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Robyn's 12 Gallon Lotus Tub Pond Page

Last Updated: 2/27/17

The lotus in this tub pond on 8/26/12.

Note: This tub pond was previously referred to as being 20 gallons but when I emptied it on 3/20/05, I realized it says "12S" on the bottom which means a 12 gallon squat pot.

This pond was retired on 3/26/05 but brought out of retirement on 3/8/12.

Physical Attributes

Set up May, 1998, not buried
12 gallon tub, half filled with dirt, topped with pea gravel or sand, and then water
About 2 gallons of water
Pond emptied and refilled with fresh dirt, pea gravel, and plants on 5/10/03.

Animals

1998:

Mosquito fish - a few adults and fry (total of 14) moved (10/11/98) to 50 gallon rubbermaid tub with de-icer for winter
Green frog tadpoles - in July, 1998, a pair of green frogs laid their hundreds of eggs in the lotus tub which seemed pretty dumb to me since their tadpoles grow to 2 inches, and the tub only has less than 10 gallons of water in it! I rescued many dozens and put them in my 1800 gallon pond. The remainder were moved to the 50 gallon tub for winter.

1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003:

No animals except frogs coming and going.

Plants and Photos

1998:

Charles Thomas purple lotus, flowered Summer 1998. Dead 1999. Must not have survived the freezing winter since the pot froze solid.
A few pieces off my snowflakes in main pond, hornwort (moved to other ponds for winter 1998), and duckweed.

1999:

A ton of baby regular cattails sprouted. I tossed them out and put in some parrot's feather and primrose creeper which went crazy all over the yard.

2000:

I decided to try a lotus again. This time it was a Momo Botan lotus. The lotus flowered three flowers in July and four more in September! Some of it was moved to a 5 gallon pot in the 1800 gallon pond on 10/8/00 so it would not die. It would freeze solid in the tub pond.

2001:

On 3/25/01, I repotted the Momo Botan into this pond and topped it off with some nice pea gravel. I used sand the previous year and that was always a cloudy mess! So far, so good! I also added some new parrot feather and pennywort to this pond in early July, 2001. By 8/29/01, this lotus put out a record six blooms! All the seeds turned out infertile! On 10/28/01, I removed about half a dozen of the tubers and put them into a 2 gallon pot topped with pea gravel that I sunk into my 1800 gallon pond for the winter. The tubers were deep and smaller in diameter than previous years. For the first time in its four-year history, this pond did not have any tadpoles in it. For some reason, the green frogs did not want to lay eggs in it this year although a male hung out there.

2002:

On 4/14/02, I moved the Momo Botan lotus tubers from the pot in the main pond to the tub pond. By early June 2002, the lotus had died. We had some near-freezing temperatures after I put the tuber in the pot and only one piece grew and then turned black. Next spring, I would try a new lotus but of course, I would miss the one I had for two years. For now, the pot just held some insects, duckweed, and a green frog who hung out there. On 6/16/02, I was in the main pond and found that the large lotus was sending out runners all over that had jumped the pot. So, I cut one off. I stuck it in this 20 gallon lotus tub pond since the Momo Botan was dead. The tuber with one leaf and a root section kept floating up so I put a rock on it to hold it down. This lotus was a large one but for one season, it may be okay in this pot. Time will tell. I added a few pieces of primrose creeper (the deer kept ripping it out of the main pond) and a piece of frog fruit (the raccoon kept ripping it out of its pot in the main pond) to this tub pond too. On 11/3/02, I potted the lotus into a 4 gallon pot and moved it to the big pond for winter. All the other plants in this tub had long since died except a little forget-me-not.

2003:

I bought a new yellow American lotus for this pond. There was also a sprig of parrot feather and duckweed. I redid the tub pond from scratch. The sludgy dirt was full of old rotted lotus tubers. Fresh dirt, fertilizer, and pea gravel brought the tub pond up to an inch from the rim so only an inch of water lied over the new lotus (oops, too shallow!!). The poor lotus did not survive more than a few weeks. It never put out a single leaf! The pond was certainly boring with just duckweed and parrot feather!

2004:

I got a Chawan Basu lotus and added it on 4/23/04. I did not redo the pond for the new lotus. As of 5/14/04, the lotus was doing pretty well despite having virtually no water over the crown. The first leaves were supposed to float but they were above water. I hope it makes it! Here is a photo of the lotus in the tub on 5/21/04. As of 7/7/04, the lotus had a few good leaves, a few stalks where the deer ate the leaves, and no buds. In early September, I was shocked to find pink petals on the ground! I missed the flower, my first in years! It was hidden in the butterfly bush so I never saw it. On 10/18/04, I potted some of this lotus into a 3 gallon pot and put it into my 1800 gallon pond for the winter to try to overwinter it. You can read more about it in the November 2004 newsletter.

On 3/20/05, I emptied this tub and put it up. I gave up on not having lotus do well.

2012:

On 3/8/12, I repotted the one surviving lotus that I had in a 7 gallon pot in my 1800 gallon pond.

I decided to pot up all the extra tubers in this 12 gallon tub pond instead of throwing them away. I was hoping that this lotus (had for four years) would bloom for the first time.

From 3/8/12:
Repotting lotus - 12 gallon tub pond, pile of lotus tubers
Lotus tuber - showing the starchy tuber (for energy strorage) and growing tip with leaf coming out
12 gallon lotus tub pond - all potted up
12 gallon tub pond from a distance, 1800 gallon pond on the left

Lotus in the tub pond on 8/26/12. Look how big it got!

On 10/23/12, I used my hands and pruners to remove the lotus tubers from the 12 gallon lotus tub pond. There were so many for such a small pond! I saved two shorter pieces. The rest I cleaned off and put them in a white mesh laundry bag with a rock. I sunk that in the deep end. I did not know if it would work but I am going to try to overwinter the tubers bareroot in the deep end of the pond. I lifted up the 7 gallon lotus tub pot in the main pond. There was no life in it. I dug a hole in one side, put in a tuber, moved the rocks over, and repeated. I added more rocks on top. It was not a full repotting because it is very hard to lift that pot out of the pond. Hopefully, this makeshift work would result in some tubers someone surviving the winter.

2013:

On 3/17/13, I took out the mesh bag of lotus tubs to pot them up in the lotus tub pond. I thought I had a lot of tubers in there and was going to Ebay some. It turned out that I only saved four tubers which would fit nicely in the tub pond. They had some slimy growths on them and black dots indicating that the tubers were degrading. Yet, they were still hard, and there were fresh, live growing tips on them so I thought that they will be alright. I filled the 12 gallon Lerio tub pond with dirt a little more than half way, put in the tubers, and topped off with a bag of pea gravel.

Lotus tubers on 3/17/13. These are the ones that I stored over the winter in a mesh bag and repotted in to the 12 gallon Lerio tub pond.

12 gallon lotus tub pond on 4/26/13.

I turned the pot over on 10/27/13 and removed a few large tubers and a few stringy ones and stored them in a mesh bag with a rock in the bottom of the big pond for the winter.

I sure wish my lotus would bloom some time.

2014:

On 3/30/14, I pulled the tubers out of the big pond and potted them up in to the tub pond. There were no signs of growing tips but the tubers were solid. They also had some spotting and slimy stuff but I think they are viable. I potted them up while is snowed on me.

The leaves did well in 2014 but it never flowered (per usual).

2015:

I potted up the lotus tubers in to the tub pond on 3/29/15.

No flowers this year, yet again.

On 10/25/15, I cut the leaves off the lotus, pulled the pot down the hill (only gravity allows me to move it), tipped it over, pulled out two large starchy tubers and one smaller one, rinsed those off, put them in a mesh laundry bag with a rock, and sunk them in the deep end. The thin and stringy parts of the lotus with roots and growth got tossed. It is the fat tubers that are meant to survive the winter.

2016:

I set up the lotus tub pond on 3/27/16. The tubers did not look great but were still viable. Unfortunately, we had some hard freezes after I set up the lotus pond. I think they finished off the tubers. By 5/1/16, it seems apparent that they are not going to put out any growth. It is now too late to order lotus until next winter. The dead lotus looks to be an Empress lotus that I got eight years ago according to my inventory.

I dug up and put away the lotus tub pond on 5/15/16. The lotus was dead.

2017:

I received a Chawan Basu lotus tuber on 2/2/17. On 2/19/17, it was 68 degrees F with no temperatures expected below freezing for at least 10 days. I planted the lotus up in the 12 gallon lotus tub pond. When/if it does go below freezing, I will put a pot over it to keep hopefully keep it safe. If it goes way below freezing, I will put in an aquarium heater and cover it. It is unfortunately too heavy for me to just move inside if it gets cold again. Then again, it may not get cold again so I just went ahead and potted it because I saw the beginnings of black mold on the tuber.

It was getting cold again with some nights below freezing, and I needed to protect my lotus. So, on 2/25/17, I ran an extension cord from the front porch and plugged in a 25 W aquarium heater set to 65 degrees F (the minimum setting) which sits in the 12 gallon lotus tub pond. In addition, on nights below freezing, I put a 5 gallon black pot over the lotus to protect it by locking in some of the heat coming off the pot and water and 25 W heater. I hope it is enough to keep it alive until danger of freezing passes.


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