Plants

Hygrophila polysperma Care Guide – Planting, Growing, and Propagation

Hygrophila polysperma

The Hygrophila polysperma is a hardy plant that grows well in aquariums equipped powerful lighting. Its great ability to adapt to different aquatic qualities and temperatures make it a highly recommended plant for all types of aquariums.

Hygrophila polysperma characteristics

Hygrophila is a very versatile plant that can be grown both submerged and emerged. The shape of the leaves varies depending on its cultivation. The submerged leaves have a more intense colour and a lanceolate shape. On the contrary, the emerged leaves are darker and more rounded; in both cases, the development is very fast.

The emerged plants flourish, producing a large number of seeds. Considering the submerged shape of the plant, which is the most important, we can say that it is a rapidly developing plant that desperately seeks the surface of the water to get light. Thanks to this lighting, it develops roots in the ramifications of the stems, which will give rise to new plants.

FamilyAcanthaceae
Care LevelEasy
ColorGreen/Red
Max Size24 Inch
Water Conditions5-8 pH and Soft to Moderately Hard
Temperature: 64–86 °F (18-30 °C)
Light LevelsLow-Moderate
PropagationDivision/Splitting

Size

Depending on the lighting and the volume of the tank, its stems will reach between 25 and 40 cm.

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Hygrophila polysperma Origin

It comes from India where it can be found in swampy areas. Due to the particularities of its location, there will be times of the year, coinciding with the floods, in which we will find it totally submerged and times of drought in which it will only keep the base underwater.

Aquatic conditions

Hygrophila polysperma is a resistant plant with a great capacity to adapt to very diverse aquatic qualities, and it adapts to both soft and hard waters although it is more advisable to keep it in medium hard waters between 8 and 12º of Gh. As for the pH, it is recommended not to expose it to excessively acidic waters below 6º because its development would stop.

The optimal temperature range that it admits is very wide, ranging from 22 to 30º C being more advisable to keep it in a medium-term, in temperatures below 20º C they will stop its growth and will cause a slow loss of the leaves.

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Maintenance hygrophila polysperma

Because it is a plant that develops very quickly, it should be planted in the bottoms of ponds and fish tanks. We can group this stem plant into small groups of plants separated from each other, the distance to prevent the roots from competing is more or less of about 7 cm.

Within the maintenance of the plant is its pruning. Such pruning is very necessary since otherwise, we will find a real thorn bush that even sifts the surface of the water. Pruning will be done in the upper parts of the stem, cutting about 10 or 15 cm, these stems can be replanted. It is advisable to use scissors for pruning since the stems are fragile and we can damage them with our fingers.

illumination

Lighting is crucial in the life cycle of the plant. Poor lighting will delay its growth and size. Leaves that are too close to the light source turn brownish.

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Hygrophila Polysperma care

Few species of aquatic plants are as hardy as this one. The light intensity does not seem to be important, although lower values ​​of light than usual will result in a proportionally slower and smaller growth; in aquarium cases (Low Tech). With intense light, its leaves acquire red tones.

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The subscriber also appears to be of limited importance in the maintenance of this species. Their stems will tolerate a variety of hardness values ​​without showing a noticeable decline in their exceptionally rapid growth. CO2 supplementation is not a necessary one for this species, and it can be grown in aquariums that do not contain CO2 without problems. In this sense, it is a recommended plant for beginners.

Reproduction of the Hygrophila Polysperma

Since Hygrophila polysperma develops a multitude of lateral shoots at its leaf nodes, propagation is a simple matter of cutting and replanting them. You can also cut the vertical shoots and replant them in the area you want. This species’ growth is often so rapid that the plant is trimmed every one to two weeks since the last pruning.

A cluster of Hygrophila polysperma stems is best suited to the middle of the aquarium, where they will add exciting geometry to the waterscape. They have limited contrast value, making them excellent “filler” plants in mother plant dominated designs. Although most fans dismiss this species’ decorative value, Takashi Amano used it frequently in his designs.

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