How to Care for a Tiger Lotus
When looking to add plants to a freshwater aquarium, there are endless choices. When trying to create the most appealing look, color and shape are important considerations. Nymphaeazenkeri or the Tiger lotus is an attractive and easy-to-maintain plant. 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 is completely submerged leaves that have a heart-shaped shape and are found near the bulb. The second type is floating leaves on long, thin stems that look like lily pads resting at the surface of the water.
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?
If you purchase this plant from Aquarium Co-Op, the bulb will arrive in a plastic pot covered in rock wool. Although there may be a few tiny leaves that sprout from the bulb after it is planted, they can become damaged or melted. Don’t worry, a healthy bulb will be the best. The bulb should be removed from the pot along with rock wool. Rinse off any debris. 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. It is important not to bury the whole bulb as it could rot. Wait for the bulb to sink if it is still floating. The roots will hold the bulb in its place once they have grown into the substrate.
How can you grow a Tiger Lotus tree?
Once your tiger lotsus is established, you will see a lot of growth. You should feed it extensive fertilizers like Easy Green or Easy Root Tabs. You can bring out the plant’s redness by providing medium to high light and adding iron fertilizer.
Some tiger lotuses grow primarily green leaves with red variegation, whereas others have red leaves with a darker, reddish-purple striping.
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. You can trim the plant by simply removing the lily pad from the base of the stem. This is closest to your 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
Another interesting aspect of the tiger lotus is that it can grow flowers at the surface. If a lotus has lots of lily pads, it may produce a flower with colors ranging from white to yellow. The flower may wilt and develop multiple seeds that you can collect. Another method of propagation is via the bulb. 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 bulb plants have a dormant period, where all the leaves will die off and leave behind just the bulb. You can keep the bulb in the aquarium. It will begin to sprout new leaves after a few months. The bulb can be removed, placed in a moist container for several months and then returned to the tank. The new leaves will begin to grow again and sprout.
The tiger lotus is a great choice for a focal point plant that will enhance the appearance of your aquascape. If you prefer a lily that doesn’t need as much light, read about the dwarf aquarium lily here: