Introducing the Lotus Flower
Before we look at the Lotus Meaning let us look at somethings first. The Lotus Flower or Lotus Plant is a freshwater aquatic plant. They do not require seasonal planting as they are perennials and will bloom in their location each year.
The Lotus goes by many names around the world, some of which include the Sacred Lotus, the Indian Lotus, and also the Sacred water-lily (although this is mainly used in Egypt). The flower part of this plant comes in a variety of colorations depending on the location.
However, their popularity has spread so widely that it is not uncommon for their various colorations to be found all over the world, today.
The Lotus Flower is not only beautiful but, it is also a very significant part of the different cultures and religions. The plant has become the symbol of multiple life lessons and ideals such as fertility, honesty, grace, prosperity, knowledge, and serenity.
Everything you will need to know about the Lotus Flower
“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But, it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud – the obstacles of life and its suffering…”
What type of being is the Lotus Flower? Where does it originate?
Scientifically speaking, there are many facts about the Lotus Plant that is not as widely discussed as the Lotus meaning and symbolisms are. For example; this plant is a member of the Plantae kingdom, Magnoliophyta division, Magnoliopsida class, Proteales order, Nelumbonaceae family and Nelumbo genus.
Most Lotus Plants are native to Southern parts of Asia and Australia as a result of their warmer climates. Lotus Plants found in locations with cooler climates were not likely native to the land but rather imported and are used as additions to ornamental water gardens.
The infamous daily action of the Lotus Flower
Lotus Flowers will not bloom during the cold months of the year. In fact, they require warm, sunny days to blossom so beautifully. A Lotus Flower’s roots are buried deep in the mud of a calm water source (such as a lake, pond, or private water garden).
From the roots grows a long stem or stalk that remains in the murky water. From the top of the stalk grows the plant’s leaves and bud. The leaves are sometimes floating on top of the water, although they usually stay under the surface.
The bud is where everything changes. The bud is the part that is always seen from above the water’s surface. As the bud opens, its petals are exposed. This is when their colors become apparent.
The petals will open one by one, slowly welcoming the sunlight and warmth. Once fully opened, the flower is in full bloom and the center can also be seen. There the Lotus Flower will rest until the evening hours when the sun begins to disappear from the sky. As the sun sets, the Lotus Flower begins to close its petals until it is completely in “bud” formation.
It is now that the Lotus Flower will sink back down into the muddy water from whence it came. Each day, the Lotus Flower repeats this action of rising, basking, and sinking. It is one of the most prominent aspects of the plant that has provided so many religions and cultures with meaning.
How to Grow a Lotus Flower Plant
Have you been thinking about the meaning behind the Lotus Flower? Has the information you found resignated with you in a profound and distinct way? Maybe you are interested in starting a water garden or outdoor pond in your backyard and then filling it with Lotus Flowers.
Maybe you just are not quite sure of where to start? No worries! Here is a step by step plan for you to start your own Lotus Flower water garden.
Step one: Ask yourself if you live in a good climate for Lotus Plants to grow in. They require as many warm and sunny days as possible in order for them to thrive. If you live in Alaska or Russia or another place where it snows a good portion of the year, then I am sorry but, a Lotus Flower water garden is not in the cards for you.
We will now ask you to get off the train. However, if you live in Florida, Mexico, or anywhere that is primarily warm and sunny throughout the year then congratulations you made it through the first step!
Step two: Go to your local Home and gardening store and ask a trustworthy staff member if they can help you find the Lotus Flower seeds. If they do not carry them, then move on to the next store. When you find the seeds, pick the colors that you are interested in growing. You can mix and match, or stick with whatever color is your favorite.
Now, while you are at the home and gardening store, you may want to discuss your plans with that trusty staff member. They will be able to help you in choosing your pond insert as well as the other items that you may need to get started (sand/substrate for the bottom, fish, etc.). Once you have collected all of your pond supplies, it is time to check out!
Step three: Insert your water garden or pond as it specifies to do so. Make sure that you have the pond completely set up with the correct water specifications, mud or substrate that is recommended for the type of environment you are trying to create.
Step four: Put your Lotus Flower seeds in a container of water. Make sure that the water in the container is warm and non-chlorinated. If you notice any seeds floating in the container, it is best to remove them and throw them away.
Those seeds are not likely to fertile and will result in cloudy water. Remember to change the water in the container every day until the remaining seeds begin to sprout.
Step five: Your Lotus Plant seeds will start to develop roots. As this happens, remove them from the container of water and plant them in a small pot (about four inches big). The pots should be filled with garden clay or soil (also called loam). Each seed should be planted in its own pot.
Step six: If you notice that your seedlings have started growing leaves then this is an indication that you have waited too long to plant them the previously mentioned way. At this point, it is best to plant the roots, but, leave the developing leaves above the soil.
Step seven: As the seeds develop leaves and other greenery, you can plant them in no more than two inches of water. Be sure to provide your Lotus Plants with as much light as possible until the water in your outdoor pond is reading approximately 60ºF.
Do not expect your Lotus Plants to develop buds or bloom for the first year because they were planted from seeds and are unlikely to reach full development for quite some time.
Step eight: If you are impatient and would prefer your water garden to be filled with buds and blossoms from the start then you can discuss (with a professional) transplanting fully developed Lotus Plants from another water garden or pond.
How to care for a Lotus Flower Plant
Your Lotus Plants will require some tender love and care until they are fully developed and thriving on their own. You will need to fertilize your plants occasionally as the first year continues on. If you provide too much fertilizer, then your Lotus Plant’s foliage (leaves, etc.) will likely burn and no longer be viable.
Once your Lotus Plants are established, you should be prepared to feed them every three to four weeks. This is particularly the case during the growing season. Ask your garden professional about Lotus Plant food.
Take extreme caution when you are inserting the fertilizer tabs. The growing tip of the plant, as well as any new growth, can be easily damaged if you are too harsh. Be cautious of frost. Your Lotus Plants cannot tolerate cold weather and should be protected from frost development and freezing.
As the fall months proceed, it is essential that you remove the yellowed greenery and attempt to lower the plant into the pond. Preferably into the deepest part. Another option is to lift the tubers of the Lotus Plant (only after the plant has died) during the fall months.
If you take this option, then be sure to keep the tubers in a frost-free, but still cool, location. They can be removed once spring arrives. If you store the tubers in living sphagnum moss, then they should not develop mildew or rot.
Cultural and Religious significance
Now that we know how to grow Lotus Flowers from seed and how to care for them let’s take a look at what these plants mean to the rest of the world. The Lotus Flower is easily the most respected plant. Each culture and religion seems to use the Lotus Flower as symbolism for a particular phase of their religion, as a life lesson, and even as a natural source of food.
Buddhists may be one of the biggest believers in the Lotus Flower. They believe that this plant symbolizes perseverance and purification after experiencing human suffering. This is represented by the Lotus Flower’s development from the muddy water then rising above the water’s surface and blooming.
Other cultures in Asia believe that the stalk of the Lotus Flower resembles the strength of one’s family and their unbreakable bond. Therefore, you are the blossoming flower above the water’s surface that the stalk supports from underneath.
The Hinduism religion believes that the Lotus Flower is responsible for removing unwanted energies and other unpleasant things. They also believe that people should be free of desires and material things. The Lotus Flower is one of the symbolic representations of this.
Egyptians used the flower to represent the creation and rising of the sun. They believe in the legend of the Sun God birthed from the golden heart of a Lotus Flower. They use this flower for fertility, childbirth, death and everything in between. They also are said to have used the plant recreationally to provide them with a psychedelic experience.
The various colorations of the Lotus Flower hold different meanings as well. Let us take a quick look at the Lotus meaning when it has to do with it’s color. The White Lotus Flower symbolizes purity. The Red Lotus Flower symbolizes passion.
The Blue Lotus Flower represents wisdom and logic. Pink Lotus Flowers account for the history of the Buddha as well as divinity. Finally, the Yellow (or golden) Lotus Flower symbolizes the Buddha himself. In tattoos there are more liberties taken when choosing colors due to the significance the color might have to the person getting the lotus flower tattoo.
The Lotus meaning also varies depending on the stage of the Lotus Flower which holds a particular significance also. The beginning stage (the bud stage) represents a person in the early stages of their journey to enlightenment. It shows their potential for what they can achieve. The opening of the Lotus Flower symbolizes an individual who is fully bloomed, or fully enlightened.
What you may not know about the Lotus Flower
- The Lotus Flower will not grow in a water source that is properly filtered, clean and mud free. It requires the mud for its roots to be properly buried and secure.
- The plant is not only admired for its beauty but also for its appealing aroma.
- Many Lotus plants grow to be about 50 inches tall (from roots to flower), up to 8 inches in diameter, and it is said that they can spread out to be 10 feet wide (horizontally)
- The flowers come in various colorations including yellow, pink, red, blue, purple, and white.
- The leaves of the Lotus Flower contain air pockets that help them to float on the water’s surface. However, the amount of buoyancy is not guaranteed, and the leaves sometimes stay under the water.
- It is said that a 1300-year-old Lotus seed was still able to germinate after being dormant all that time. Therefore, we believe that the seeds are viable for extensive periods of time.
- The seeds are produced and are located in circular ponds located in the center of the Lotus Flower. These pods have been used as a fragrant floral décor piece once it has been dried.
- The petals of a Lotus Flower have also been used as decoration
- Some Lotus leaves grow up to 20 inches long and closely resemble paddles for a boat
- Traditional Asian Cuisine often uses the Lotus Plant’s seeds, small leaves, flower (with petals), and roots as ingredients for their meals. The much larger Lotus leaves are more commonly used to wrap food.
- Think the Waterlily and the Lotus Flower are the same? Guess again! They actually belong to two different genera.
For in depth info for specific Lotus Flower Meanings by color see below: