This perennial subshrub comes from the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands and has brightly colored, beak- or claw like flowers, giving rise to the common names of coral gem, parrot’s beak, and pelican’s beak. It has trailing, gray stems covered with deeply-divided, silvery gray leaves.
The 1 ½ in. (4 cm) long flowers are produced in spring and summer, either singly or in pairs, and are orange-red to scarlet. Although hardy outdoors in some milder temperate regions, lotus may still need winter protection. It is a particularly good plant for a sunroom or conservatory, where it will thrive and where the beautiful flowers can be fully appreciated.
Size: Stems to 2 ft. (60 cm).
Light: Indirect sunlight, with some direct sunlight.
Temperature: Tolerates a range of temperatures from spring to fall; winter minimum 50°F (10°C). Moisture Keep: moist from spring to fall, drier in winter.
Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring through to fall.
Propagation: Sow seed in spring at 65—75°F (18—23°C). Take 4 in. (10 cm) tip or heel cuttings in late spring or summer.
Special needs: Cut back, if necessary, immediately after flowering. Some direct sunlight is essential to ripen the shoots ready for flowering.