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. 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 type is completely submerged leaves, which are slightly heart-shaped and grow close to the bulb. The second type consists of floating leaves that rest on long, thin stems and look like lily pads.
The tiger lotus has both bushy leaves close to its bulb and long-stemmed, floating lily pads.
How do I 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. 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. Push one-third of your bulb into the substrate. Make sure the shoots or leaves remain above the ground. The entire bulb should not be buried as it can rot. If the bulb is floating at first, wait for it to become waterlogged enough 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. To bring out the redness in the plant, provide medium to high lighting with some extra iron fertilizer.
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. To trim the plant, simply clip the lily pad at the base of its stem, closest to the bulb. The floating leaves can be kept from getting too big by being pruned regularly. This will allow the plant to become bushier and less tall.
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 take the bulb out, keep it in a damp container for several months, and then put it back into the tank. New leaves will start to sprout after that.
If you’re looking for an eye-catching centerpiece plant to elevate the look of your aquascape, give the tiger lotus a try. If you prefer a lily that doesn’t need as much light, read about the dwarf aquarium lily here: