How to Care For a Tiger Lotus
When looking to add plants to a freshwater aquarium, there are endless choices. You should consider color and shape when trying to achieve the best overall look. The Nymphaea Zenkeri, or tiger lotus, is a beautiful plant that is also easy to care for. With its broad, wavy-edged leaves and variegated color pattern, it can bring a new and stunning aesthetic to your aquarium.
The tiger lotsus is a bulb that can grow two types of leaves. The first type consists of completely submersed leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped and grow near the bulb. The second type consists of floating leaves that rest on long, thin stems and look like lily pads.
Tiger lotuses grow both bushy leaves near its bulb and long-stemmed lily pads that float to the water surface.
How do you plant a Tiger Lotus Bulb in your Garden?
If you purchase this plant from Aquarium Co-Op, the bulb will arrive in a plastic pot covered in rock wool. There may be some small leaves sprouting from the bulb, but they are often damaged in transit or may melt away after being planted. A healthy bulb is the most important. Remove the bulb from the pot and rock wool, and rinse off any debris that is stuck to the bulb. Tiger lotuses get rather large, so plant it the midground or background of the fish tank. Gently push about one-third the bulb into the substrate so that the shoots and leaves are fully above ground. Do not bury the entire bulb or it will rot. If your bulb seems to be floating initially, wait until it becomes sufficiently waterlogged to sink. The roots will hold the bulb in its place once they have grown into the substrate.
How do you grow a Tiger Lotus?
Once your tiger lotus becomes well-established, it will quickly grow plenty of big leaves, so make sure you feed it comprehensive fertilizers like Easy Green and Easy Root Tabs. You can bring out the plant’s redness by providing medium to high light and adding iron fertilizer.
Some lotuses have green leaves with red variegation. Others have reddish-purple streaking on their leaves.
How Do You Prune an Aquarium Lotus?
Eventually, the tiger lotus may grow so many floating leaves that it prevents other aquarium plants from getting enough light. Simply trim the lily pads at the base of the stem closest to the bulb. By trimming a few floating leaves per week, you can keep your plant from growing too high. This allows it to grow bushier than taller.
How do you propagate a Tiger Lotus
One of the most interesting aspects about the tiger lotsus is its ability to grow flowers at the surface. Lots of lily pads can produce lotsus flowers with varying colors. If the flower begins to wilt, it can develop into many seeds for you. The bulb is another method of propagation. If the tiger lotus is doing well, the parent bulb may form little daughter bulbs that can be detached and replanted in another aquarium.
Do Tiger Lotuses Go Dormant?
Sometimes bulbs can go dormant, and all the leaves will fall off leaving only the bulb. You can keep the bulb in the aquarium. After several months, it will start sprouting new leaves. You can also remove the bulb and keep it in a container for several weeks. Then, you can put it back in the tank. New leaves will start to sprout after that.
If you are looking for an attractive centerpiece plant to enhance your aquascape’s appearance, the tiger lotsus might be the one for you. If you prefer a lily that doesn’t need as much light, read about the dwarf aquarium lily here: