Archive for the ‘Bog Plants’ Category

Rotala rotundifolia

Common name: Pink Baby Tears, Roundleaf Toothcup, Pink Rotala, Dwarf Rotala

Family: Lythraceae

Synonymous: Ammannia rotundifolia

Rotala rotundifolia

Rotala rotundifolia

Distribution and habitat: Rotala rotundifolia is an emergent perennial aquatic plant and has its origins in southeast Asia. In the wild, this species is often found in a semi-emersed state at the edges of rice paddies and in moist locations. The current distribution of Rotala rotundifolia has expanded beyond its native range. It was introduced in United stated where it has the potential to become invasive.
Its Latin species name rotundifolia means “round-leaved”, however, the round leaves that gave the plant its name are only found in its creeping swamp form. The leaves of Rotala rotundifolia have an elongated oval or even linear shape.

Description: Rotala rotundifolia is a creeping aquatic perennial with soft stems that branch often to form low, creeping clumps. This species has both submersed (underwater) and emergent (out-of-water) forms, which differ in a number of characteristics. The small leaves – less than 2.5cm (1 inch) long – are arranged in groups of two or three around plants’ pink stems. However, emergent Rotala rotundifolia has fleshy, bright-green and rounded leaves; submersed Rotala rotundifolia has darker green or reddish leaves that are thin and lanceolate – sword-shaped. Growth habit differs between the forms as well. Low-growing populations of emergent Rotala rotundifolia creep along shorelines and banks, with plant height rarely exceeding 15cm (six inch). Submersed plants form tight, mounded colonies in water as deep as 1.8m (6 feet), but they eventually grow to reach the surface of the water, where they form dense mats that block light penetration and impede water flow. Rotala rotundifolia produces spikes of small, bright pink to fuchsia flowers, but flowering only occurs on plant tips that are aerial or emergent. Flowers occur in spikes at the tip of stems. Plants flower prolifically in spring and early summer.
Rotala rotundifolia can spread by floating stem fragments, which root adventitiously at lower nodes. The plant also produces viable seeds. Fruits are dry capsules that split open to disperse seeds.
Rotala rotundifolia is a favorite of the aquarium and water garden industries, being appreciated for both its leaves and flowers.

Aquarium care: Rotala rotundifolia are ideal aquarium plants for beginners. The species is a typical example of a rapidly growing stem plant and responds favorably to frequent and even heavy pruning. This plant can be used as regulator in a newly cycled tank. Pruning must be done on a frequent basis as the side shots will grow considerably under good condition, keeping the leaves at the base of the plant away from the light. Without pruning, the plant will take a bushy appearance which could be suitable for fry or breeding tanks. Although they are difficult to grow beyond the water surface; established plants will flower small, purple flowers above the water line.
This plant looks best when planted in large groups. Once it is flourishing, it propagates easily through new shoots or cuttings. Rotala rotundifolia is best placed in the middle or in the background of a tank.
Rotala rotundifolia is considered to be a fragile plant that should be excluded from environments with very active or large fish that may damage their fragile stems.

Water: Adaptable, decorative and fast growing, Rotala rotundifolia will tolerate large fluctuations of both pH and General Hardness (GH). Ideally, the pH should be between 5.5 and 7.5, with dH below 15.

Substrate: Rotala rotundifolia can be plated directly on the bottom substrate of the aquarium. The substrate could be plain sand or small granulated gravel. Soil fertiliser is not required to grow this plant successfully.
Rotala rotundifolia is beautiful in clumps, though have to have enough space between stems when planting. Cut plant stem above lead strip with sharp scissors and strip the bottom 4-5cm of leaves from the stem. Individually insert plant into substrate. Take should be taken not to damage the stem. It is recommended to use tweezers to plant Rotala rotundifolia.

Light: Rotala rotundifolia has a green leaf which will turn reddish pink under bright light. Low or medium light will produce a somewhat lanky, yellow-green specimen. This species requires a moderate to high level of light at 3.5 to 5 watts per gallon provided by full spectrum (5000-7000K) bulbs.

Temperature: Rotala rotundifolia is suitable for tropical aquariums with water temperature below 30°C (86°F), but not lower than 21°C (70°F).

Feeding: Rotala rotundifolia plant displays the most beautiful colours at a low nitrate level (5 mg/l) and high phosphate and iron/micronutrient levels. Varying fertiliser doses bring colour hues from pink to yellow. Maintaining nitrates below 5 ppm and phosphates above 1 ppm will further enhance this appearance.

Pond care: Rotala rotundifolia is a tropical species and is not considered cold-tolerant. However, emergent populations cultivated outdoors die back after multiple hard freezes during winter and then quickly regrow when spring arrives. So it can withstand relatively cool temperatures. In temperate zones it may even survive mild winters in a pond. Outside of its hardiness zone, Rotala rotundifolia can be cultivated outdoors during the warm months and treated as annual.
It can be grown emerse in shallow water where it will flower. Masses of dainty pink flower spikes are produced Spring through Autumn. It is also capable of producing a heterophyllous growth form – different in form and coulour for aerial leaves compared with the submersed ones.
This plant grows to 15cm (6 inch) in height and usually is placed in water to 20-30cm (8-12 inch) deep.

Light: Rotala rotundifolia will grow in part shade to full sun. It will grow fast in high light conditions – up to one 2.5cm (1 inch) per week.
Rotala rotundifolia enjoys receiving direct light. It will grow adequately in low light compositions, where most of the leaves will remain a bright green. To truly showcase this plant’s properties, intense light will bring out the rich red and pink tones that can make an aquascape stand out. The more light provided the smaller and more densely packed the leaves will be.

Pond water: Water requirements are not really an issue. Rotala Rotundifolia supports a wide range of water conditions. It thrives in shallow water to 30cm (12 inch) and grows to 15cm (6 inch) in height.

Pond planting: Rotala rotundifolia can be planted directly into pockets of gravel of the pond. For easy maintenance and containing, use a sallow tray or a 25cm (10 inch) pan size to create mass effect. These species can became invasive, so these plants may need to be severely trimmed to keep them tidy. Make sure to take precautions with this plant disposal.

Pond fertiliser: Soil fertiliser is not required for Rotala rotundifolia health. However, iron and NO3 should be present to avoid stunting the plant. Lean NO3 (nitrate) levels, high PO4 (phosphate) levels, with heavy, regular dosing of iron and trace elements in addition to CO2 injection, will produce intense coloration and vigorous growth.

When there is inadequate light, the lower parts Rotala rotundifolia may lose their leaves.
Treatment: Improve light exposure.

Companion plants: Rotala rotundifolia looks excellent when mixed in with other low growing bog or marginal plants such as Myosotis scorpioides (Forget-me-not), Mentha spicata (Mentha) or Bacopa monnieri (Bacopa).

Propagation: The propagation of Rotala rotundifolia is easy: simply cut the top half of a strong stem and gently replant it in the substrate after removing any leaves from the last node of the stem. The parent stem will quickly develop new shoots and the newly planted cutting will quickly develop a root system. Over time, this topping process will develop lush, bushy plants.

Note: The tremendous capacity for vegetative regeneration of Rotala rotundifolia is considered as a serious indicator of potential invasive aquatic plant species. Precautions in disposal this plant always should be taken.

This plant has frequently been confused with Rotala indica and is still commonly advertised as such by many retailers. Differences in the inflorescence provide the key to proper identification.

Uses and display: Rotala rotundifolia popularity is increased over time because its ease of cultivation and beautiful growth pattern. Both Dutch and Nature-style aquascapes often feature this versatile plant. Because of its rapid growth and size, this plant is usually placed in background position, but is also wonderful when is used as ascent plant forming a good clump under reasonable conditions.
Under intense light with good micronutrient levels it will acquire a nice pink coloration which will make a nice contrast with other green aquatic plants. It said that Rotala rotundifolia look its best as mass planting.
As pond plant, Rotala rotundifolia can be used for its beautiful flower heads in shallow water or grown as aquatic plant up to 30cm (12 inch) deep.

Aquarium summary:
Environment: freshwater
Height: 5-20cm (2-8 inch) above the surface
Width: 15-36cm (6-14 inch)
Growth rate: fast
Difficulty: easy
Placement: middle to background
Lighting needs: medium to high
Substrate: gravel
Temperature: 22°C – 26°C
pH: 6.8 – 7.2
Water Hardness: 150 – 200ppm
Water depth: 5-76cm (2-30 inches)

Hardiness zone: 8-12

Rotala rotundifolia Rotala rotundifolia Rotala rotundifolia

Aquarium Plants, Bog Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , , ,

Eleocharis acicularis

Common name: Dwarf Hairgrass, Needle Spikerush, Needle-Spike Rush, Hair Grass

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonymous: Heleocharis acicularis
Scirpus chaeta
Eleogiton exigua
Limnochloa acicularis
Eleocharis acicularis forma fluitans
Eleocharis acicularis forma inundata
Eleocharis acicularis forma longicaulis
Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa
Eleocharis acicularis var. submersa

 Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa

Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa

Distribution and habitat: Eleocharis acicularis is widespread across Europe, central and southeastern Asia, North America and northeastern South America as far south as Ecuador. Actually, this species is found all the way around the north pole and is common in areas from low to moderate elevations. It is also found in Australia, where it is probably an introduced species.
Eleocharis acicularis grows in wet meadows and along muddy edges of pools and streams. It often forms thick mats. This plant prefers areas where the water is present throughout the season. Lemna and Scirpus species are often found with Eleocharis.

Description: Eleocharis acicularis is an annual or perennial spike-sedge with long, grass-like stems to about 12-15cm (5-6 inch) in height, shorter in bog conditions, raising from a creeping rhizome. It has very thin stems hair-like and a single terminal inflorescence. Dense colonies of plants with a mat-like appearance are often produced from the rhizomes.
In shallow water it will form short spikes of tiny flowers amongst flat overlapping bracts. The tiny flowers are less than five millimeters in diameter and are borne at the tip of each stem in single, sharply pointed, lanceoloid spikelets up to about six millimeters long. The florets are cross-pollinated by wind. The resulting achenes are small enough to be blown about by the wind or they can be carried by currents of water. In wild, the culms of these colonial plants are initially erect, but they may later lean in different directions. Leaves are not retained year to year.
Submerged, usually nonflowering plants are abundant throughout much of the range of the species. They have been called Eleocharis acicularis forma fluitans, Eleocharis acicularis forma inundata, Eleocharis acicularis forma longicaulis, Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa or Eleocharis acicularis var. submersa. The culms of the submerged plants are terete, smooth, soft to flaccid.
Although Eleocharis acicularis is very variable, recognition of varieties is premature pending a worldwide taxonomic revision of Subgenus Scirpidium. Much of the variation is apparently due to phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental factors, especially water depth. The Eleocharis acicularis has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate.
Eleocharis acicularis is a plant of marshes, vernal pools and bogs. It is sold commercially as a aqua-scape plant suitable for artificial aquatic environments such as aquariums, paludarium and ponds.

Aquarium care: Eleocharis acicularis is amphibious and will thrive either partially or fully submersed. It grows moderately fast and will quickly spread from throwing out runners, covering the bottom of the aquarium with a tick carpet of grass.
Eleocharis acicularis is a great plant for beginners in aquarium scape. Usually, Eleocharis acicularis is placed in the foreground or midground areas of the aquarium. The grass-like appearance can either balance well with against rocks or other carpet foreground plants such as Hemianthus callitrichoides, Glossostigma elatinoides, or Sagittaria subulata. Eleocharis acicularis can also be used as ascents to an aquascape, by strategically placing small patches of the plant among rock crevasses or other plants such as Riccia fluitians. It will make an excellent spawning medium.
Eleocharis acicularis may require cutting or pulling of brownish, dying material or replanting of healthy bunches. However, it seldom gets out of hand and is very easy to control by cutting the wandering stems in the spring before the next growing season begins. Use a pair of good quality aquarium scissors to trim the Eleocharis acicularis to the desired length. Use a soft fish net to remove the clippings from the tank. Make sure to give adequate water flow and clean it by light vacuuming any unnecessary debris that collects onto the grassy leaves. These plants tend to get algae infested or dirty quickly if conditions are not appropriate.
With Eleocharis acicularis is not a big problem keeping it contained once it is established. Just pull out the plants as they spread to undesired areas.

Water: Eleocharis acicularis require acidic to slightly alkaline water (pH 6.0-7.2) and mild hardness (KH to 10). It thrive submerged in depths up to 30cm (12 inch) deep and good water flow will keep it looking nice and clean. This sedge grows even in brackish.

Substrate: Eleocharis acicularis will thrive in a fine-grained, nutrient-rich substrate and quickly form a dense carpet over the entire aquarium substrate. The rhizome and roots will penetrate approximately 1.2cm (0.5 inch) deep and stretch through fine grain substrates.
Gravel or sand is a good substrate for Eleocharis acicularis. Substrate granulation is an issue: with small grains the roots might not be able to get a good hold and the sand tends to compact, while larger gravel has a tendency to collect pockets of rotting detritus. Ideal size is 2-3mm gravel or 1-2mm corarse sand layered in about 7cm (3 inch) on the bottom of the tank. The bottom one third of the gravel can be supplemented with a fertilizer, of which popular choices are peat (softens water), laterite (a clay containing iron, usually used with undergravel heating systems), and soil. These supplements are not effective when used in tanks with under-gravel filter system as the nutrients will be sucked directly into the filter instead of keeping it within the bottom of the gravel.

Light: Eleocharis acicularis require medium to high level of light. Provided plenty of light 10-14 hours per day, about 0.5 watt per litre (2 watts per gallon) or more, in the color temperature of 5000 to 7000 Kelvin (day white to cool white light). The brighter light is, the lower this sedge will stay.

Temperature: Eleocharis acicularis makes an easy addition to cool to tropical tanks. It can be housed in water from 10 to 30°C (50-86°F).

Feeding: Give to Eleocharis acicularis high quality liquid and substrate fertilizer. Root tabs should be added to the substrate under the plants and liquid or powdered fertilizers should be added to the water. It will also benefit from CO2 supplementation. If the plants have a deficiency of even one of these factors, their growth will be limited.

Companion plants: Once dense or overgrown Eleocharis acicularis can be trimmd down to 2-3cm (0.8-1.2 inch) to encourage new growth. It also looks effective when planted between rocks or against other foreground plants such as Hemianthus callitrichoides, Glossostigma elatinoides, Sagittaria subulata or Riccia fluitians.

Pond care: Eleocharis acicularis is ideal for natural ponds to help prevent soil erosion at the edges or as plant in baskets for ease of maintenance. It is either aquatic or marginal plant in shallow water or damp soil.
These plants offer a good habitat for pond life – it will provide welcome cover for amphibians, fry and other aquatic life; in deeper areas it is a good spawning medium for fish. This is a very low maintenance aquatic plant which spreads to form large clumps quickly. All wandered stems may be cut to control plant growth. Usually, these sedges are grown as oxygenating plants from the bottom of ponds or water features. Their submerged leaves give off bubbles of oxygen, improving the water quality for fish and other pond life and maintaining the ecology balance of the the pond. These plants also absorb mineral salts from the water and reduce algae growth.

Pond water: Eleocharis Acicularis is an aquatic submerged perennial plant which is adaptable to shallow or deep water. If planted above water level, the plant will produce tiny flowers atop each stem in summer.
Eleocharis acicularis is a great plant for small water features. Also grown as a fully submerged aquatic plant in outdoor and indoor ponds with up to 45cm (18 inch) of water above the planting basket. It can be housed in non alkaline water with medium-hard hardiness – 4-12°GH. Good water flow is preferred to stagnant water.
This sedge has low tolerance to drought and has medium salinity tolerance.

Pond substrat: Eleocharis acicularis plants should be placed in pond plant baskets filled with aquatic soil – ideally, soil containing silt, sand or mud – and topped with a thin layer of gravel to help prevent the soil from washing away. Plant Eleocharis acicularis in spring in a medium sized pot, keeping plant spacing at about 20-40cm (8-16 inch).  Clay, loamy or sandy soils with pH from acidic to alkaline or neutral can also be used to plant Eleocharis acicularis.

Pond position: Eleocharis acicularis thrive in full to partial sun. It does not tolerate the shade. Most growth and development occurs during the warmer summer months.
Eleocharis acicularis is frost resistant.

Propagation: Eleocharis acicularis propagates with runners that branch off from the root area forming thick culms. Cuttings from a mature culms can be replanted in the substrate to form new plants. For best results under optimal conditions, plant Eleocharis acicularis in small 1cm (0.4 inch) groups in the substrate at roughly 2.5cm (1 inch) intervals. In aquariums these plants look their best when planted directly into the substrate. In ponds, they can be planted in medium sized pots for easy maintenance.
Fully submerged Eleocharis acicularis plants will not produce flower, so culms dividion remain the only way to propagate these plants.
Additional, at commercial scale Eleocharis acicularis is propagated by bare root, seed or springs.

Problems: Eleocharis acicularis are diseases free and easy to grow if the requirements for light and fertiliser are met.

Eleocharis acicularis turn brownish in absents of CO2.
Treatment: Give these plants CO2 injection for healthy growth.

Overabundance of fertilisers  may cause problems, such as plant malnourishment, undue algae growth or toxic buildup.

In wild, there are several species of leaf beetles and leafhoppers known to feed on Eleocharis spp. Other insect feeders include few caterpillars. Some of these insect species are associated with wet prairies and they are quite rare.
The seedheads of spikerushes are eaten by such wetland birds as rails, coots, ducks and geese.

Note: Submerged Eleocharis acicularis plants may closely resemble aquatic forms of some other species, especially Eleocharis parvula, Eleocharis robbinsii, and Schoenoplectus subterminalis.

Uses and display: Eleocharis acicularis are suited for aquaterrariums but they can be cultivated in aquariums for wispy, soft and natural feeling. It is an attractive bottom covering plant with long light green grass-like leaves. Eleocharis acicularis is a fantastic plant for an Iwagumi aquascape. It has much to offer an aquarist looking for a fast, forest-green cover or accent clumping. In nano aquascapers, Eleocharis acicularis has the potential to make a great background plant.
This plant can be use for ponds, ground covers, bog gardens, water features, streams, waterfalls, usually as mass plantings. It is suitable for small, medium and large ponds. Also this sedge is grown as a fully submerged aquatic plant in outdoor ponds.

Aquarium summary:
Environment: freshwater
Height in aquariums: 10cm (4 inch)
Width in aquariums: bottom covering plant
Growth rate: moderate
Difficulty: easy
Placement: foreground, midground
Lighting needs: high
Substrate: gravel
Temperature: 10 to 30°C (50-86°F)
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Water hardness: Medium 4-8KH
Water depth: 30cm (12 inch)

Width outdoor: 12-15cm (5-6 inch)
Height outdoor: 10 (4 inch)
Hardiness zone: 6-11

Eleocharis acicularis - flowers Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa Eleocharis acicularis forma submersa

Aquarium Plants, Bog Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , , , , , ,

Anubias barteri

Common name: Growing Plastic Plant, Anubias Barteri, Anubias

Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Anubiadeae

Synonymous: Anubias barteri var. angustifolia
Anubias lanceolata
Anubias nana

Anubias barteri

Anubias barteri

Distribution and habitat: Anubias barteri is a flowering plant that hails from the west of Africa. In the wild, it can be found growing in streams, rivers and marshes. It is often found growing on large stones or logs (rarely in the substrate) immersed, semi immersed or (rarely) totally submersed.

Description: Anubias barteri is a flowering plant that has lush green arrow shaped foliage. This rosette plant may reach up to 40cm (16 inch) in width and has thick, creeping rhizomes. The leaves are thick, dark green and quite tough, with a leather-like appearance. Diagonal lines run from the center vein to the outer edge of the oval or arrow shaped leaves, depending of plant size and variety. The underside of the leaf is a lighter green than the top and the veins are clearly visible. Almost indestructible, individual leaves can last for years.

The Anubias barteri is an amphibious plant that will survive either totally or partially submersed underwater. In its emerged form, its leaves tend to be larger and its growth faster. Occasionally this plant will flower, either when fully submerged or when partially above the water line when is used in a paludarium. The flower is in the form of a creamy white spadix, similar to a cala lily. The flowers will last a long time, often several months. In sumerged condition, its flowers will also produce seeds. Seems that blooming occurs more often in submerged setups.

Care: Anubias barteri is a hardy plant that has lush green arrow shaped foliage. It is highly tolerant to a variety of growing conditions, including poor conditions, making it easy and ideal for beginners.
In order to keep these plants small, simply trim back the leaves near the rhizome with a sharp pair of scissors. Under correct water conditions, the Anubias barteri propagates by side shoots on the rhizome, causing rhizome division.
The rhizome stores food for the plant, which is one of the reasons this plant is so easy to care for. Even if it should lose all its leaves, the rhizome will slowly begin to sprout new leaves. Prune dead or damaged leaves back to the rhizome to keep the plant healthy. To encourage the growth of new leaves, make small cuts in the skin of the rhizome. New shoots will emerge from the cuts.
They are very slow-growing however, taking several years to reach their full size. Contrary to what was thought for years, this plant does respond to the use of CO2 and additional lighting, growing at a faster rate than without.

Water: Anubias barteri will grow successfully in soft and acid water conditions. The ideal water conditions for best results in gowing Anubias barteri are an alkalinity of 3 to 7dKH and a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, but it is extremely tolerant when it comes to pH and can adapt to a pH-value from 5.5 to 9.0. Water flow over the leaves is an encouragement for best growth.
Because of its robustness and its very good adaptation to a wide range of water conditions, Anubias Barteri can be kept in most tanks. Due to their bold leaf shapes and forms, Anubias barteri work best as single specimen plants in the tank. They look stunning planted next to an interesting piece of driftwood, especially if lit with a spotlight.

Anubias barteri plants make a welcome addition to any outdoor planted pond because the leaves are not very tasty to plant-eating fish and they tolerate almost any pH as long as water temperature is above 20°C (68°F). They typically grow in running water, but Anubias barteri plants can also grow in standing water. They grow well in freshwater ponds with plenty of shade at ideal water depth of 30cm (12 inch).

Substrate: Anubias barteri plant attaches itself to rocks, driftwood, substrate and may even float. It can also be found rooted in gravel and other substrates. When planting Anubias barteri in aquarium, special care should be taken of the rhizome and the roots. The rhizome should not be buried beneath the substrate, as it will rot and die off. In small grains the roots might not be able to get a good hold and the sand tends to compact, while larger gravel has a tendency to collect pockets of rotting detritus. The ideal size is 2-3mm gravel or 1-2mm coarse sand. The bottom 1/3 of the gravel can be supplemented with a fertilizer, of which popular choices are peat (softens water), laterite (a clay containing iron, usually used with undergravel heating systems) and soil.

A good technique to attach Anubias barteri to pieces of wood or rocks is to tie down its roots against the chosen substrate. Use cotton thread or light fishing line when attaching Anubias barteri plants to rocks or bogwood and tie it loosely to avoid damaging the plant. The plant will creep horizontally in a single direction, growing quite slowly. After a while its roots will anchor themselves to the substrate and the fishing line could be removed.

Anubias barteri will grow faster if the leaves are above the surface of the pond, although they can be submerged. There are few ways to use Anubias barteri in planted outdoor ponds:
Anubias barteri plant prefers a rich substrate, but can also tolerate plain gravel. If there is substrate or gravel on the bottom of the pond, the roots will grow into it. Keep the rhizome above any substrate or gravel. The rhizome needs to be in the light for the plant to grow properly and may rot if buried.  This technique is best suitable for tropical areas where these plants can be planted permanently.
– If the bottom of the pond is bare, tie the plant to a rock or piece of driftwood to anchor it in place until the root system develops. The roots will grow around the rock or driftwood. Once this happens, remove the string.Otherwise, it may simply be stuck between rocks.
– Anubias barteri may also be able to grow by floating freely in the water.

Light: Anubias barteri plant prefers moderate lighting, approximately 2 to 3 watts per 4liters (1 gallon) of water provided by a fluorescent fixture with daylight bulbs. The light should be consistently on 10-14 hours a day. If placed under high lighting conditions the leaves will grow faster, but will be more compact and susceptible to algae growth, particularly beard algae. The algae does not hurt the plant, but it does affect its appearance. However, care must be taken when using high lighting conditions, as the additional light can promote algae growth on the leaves, which is hard to combat. In these situations, keeping algae eating fish will help in dealing with algae growth. Another way to keep them away from algae and control algae growth on their leaves is to introduce them in the tank after other fast growing plants have been introduced. Fast growing plants will regulate and control algae outbreaks before introducing slower growing plants.
Under high lighting conditions, this plant seems to create more leaves but smaller in size. In the aquarium Anubias barteri should be placed in shaded areas to reduce the risk of algae developing on the leaves.

Anubias barteri is best in the midground or background areas of the aquarium due to its robust size.

As the name of this species suggest, Anubias barteri plants like shady locations when grown in outdoor planted ponds.

Temperature: Anubias barteri can thrive in a wide range of temperatures from 22 to 27°C (72-82°F).

Before placing them in outdoor ponds, check the temperature of the pond water. Anubias barteri tolerate most water conditions, but need temperatures between its hardiness – 20 to 30°C (68-86°F). Lower temperatures can lead to yellowing leaves which finally will die back.
Place plants in buckets of pond water and set them in an indoor area under plant lights or near a window if temperatures drop to freezing.

Feeding: Fertilization is not necessary, nor is the use of CO2, however additional CO2 will promote faster growth.
Anubias barteri plants are low demanding when it comes to nutrients and the organic waster produced by the fish is usually enough. They will also do well with the carbon dioxide exhaled by the fish and do not need additional carbon dioxide. High levels of phosphate (1.5-2 mg/l) seem to induce flowering independently of the other parameters in the tank or the health status of the plant. High phosphate levels in combination with a good iron and micronutrient supply reduce problems with spot algae under strong light.
A glut of hair algae growing on the leaves of the Anubias barteri can indicate low Co2 levels within the tank.
Liquid Plant Food, CO2 Injection, Trace Elements, Substrate and Iron-Rich Fertilizer can be used in tanks with Anubias barteri plants.

Propagation: Propagation for Anubias barteri is very simple and straightforward. In many cases the plants themselves will create new growth tips from the rhizome resulting in a full dense cluster of leaves and one large plant. This new growth tips and be cut off or broken free from the original woody stem when several leaves have developed which can provide enough light catching ability to make food for the plant. Several techniques can be employed to speed up reproduction or used just to reduce the size of one large plant. To create new growth tips or to just trim a large plant break off a section of the rhizome that has several healthy leaves on it. The portion of plant that did not have the new growth tip will produce a growth tip, assuming that it has several leaves of its own to begin with. To create a fuller single specimen take a sharp knife or razor blade and nick a small cut into the rhizome of a healthy plant. This will encourage a new growth tip to form. In these ways will form multiple plants to share or a monster show piece plant.
It is also possible to cultivate Anubias from seeds. Only plants that grow out of the water will produce seeds.

Note: Anubias barteri is not a true submerged plant, therefore it is not a true aquarium plant, being most suitable plant for paludarium. Because the plant is not hurt if kept totally submerged, these plant is a popular plant in aquarium-scaping. Underwater its development is slower. Anubias barteri var. nana is one of the most widely spread aquarium plants in Europe, Asia and the US.

In nature Anubias species are found in wet, forested areas, generally along the banks of waterways. These shady locations gave rise to the name given to this genus, which has been named after the god of the afterlife, Anubis. Today, Anubias are cultivated across the world, for use in aquariums and paludariums.

Recommended varieties:
Anubias barteri var. angustifolia (Synonymous: Anubias lanceolata f. angustifolia) is a long-stemmed plant with dark green, long, narrow and pointed leaves. The leave blades are 5-9 times as long as wide and the petioles are 0.5-1 times as long as the blade. It can reach a height of 30cm (12 inch) and has long lasting leaves (usually they will last several years), but is a slow grower – only 6 to 10 new leaves per year. This plant suits big tanks because of its size. This plant is also known under the name Anubias barteri var. afzelii.

Anubias barteri var. caladiifolia (Heart-Shaped Anubias) is one of the bigger kinds of Anubias Barteri. Growing as big as 12 inches, its heart-shaped leaves can be as long as 23cm (9 inch) and 13cm (5 inch) wide. Because of its size, it is recommended to plant it in a large tank or pond. This plant can be of the best effect if planted in group in the middle to back side of the tank.

Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia has is a deeper green, with dark ribbing on the leaves with textured, ribbed-leaf appearance. Also, as new leaves form on this plant the stems appear red and sometimes the new leaves are more yellowish in color, darkening as they mature. It is a relatively short plant that grows to a height of 15cm (6 inch), but is known to grow very wide. Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia is most suited in the midground area where it can form hedges and spread along driftwood. Although these plants have been traded under the name Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia, this name has no taxonomic status, being just a variation of the Anubias barteri.

Anubias barteri var. glabra (Synonymous: Anubias lanceolata, Anubias minima) are large, narrow-leafed Anubias barteri with leaf-stem up to 35cm (14 inch) long. The leaves are spear-shaped, up to 21cm (8 inch) long, 9cm (3.5 inch) wide. This plant will reach 30 to 50cm (12-20 inch) in height in aquarium, therefore it is suitable for large tanks in back position. Also suitable for ponds in warm environments. The usual growth rate is 4-8 leaves per year.

Anubias barteri var. nana (Anubias Nana, Dwarf Anubias, Nana) is a dwarf variety, only 5 to 15cm (2-6 inch) tall. This variety is even slower grower than Anubias barteri, often only producing one leaf in a months’ time. The leaves can reach a length of 3cm (1 inch) and be 2cm (0.8 inch) wide. Anubias barteri var. nana has charming heart-shaped leaves and a creeping growth fashion. Because of its reduced size, it is best to be placed in a front position in the aquarium.

Anubias barteria var. nana ‘marbled’ is variegated, with most of the leaf white and some speckling of green. It is a variation of  Anubias barteri var. nana.

Anubias barteri var. nana ‘gold’ is again a color variation of the common Anubias barteri var. nana. Its leaves have a yellow green colour. This colour could be misconstrued as simply sick, but it is a true color variation.

Lifespan: Anubias barteri are very robust plants and live for numerous years.

Availability: Anubias barteri is the most commonly available species of this genus.

Uses and display: Anubias barteri are commonly used in aquariums, usually attached to rocks or bogwood. They live equally happily fully submerged or partially submerged. These plants are so attractive that they are often used as a centerpiece. They can be used as a mid-ground plant or foreground plant and are often attached to driftwood or rocks. They will not only add beauty, but also improve the water quality and add color to the aquarium.
It is an extremely hardy plant, which makes it popular for aquarium use, as well as in paludariums. Because of its tick and tough leaves, it makes an ideal plant for aquariums with species of fish that are known to nibble on or uproot plants. Small fish will find this plant makes great a hiding place.
And to do something different with them, they also work very well in terrariums. Paludariums are their best option to be grown in.

Aquarium summary:
Environment: freshwater, flowing water
Height in aquariums: 25-45cm (10-18 inch)
Width in aquariums: 30-40cm (12- 16 inch)
Growth rate: slow
Difficulty: easy
Placement: foreground, mid ground
Lighting needs: medium
Substrate: gravel, attached by driftwood or rock
Temperature: 22-28°C (72-82°F),
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Water hardness: 3-7KH
Water depth: 30cm (12 inch)

Width outdoor: 25-45cm (10-18 inch)
Height outdoor: 30-40cm (12- 16 inch)
Hardiness zone: 9

Anubias barteri var. coffeefoliaAnubias barteri var. nanaAnubias barteri var. glabraAnubias barteri var. caladiifoliaAnubias barteria var. nana marbleAnubias barteri var. nana goldAnubias barteri nanaAnubias barteri - flowerAnubias barteri

Aquarium Plants, Bog Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nymphoides aquatica

Common name: Banana Plant, Banana Lilly, the Big Floating Heart, the Brain Plant, Heart Water Lilly, Underwater Banana Plant

Family: Menyanthaceae

Synonymous: Limnanthemum aquaticum
Limnanthemum lacunosum
Limnanthemum trachyspermum
Menyanthes trachysperma
Nymphoides lacunosa
Villarsia aquatica

Nymphoides aquatica

Nymphoides aquatica

Distribution and habitat: Nymphoides aquatica species is most commonly found in Florida in calm, slow moving rivers and lakes. It is also found elsewhere in the Southern United States, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. In State of Maryland this plant is listed as an endangered species due to the shrinking acreage of some native Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains wetlands in which the species grows naturally.

Description: Nymphoides aquatica is attractive and long-lasting decorative aquatic perennial plant which is treated as annual in unfavorable climates. It is a unique looking rosette plant that gets its name from its banana shaped tubers. These unusual tubers are actually where the Nymphoides aquatica plant stores the nutrients. The cluster of thick banana-shaped tubers are located close to the leaves near the surface of the water. The leaves are rounded and have a notch at the base. They resemble small water lily leaves. The leaves are green above and dull purple below in high light and light green to yellow both below and above in low light conditions. The lowermost leaves grow 15-45cm (6-18 inch) tall and frequently the plant will produce a floating lily leaf on a long petiole at the surface. It features showy small white five-petalled flowers that arise from below the leaf. It blooms late spring through early fall. The flowers are hermphrodites growing only on the surface of the water and the fruits sink after ripening.

Nymphoides aquatica is an amphibious plant and will grow either fully or partially submerged. It makes really nice floating pads with white snowflake flowers in each leaf. In the fall every leaf forms another “banana” bunch.

Care: Nymphoides aquatica is really easy to take care of and lives in most conditions, being tolerant of deep water and low light. This plant can be grown rooted or as a floating plant and can produce floating or submersed leaves. Low light or shaded conditions and colder weather will result in plants reaching maturity in submersion. 80% of Nymphoides aquatica plants will sink to the bottom and root themselves. Left to float to the surface, the banana-shaped tubers will turn into obvious lilies fast.
The floating Nymphoides aquatica‘s leaves typically mature, reaching full growth, in one to two weeks, dependent upon conditions and other environmental factors and flowers develop from just below the leaf structures. Given optimal conditions, this plant will commonly flower in the tank.
Although Nymphoides aquatica is a perennial plant, returning years after year when cultivated in water gardens, some recommend replacing plants every four to five years for optimal showing.

When needed, simply remove any dead leaves at the base of the plant, clip it close to the banana bunch. These plants grow pretty quickly and will continuously strive to send leaves to the surface, where they form lily pads. Unfortunately, when these pads form, it drops all its aquatic leaves, leaving the plant with a bare stem. Simply cut of any leaves that grow too adventurously and it will soon regrow it.

Water: The ideal water conditions for best results are a temperature of 20-27°C (68-81°F), an alkalinity of 3-6dKH and a pH of 6.0-7.2. Place this plant in tank where the water movement is not too strong.
At its largest size of just 15cm (6 inches) it fits perfectly in a small tank and also works as a great accent plant in large tanks.

In outdoor mini-ponds, it makes really nice floating pads with white snowflake flowers in each leaf. Make sure there is some amount of current too, as with any aquatic plant it will die with stagnant water.

Substrate: Fine sand to large river rock used for fish tanks all works. Nymphoides aquatica should have a third of the larger banana shaped roots buried in the gravel. The plant will also put out normal shaped roots. In a calm location, the Nymphoides aquatica plant can be left to sit on the bottom of the tank and the roots will plant themselves in to the substrate.

This plant is a great pond plant. Just burying one third to one half of their roots in a 10cm (4 inch) pot filled with clay soil or other substrate and place it in the pond. Within its hardiness zone, this plant can be planted directly in the pond or water garden’s soil. It can, of course, also be left as free floating plant as well.

Light: It requires minimal lighting, but does best in high to bright conditions. For optimal growth, the Nymphoides aquatica requires a moderate level of light at 5 watts per 10 litres (2 watts per gallon) with full spectrum (5000-7000K) bulbs.

Nymphoides aquatica plant will grow faster and have a light green coloration with moderate lighting and will grow slowly and retain a dark green coloration in low lighting conditions. In low light, banana plants throw up short stems with small pads on the ends. In high light, they grow stems up to tank’s surface.
Those who are determined to grow Nymphoides aquatica plants in their fish tanks can stunt growth and avoid flowering by reducing light and preventing the plant from surfacing.

Outdoors, this perennial grows best with two or three hours of direct light or indirect or filtered light all day; morning light is best. As pond or bog plant the esthetic features will be the water lily like appearance of this plant. After floating leaves appear, it produces white flowers.

Temperature: Nymphoides aquatica plant prefers tropical temperatures and high light exposure, which makes its use in water gardens more challenging in some climates; however, indoor water gardens with proper environmental measures can support Nymphoides aquatica in most any region of the world.

When temperature stabilizes at 10°C (50°F) or higher it will grow leaves up to 10cm (4 inch) and will grow beautiful flowers. Take the plant indoors into a small tank when the temperature goes below 7°C (45°F) until next season.

Feeding: Nymphoides aquatica will greatly benefit from high quality aquarium liquid or substrate fertiliser. The fertiliser should have iron as an ingredient. Potash is a good ingredient for this plant as well but not required.
Plants grown in fertilised medium will produce a large amount of leaves and will stimulate the floating leaves to develop banana shaped tubers in late autumn which can be used to form new plants.

Propagation: Nymphoides aquatica propagates sexually by seeds that fall off the flowers on the surface after ripening. Asexually, most frequently, via vegetative splitting from separated leaves or cuttings.
Propagation in an aquarium is usually accomplished by clipping a mature leaf and re-planting when roots emerge or simply left to float. When the lily pads grow to the surface, simply cut the stalk off about 10cm (4 inch) long left of the leaf, leave it to hang in the water and after a few weeks at the end of the stalk young white roots will start to form. Once roots form, the new plant can be planted then in tank.
Another way is if the water is rich in iron and fertiliser, the side leaves will start to grow white roots straight under the leaves and then can simply cut the leaf off along with the roots and replant it. The new baby plants will stay low and will not shoot lily pads to the surface.

Although a perennial it is best replaced by new stock every 4 or 5 years.

Companion plants: Nymphoides aquatica species can be kept together with other cool water plants, e.g. Myriophyllum and Sagittaria; including floating types (Azolla, Salvinia) given sufficient light/shallow water. For more tropical systems, Nymphoides humboldtiana, Nymphoides indica are suggested.

Problems: Nymphoides aquatica plants can be severely damaged by snails.

Note: It is important, however, to avoid species of Nymphoides that are classified as noxious weeds and tend to escape cultivation.

Availability: Nymphoides aquatica are sold usually as individual rooted (unpotted) plants.

Uses: Nymphoides aquatica are common aquarium plants, often being grown as fillers or specimen plants because of their unusual shape. Nymphoides aquatica can be used as background or foreground plants in aquascape. Plant them singly for best results and for the most attractive look. They look wonderful when used as filler plants with other aquatics. Adding Nymphoides aquatica to a freshwater aquarium helps create a natural look for the tank. As it grows, this plant helps purify the water by absorbing nitrate nutrients.

Because of the Nymphoides aquatica unique ability to be cultivated as a floating or rooted, aquatic plants, they are a popular choice for water gardens: ponds and bogs. Here these plants can reach their maturity and display their water lily like floating hart shaped leaves and flowers. In favorable climates these plants will soon take over the water surface and will help keeping the water clear and provide shade for aquatic life. These plants are attractive to dragonflies in garden.

Aquarium summary:
Height in aquariums: 5-15cm (2-6 inch)
Width in aquariums: 5-10cm (2-4 inch)
Growth rate: medium
Difficulty: medium
Placement: rosette plants
Lighting needs: medium
Substrate: gravel
Temperature: 20-27°C (68-81°F)
pH: 6 – 7.2
Water hardness: 3-6KH

Width outdoor: 35cm (14 inch)
Height outdoor: 45cm (18 inch)
Hardiness zone: 6a-10b

Nymphoides aquatica in fish tankNymphoides aquatica Nymphoides aquatica - rooted leafNymphoides aquatica Nymphoides aquatica Nymphoides aquatica Nymphoides aquatica

Aquarium Plants, Bog Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Juncus effusus

Common name: Soft Rush, Common Rush

Family: Juncaceae

Synonymous: Juncus effusus
Juncus filiformis
Scirpus lacustris cv. Spiralis
Juncus effusus f. spiralis

Juncus effusus

Juncus effusus

Distribution and habitat: Juncus effusus is cosmopolitan rush species that occurs in most temperate world regions, including North America, Europe and Asia; moreover, the plant also can be found in many montane-tropical regions. Its habitats are diverse, but often feature moist areas at forest margins, wet grasslands, wetland margins, lake shores, river banks, and in fen-meadows.

Description: Juncus effusus  is a clump-forming perennial that spreads by both short rhizomes and seed. The clumping plant manifests stout but supple stems that may reach 1.5m (5 feet) in height. The stems are smooth cylinders with light pith filling. The lower leaves are reduced to a brown sheath at the bottom of the stem. The yellowish inflorescence appears to emerge from one side of the stem about 20cm (8 inch) from the top. In fact the stem ends there; the top part is the bract, that continues with only a slight colour-band marking it from the stem. Juncus effusus has 30 to 40 ridges on the stem. Seed production is extremely high with each shoot capable of producing 8,500 seeds per year.

Gardening: Juncus effusus  are maintained by the removal of old stems in spring. If this plant dies down in the winter (in cold climate conditions), room for new growth is made by pulling up and discarding the old, dead stems. Leaving the old stems will not harm the new growth, but it can become messy.

Though initially slow to establish, Juncus effusus has tough, aggressive underground roots that will help the plant spread over time. The plant growth can be controlled by growing it in a shallow container without drainage holes into the mud, leaving a few inches of water above the container or sunk the container into a pond.

Position: Though tolerant of a little shade, Juncus effusus is a sun-loving plant that will produce its best growth in a location with full sun.

Soil: Juncus effusus thrives in acidic, wet soils that have poor drainage.

Irrigation: Plants require permanent water, ideally between 5 and 10cm (2-4 inch) deep, it can be grown near water with pebbles and rocks or with continual irrigation.  It is a tough plant that can withstand brief periods of drought, but it will become brown and unsightly if left without water.

Fertilisation: An application of diluted liquid fertiliser to half strength is recommended at the time of transplanting and monthly throughout the growing season.

Recommended varieties:
Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis (Corkscrew Rush, Spiral Rush) is perennial wetland plant. This plants grow in both a horizontal and vertical direction. Its bright-green, cylindrical stems, which are hollow, form tight spirals. As the stems lengthen, the spirals uncoil somewhat and stretch in every direction, forming a captivating untamed mass. Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis will reach a height of 0.45m (1.5 feet) and a spread of 0.6m (2 feet) after two to five years. Plants may flower in summer, but the inflorescences, range from yellow-green to brown and are small and nonshowy. It is a popular ornamental water plant due to its tortuous spiral like foliage.
Ideal for bog edges or standing water up to 10cm (4 inch) deep, this grassy perennial features clumps of cylindrical stems is suited to container cultivation and can be used as a houseplant.

Houseplant care: Indoors, Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis is planted in a water-retentive potting medium in containers with no drainage holes.
Old stems, which turn brown, may be snipped with scissors. In spring, the wild stems can be tamed with trimming as desired; this will also make room for new growth.

Light: As long as the roots are able to sit in shallow water, Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis can tolerate full sun, but partial shade is ideal for this plant when it is displayed indoors.

Temperature: Outdoors, this plant is a rather hardy selection and, as a houseplant, can tolerate a range of temperatures, but 16 to 24°C (65-75°F) is ideal.
Although Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis loves a moist environment, moisture in the soil is much more important than moisture in the air. Spray misting this plant is not required.

Watering: Because this is a marginal aquatic plant, soil should be kept moist at all times. To ensure constantly moist soil, pots that have drainage may be partially submerged into another container filled with water, replicating the bog-like conditions in which this plant naturally grows.

Feeding: Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser at half strength once a month during the growing season.

Potting and repotting: Healthy plants will expand, so annual division and repotting is often necessary. Repot the new divisions in containers without drainage using a neutral to acidic potting soil.

Problems: Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis is typically unaffected by pests; instead, the most common problem associated with this houseplant is improper watering and soil conditions.

These plants prefer excessively moist soil; what would lead to root rot in most houseplants are conditions under which this plant is kept.

Propagation: Propagation is by division the rootball of plants in mid to late spring. Lift and divide the clumps  using a sharp knife to sever tough rootstocks. Replant (repot) the new plants immediately.

Plants will also naturalize by self-seeding.

