We get dozens of calls each year from brides and event organizers asking us where they can purchase cut lotus for their wedding or events. Many brides wish to carry cut lotus in their bridal bouquet and event planners want to float them in large glass bowls. Although this is a romantic notion, as a rule, lotus are not available as a cut flower. If you place a lotus bloom in water immediately after it has been cut, it may be floated in a bowl or placed in a vase for a couple of hours, but you will not have any long lasting blooms.
Lotus are not available as a cut flower due to the fact that lotus stems are self healing. Once a lotus flower has been cut, the hollow stem begins the process of self healing. Once the cut stem of the lotus begins the healing process, no water can travel up the stem to the flower. Since the flower cannot receive moisture, it will begin to wilt shortly after it is cut from the plant. This makes the flowers difficult, if not impossible, to ship from one place to another, unlike other cut flowers such as carnations or roses.
Many people think that the Lotus is a floating plant. Lotus are grown from a tuber that are planted in the soil, the roots or tubers are planted in the soil with a few inches of water above the soil, the only part of the lotus you see are the stems, leaves and flowers above the surface of the water.
Along with being one of the most exquisite flowers on the planet, lotus come in many sizes, some being a few inches tall, while others may grow to 5' tall!
Unless you are growing the lotus yourself, or can purchase them locally, they are not usually available for weddings or events in the Northern Hemisphere.
Waterlilies are beautiful, but not a good choice for bridal bouquets, wedding receptions or events. Waterlily blooms open and close with the rising and setting of the sun. Once you cut the flower from the plant, there is very little time for the bloom to remain open and viable. Even when placed in water immediately after cutting, the flower seems predisposed to close in early afternoon..
Many event planners wish to "float" waterlilies in large glass bowls for receptions and events. This simply isn't practical as the flowers will not stay open long enough, once cut from the plant.
Some event planners think they can place the whole plant on a table or in a tub for an event. This is impractical as waterlilies need bright sunlight to grow and bloom. The stems on waterlily pads can be quite long as they acclimate to the depth of water they are grown in, to plunge a waterlily in an 12" deep tub after it has been growing three feet beneath the surface of the water, will only make an ungainly looking waterlily.
Waterlilies have quite an extensive root system that should be planted in heavy loam soil. The plant itself should be in 1-3' of water. Once you understand the very nature of the plant, you will realize that waterlilies and lotus are not good choices for weddings, receptions, events and photo shoots! They look their best when planted in tubs, containers and ponds in your backyard or on your deck or patio!