Lotus berthelotii flowerLotus berthelotii or parrot’s beak is known for its ornamental lobster-claw like flowers, which also look like parrot’s beak.  It makes for an adorable display of silver-gray leaves and contrasting shades of bright yellow, orange and red flowers. Since the year 1884, the plant started to disappear in Canary Island and Cape Verde Island and hence, deemed vulnerable and protected by law.  It is a great plant that is low on maintenance and drought-resistant to some extent.

It is a vine that flowers. It is also a soft, silver plant that flowers. The flowering phase is quite short and depends heavily on temperature. The floral phase happens in spring and if the temperature fast forward to directly summer, it simply doesn’t happen. It blooms well in cool temperatures and spring. In warm climates, it is found as a perennial evergreen cover of 1” needle-like leaves arranged in whorls (3-7 leaves per whorl).  It prefers sun and well-drained but moist soil.  Rotting of roots is very common problem with parrot’s beak, which happens due to poor draining arrangement.

It is to be noted that the Lotus berthelotii or parrot’s beak is different and not to be confused with Nelumbo or water lily, a commonly known lotus.

Lotus berthelotii flowerHow to Grow and Care for the Lotus Vine or Parrot’s Beak

While this plant is endangered, it can be cultivated indoors as an annual perennial plant, through seed germination and stem cutting. The flowering phase remains elusive, though.

With parrot-beak flowers and silvery foliage, it is one of the most beautiful and rarest flowers.  It can go up to the height of either under 6 inches or up to 12 inches. About 2 feet wide, it is the best and go-to option for container gardening. Since it is a vine, it climbs to walls and fences and thus, can be used for privacy and to control soil erosion.

Based on the variety, the plants produce 1” bright orange or yellow flowers in late spring.  Whenever the temperature begins to cool down after summer, the flowering phase begins again momentarily.

Lotus berthelotii flowerOut of all parrot’s beak types, Lotus Amazon Sunset is most adaptable and blooms easily with little care.  Apart from this, Lotus maculates ‘Gold Flame’ is another variety of this plant that loves sun but can do with little shade too.  It can also tolerate little neglect with regards to watering if you are growing the plant for its foliage. It can bear flowers with periodic watering and good care.

While the plants prefer sun, it is better to keep them in shade during extreme blistering sun.  The regular watering pattern can help lotus vine to establish early.

Lotus berthelotiiPeople, who are planting lotus vine or parrot’s beak for the foliage, need to take care of their pruning and protection from bugs such as bugs, aphids and spider mites. Though, the plant can bear non-availability of water for some time, it grows better when watered regularly. A well-ventilated and bright area is recommended for their planting.

Stem-cutting is the ideal way to grow them during the summer.  If you want to plant the flower in spring, snip a cut in late winters.  For container gardening indoors, you need to plant the seed 8 to 10 weeks prior to the last frost.  Keep the temperature of 60 to 70 degrees until germination that can take up to 20 days.