Let us say at the outset that the recommendations here are our opinions as of now. As we learn more about Victoria, some ideas will change and we will make regular updates to these guidelines. Victoria is not an easy plant to grow. It requires special treatment throughout its life but the result is worth the effort.
Victoria is generally regarded as an annual in most climates. It grows only from seed (no tubers or rhizomes perpetuate it season to season). Because the seeds don't keep well, the seeds must be remade every year and the plants must be regrown from those seeds every year except in exceptional circumstances. Yes, it grows from those pea-sized seeds to huge blooming plants in a matter of months.
DO NOT store any Victoria seeds colder than 55F (13C)
as it will kill them. Euryale ferox seeds can be stored
in the refrigerator door at 45F (7C) without damage.
Very few 'Adventure', amazonica, 'Challenger' or 'Columbia' sprout on their own even at 85F so we "nick" them, removing the operculum carefully with a scalpel. This is very different than scarifying the seeds in random places since the embryo is directly beneath the operculum. Nicking the seed coating in places other than at the operculum will damage the seeds.
By nicking, our germination rates improve dramatically and usually in 3 to 12 days. After about three weeks, we inspect unsprouted seeds and renick them, which stimulates another flurry of sprouts.
Though we can accomodate seedlings year round, nicking allows us and others to predict sprouting more accurately counting backwards from setting out dates. We nick all seeds that are on a "timetable".