Lotus and dragonfly

Here’s another favorite photo from my pond – this beautiful lotus was expensive and short-lived, but well worth it for the two summers it bloomed before we neglected it last winter and let it freeze. The pot I kept it in was huge and near impossible to move to the deep end of the pond without climbing into the water. It was late November by the time we did the clean-up that year and I just wasn’t willing to climb into the frigid water. So I pushed it from the pondside as far as I could and hoped for the best.

The first summer the flowers and leaves were huge – sometimes as big as dinner plates! It provided great shade for the goldfish and landing spots for dragonflies (I think this one is a blue darner – anyone know?) Lotus need warm water to bloom well and require a lot of fertilizer. I don’t like to add much fertilizer to my pond plants and hope that what the fish provide naturally will be enough. The second summer the lotus didn’t bloom as nicely and the leaves were much smaller because of too little fertilizer. With a weaker plant I started having trouble with aphids – they didn’t do much visible damage like they will to roses – but were still a nuisance. Maybe a stronger plant would have survived the winter, I don’t know.

I’m thinking about buying another lotus this summer if I can find one suitable to small ponds and that will not require a planter that I can’t handle alone. These plants are just too beautiful not to include in the water garden.

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