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.
Two types of leaf structure can be found in the tiger lotus bulb plant. 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 in your Garden?
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. A healthy bulb is the most important. 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. Push one-third of your bulb into the substrate. Make sure the shoots or leaves remain above the 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. 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. 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. Lots of lily pads can produce lotsus flowers with varying colors. The flower may wilt and develop multiple seeds that you can collect. 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 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. After several months, it will start sprouting new leaves. 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.
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: