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 lotus is a bulb plant that has two kinds of leaf structures. The first type consists of completely submersed leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped and grow 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 in your Garden?
If you purchase this plant from Aquarium Co-Op, the bulb will arrive in a plastic pot covered in rock wool. The bulb may have a few small leaves, but these are easily damaged during transit and can melt after planting. Don’t worry, a healthy bulb will be the best. Take the bulb out of the pot with the rock wool and wash it off. 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. If the bulb is floating at first, wait for it to become waterlogged enough to sink. As the roots grow into the substrate, they will firmly anchor the bulb in place.
How do you grow a Tiger Lotus?
After your Tiger Lotus is established, it will grow lots of large leaves. Make sure to feed it comprehensive fertilizers such as Easy Green and Easy Root Tabs. For the best results, add iron fertilizer to the medium-high lighting.
Some Tiger Lotuses have primarily green leaves with red variegation while others have reddish-purple stripes on their red 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
The tiger lotus can also grow flowers on the surface. A lotus with lots of lily pads may produce flowers in a variety of colors, such as yellow or white. If the flower begins to wilt, it can develop into many seeds for you. Another way to propagate is through 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 go dormant for a time. All the leaves will eventually die and the bulb will remain. 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. After that, new leaves will sprout and begin actively growing again.
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: