Monday, January 10, 2011

Hope floats

Our garden helper holding one of last year's Lotus flower from the mother plant.
My hope has sunk so low with regard to the future of our Lotus Plants. After encountering failure after failure, I have begun to psych myself up to accept that I am about to lose one of my "must have" plants for our garden. But when I remember that this is the single most expensive plant we have ever bought so far, acceptance of failure is just difficult.

I wonder how others are able to successfully propagate their Lotus Plants. Do they say a prayer, offer a sacrifice or utter incantations first before they dare touch this sacred plant?1

After dividing the mother plant into two, the other half died. After submerging a basin of Lotus plants in the shallow side of the pond, the snails ate them up. Those that are left have weak stems they could not even support their leaves. The leaves are just floating on the surface of the water behaving more like Waterlilies.

The remaining half of the mother plant stopped flowering after it was damaged by the nasty October storm. It was good that it kept blooming before the storm that Mom was able to collect plenty of seeds. Still, we don't know how many of those seeds are viable since some rotted after sowing.

The very first Lotus plants from seeds harvested from the mother plant. Notice the leaves are small but at least one stem has finally managed to break out of the water.

Despite the setbacks Mom continued to experiment with different methods of growing the Lotus Plant and finally it seems like her efforts have paid off. A few of the stems have began pushing the leaves completely out of the water and there are even a couple of stems still with unfurled leaves already protruding past the water surface.

Two of the most recent seedlings are now growing healthy with broad leaves. More stems are propping up their leaves well above the water level. They are only around two months old.

We still have no place to permanently relocate these plants so for now they'll be growing in buckets, basins and other suitable containers. I thought someday I could create a water garden utilizing the ditch water flowing from our neighbor's pond but I was told that too is infested with snails.

Hopefully these plants mature and eventually bloom and produce more seeds so that their survival could be secured. Later on I'll have them transferred into urns and other decorative containers and moved to desirable spots in the garden.

...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will...
from the movie "Hope Floats" (1998)

1 Another common name for Nelumbo nucifera is "Sacred Lotus."