Lotus flower

Lotus, Water Lily, and Mosaic Plants experience Winter Dormancy; and When to Repot

During the winter months many aquatic plants enter dormancy; as the lower arc of the sun shortens daylight hours and lowers temperatures. Lotus plants generally stop blooming at the end of summer, and stop sprouting new leaves around October. On the surface they plant may appear dead. It is not! Trim flower stalks above the high water level and allow them to sleep until spring. Be sure not to fertilize your lotus while they are dormant, as this can shock the plant. Lotus plants typically start to come out of dormancy in February or March, which is the perfect time for its annual re-pot to give the plant new nutrients for a full and vibrant summer bloom; more on this in spring!

Lotus leaves in summer
Lotus basin at Garden Ponds in full summer vibrancy
Lotus dorment
Lotus in winter dormancy

When is the best time to repot your water lilies?

Water lilies however, can be repotted up until mid December. Repotting from late December into January may be too stressful for the plant as it grows slower during dormancy and may not recover well from the shock of repotting. 

Most tropical water lilies continue to flower all year-round. Hardy water lilies go dormant in the winter, but most will keep sending new leaves. It’s advisable to fertilize tropical water lilies in winter months, but do not fertilize hardy water lilies or lotus, which may go into shock or suffer from lack of oxyegen.

See our lily repotting video for an in-depth how to.

Do mosaic plants need to be repotted in winter?

Mosaic plant

The mesmerizing, geometric mosaic plant also shows signs of dormancy in the winter here in Hawaii. Mosaics are a tropical plant, our sub-tropical environment doesn’t supply them with the amount of sunlight they prefer, but enough to live through the winter and bounce back come summer.  Mosaic plant dormancy is evident by reduced size of new growth, and less vibrant leaf colors. Mosaic plants do not require winter repotting.  These beautiful plants will stay green year around in Hawaii and provide color on the surface of your water garden and shade for the ecosystem below.

In this month of gratitude we are grateful our water gardens that our water gardens continue to flourish (frost free) throughout the winter.


  1. Siri aka Megan Bowman

    Mahalo for sharing not to fertilize in the winter, and Aloha Sarah ! I have been so busy I haven’t been able to visit since I bought my pot, lily etc. Iam
    Planing on hosting the woman’s lunar rhythm class , we spoke about in January so gather your friends! Will be in touch
    Mucho Mahalos!!

  2. Kimberlee stuart

    Lovely newsletter and helpful information. We’re so lucky to have you here on the North Shore of Kauai! Mahalo nui, Kimberlee

  3. mira Walker

    I would like to volunteer to help repot the plants at the nursery. I am interested in learning as much as I can about lotuses care and water plants in general…..and would love to help as a hands on approach to learning. Let me know if you do need an extra hand now or in the future. Mahalo

    Mira Walker 808 828 1098

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *