Nelumbo lutea or the American Lotus can be found in California and throughout the Eastern half of USA and Canada. American lotus occurs in quiet waters in ponds, lakes and the edges of slow moving streams and rivers; as deep as six feet. Nelumbo lutea is a perennial water plant that has large, spongy rootstocks called rhizomes, in the mud beneath water. The leaf stems arise from the rhizomes and each supports a single round leaf up to 2 feet or more in diameter.
Water lily has its place in myth and legend, beginning with the ancient Greeks who dedicated the plant to the nymph, a type of water demigoddess. Step 1 Scarify each seed by sawing through the hard seed coat with a hobby knife until you see the seed's cream-colored interior. The seed coat must be split for germination.
Step 2 Enlarge the cut with a small triangular file. Step 3 Place the scarified seeds in warm water in a shallow pan. The water should be between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Step 4 Change the water twice a day. Over the next 3 days, the seeds will begin to appear lumpy.
Shortly after that, they will begin to sprout. Step 5 Put about 3 inches of soil in the bottom of a plastic bucket. Plain garden soil will work well. Step 6 Add enough water to the bucket to cover the soil by about 3 inches. Let the bucket sit overnight to allow the soil to settle. Step 7 Plant the seed about 1 inch deep.
This will re-stir the sediment and it will take awhile for the water to clear. Add water to maintain around 3 inches of water above the soil. Step 8 Transplant the lotus to its final growing place after a couple of weeks. This should not be done until the lotus has a number of leaves floating on top of the water in the bucket.