Both a garden pond and aquarium plant, the white-flowered tiger lotus Nymphaea lotus requires warmth. Outdoors, it exhibits magnificent flowers, but only at night.
Name : Tiger lotus, Red water lily with white flowers Family : Water lilies Type : Aquatic plant
Height : 40 to 80 cm
Exposure : Bright
Soil : Aquatic, rich
Foliage : Deciduous – Flowering : summer
Although referred to as a small water lily, Ny m phaea lotus is not a small plant. Each plant easily reaches 1 meter in wingspan in good conditions.
This little water lily blooms at night. In fact, the flower opens at night and closes in bud during the day.
In addition, the tiger lotus is often used in tropical freshwater aquariums.
Plantation du lotus
Attention, this water lily comes from tropical Africa and requires heat .
- Its cultivation outdoors all year round can only be considered in the warmest regions of France, especially around the Mediterranean.
- It is better to anticipate the possibility of bringing tiger water lilies indoors to protect them from temperatures below 15°C.
- For this, a basket culture is essential. For a frankly outdoor culture, prefer the Nymphaea alba species .
Usually sold as a bulb-tuber with one or two small leaves, Ny m phaea lotus tiger lotuses should be planted in the substrate with the leaves facing up and above the substrate.
- Do not place the bulb completely in the substrate, as this can lead to rot.
- Push it in about 2/3 and let the rest stick out.
- Plant in a rich substrate! Water lilies are very greedy in nutrients. If necessary, add granular fertilizers suitable for the aquatic environment.
- Expose in full light.
In the garden pond:
- Use planting baskets suitable for aquatic plants. The culture baskets must allow the stolons that the water lily will produce during growth to pass. Baskets with large openings on the sides work well.
- Think about transport to get them in and out according to the seasons. Use baskets with handles for handling them.
- Plant as indicated above.
- Put the basket in water at a good depth. Immerse the basket so that the upper edge of the basket is at a depth between 40 to 80 cm.
- As soon as the water temperature drops below 15°C, bring the baskets indoors where the tiger lotuses will go dormant.
- For storage, place the baskets in an aquatic environment at a temperature of approximately 15°C. For example, an old tub may do the trick for storage.
- Plant only in an aquarium at least 50 cm high. The tiger lotus is getting big.
- Set the water temperature between 22-28°C.
- Rather acidic and soft water (low hardness) is required.
- Plant in the substrate as indicated above.
- To prevent the leaves from reaching the surface, pinch the stem just before the leaf and before they touch the surface of the water. This will stunt stem growth.
- If leaves colonize the surface of the water, the plants below will lack light. You have to remove a few leaves to let the light through.
However, leaves must be floating on the surface for Ny m phaea lotus to flower.
>> To go further: Plant water lilies well for maximum flowers
Maintenance of the Nymphaea lotus
Nymphaea lotus propagates by stolons, producing new small bulbs. These can be separated and used elsewhere. On the other hand, wait until the bulbs are 4-6 cm long before separating them from the mother plant.
Tiger Lotus Diseases
No notable diseases to report, as with most strictly aquatic plants.
Varieties of Nymphaea lotus
The species, also known as the white Egyptian lotus , has two color morphs: one with green leaves and red spots (“Green Tiger Lotus”) and one with red leaves (“Red Tiger Lotus”). The red variety is sometimes traded under the taxon Nymphaea zenkeri .
All you need to know about Nymphaea lotus
N ymphaea lotus species is a floating-leaved macrophyte and water lily, native to Africa and specific regions of Europe. The water lily has a number of medicinal properties. In fact, the species has become naturalized in North America and some countries in South America and Asia.
This plant was one of the most important plants in ancient Egyptian art, ritual, food and medicine, with all parts of the plant being used. Dried flowers of tiger lotus and Nymphaea caerulea were found in the tomb of Ramesses II.
Often used, especially in China and India, as a source of food and medicine, it is also widely grown as an ornamental plant.
The stems are often pubescent (“hairy”) and project the flowers up to 20 cm above the water surface. The leaves of Nymphaea lotus are toothed, which distinguishes it from Nymphaea alba with smooth-edged leaves. The flowers normally with white petals are distinguished by very prominent veined sepals.