsp of 20-10-20 fertilizer per 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 the production of dormant tubers during the winter season.
Aquatic Fertilizer Tablets:
Many people prefer to use commercial slow-release tablets that can be purchased at retail centers and pushed under the soil, especially if the lotus is in a pond. The application rate is usually based on the amount of soil in the container.
Be sure to follow package directions for any fertilizer that you choose.