Notes: Both, Juncus effusus and Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis can self seed and become unruly weed in some areas. It is often planted in submerged containers to prevent it from invading and overtaking the landscape.

Uses: Juncus effusus and Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis can be grown at the edge of a pond or water garden, in boggy areas, among wet pebbles or rocks or in low deep standing water. They make a good water garden accent. Add a certain amount of authenticity to transitional waterside areas. They are effective in containers and Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis become a popular indoor plant.

Juncus species can be grown on the edge of waterbodies to help control erosion.
Juncus effusus and Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis stems are used in floral arrangements.

Height Juncus effusus: 1.5m (5 feet)
Height Juncus effusus cv. Spiralis: 30-45cm (12-18 inch)
Hardiness zone: 4a-10b

Juncus effusus SpiralisJuncus effusus ridges







Bog Plants, Container Grass, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Ornamental Grasses & Sedges , , , , , , , ,

Sarracenia psittacina

Common name: Parrot Pitcher Plant, Hooked Pitcher Plant

Family: Sarraceniaceae

Synonymous: Sarracenia calceolata
Sarracenia pulchella
Sarracenia rubra

Sarracenia psittacina

Sarracenia psittacina

Distribution and habitat: Sarracenia psittacina is a carnivorous plant native to North America. It  is found in the wetter parts of boggy areas in the coastal plain from southern Georgia and northern Florida to southern Mississippi. Quite often the plants can be found near the waterline. They may occasionally be submerged. While submerged, it will capture water arthropods and tadpoles.

Sarracenia psittacina employs an unusual trapping mechanism using a small entrance in the pitcher mouth which prey goes through in search of more nectar that was produced by the plant on the rim of the pitcher mouth. The prey is then confused by light shining through what appear to be false exits and crawls toward the brighter area down into the pitcher. Crisscrossed downward-facing hairs densely line the interior of the pitcher, forcing the prey further into the pitcher to an area where digestive enzymes such as proteases are prevalent in the liquid.

Description: Sarracenia psittacina is a small plant that usually keeps its pitchers (the plant’s leaves) tightly against the ground in a flat, prostrate rosette with semi-erect habit. The leaves are like narrow tubes with a prominent wing on the side facing the center of the plant. A mature leaf of Sarracenia psittacina often has a conspicuously red-purple hood with the tubular part of the leaf greener closer to the ground. The opening of the hood faces downward. The younger leaves show that the wing develops early, but the hood increases in size later, as the leaf matures. Therefore, the younger leaves cannot trap insects.

The entire plant is brightly pigmented to attract prey, but not all leaves of Sarracenia psittacina are bright red-purple. Some of them are somewhat greener and show the mouth of the hood close to the top of the wing. The veining on the hood is purple and green. There are numerous patches that are translucent, transmitting the sunlight into the interior of the hood.

The tubular part of the pitcher gets narrower and crisscrossed with dense downwardly-pointing hairs. This means that if the prey tries to fly upward in the narrow tube, it is more and more likely to hit the side, rather that get back up into the hood. The hairs keep pointing it farther and farther down, to the pool of liquid at the bottom, where it drowns and is digested by the plant.

Sarracenia psittacina are long-lived plants. When the plant reaches maturity—about three or four years of age—a very beautiful, strange reddish pink bloom on a tall stalk will erupt from the rosette of pitchers in early summer. The display is quite spectacular. The flowers of this Sarracencia psittacina are red and have a very special structure. They open downward. Very likely, an insect would be attracted by the big white center area (the back side of the stigma) surrounded by the red-purple petals. There is white, which an insect would tend to follow, at the base of each petal. To get in, an insect has to crawl around the down-turning edge of the stigma, which it does by pushing back the re-curving portion of the petal (white zigzag part of the petal, at right). This trap-like mechanism tends to keep it inside the flower for a longer time, to increase the chances that it will pick up the pollen grains from the stamens (yellow) or deposit some of the pollen grains on the umbrella-shaped stigma.

Sarracenia psittacina flowera are not only among the most beautiful in nature, but cleverly designed to enhance cross-pollination. Insects carrying pollen from a previous flower can enter only over the female stigmas between the petals, where the pollen is deposited. Once inside, they becomes dusted with fresh pollen. To exit, they push through the petals, thus avoiding the stigmas and self-pollination.
When the flower open, they will remain in petal for seven to ten days on average.

Houseplant care: Prune dead stalks at any time. While Sarracenia psittacina go dormant its pitchers will look pretty decomposed by late winter and can be removed to make room for the early spring’s growth.

Light: The Sarracencia psittacina enjoys being in a bright light spot. Sunny south-facing decks, porches or windowsills are perfect for them.

Temperature: The temperature for this species should be between 5°C (41°F) and 30°C (86°F). For lower temperature the plant must be taken inside in winter.
So not mist spray this plants. Sarracenia psittacina pot will always stand in water, therefor the high humidity around plant will be given by water evaporation.

Sarracenia psittacina require a period of dormancy in order to stay healthy. It requires 3-4 months of winter dormancy triggered by cold temperatures (below 10°C (50°F) ) and shorter daylight hours.

Water: Sarracenia psittacina likes a moist potting mix. Indoors the container of the Sarracencia psittacina should therefore always be placed on a bed of water. Use distilled water, rainwater or water collected from condensation, like from an air conditioner.

Even while dormant, the plant will still need to stand in water to prevent its soil from drying out.

Feeding: No feeding is necessary for Sarracenia psittacina. Also, it is not necessary to feed insects to the plant for its growth. However, where the insects are scarce, such as in a greenhouse, a foliar fertiliser applied once or twice monthly during the growing season will help accelerating the growth.

Potting and repotting: The soil for the Sarracencia psittacina, just as for all the other carnivorous plants, should be poor in nutrients. Uses a mix of peat, sand and perlite. Repotting is needed every two years. Use a tall non-draining container: plastic and glazed ceramic are excellent, not cement, concrete nor terracotta pots as the minerals will kill the plants. By using a tall pot will easily accommodate the rhizome and its long root system. Sarracenia psittacina tend to grow faster and larger when their roots have room to grow. Large pots will also give your plants added protection during the winter. If necessary, move the plant in one size larger pot. Repot during late winter and early spring for a robust plants in summer.

Changing the potting mixture restores soil acidity, improves root aeration and strengthens the health of your plants.

Gardening: Sarracenia psittacina are among the best plants for bog gardens.

Older Sarracenia psittacina turn brown from the top down; trim off the dead parts, but insect filled leaves that are still healthy will continue to feed the plant. Usually all remaining pitchers will look pretty decomposed by late winter and can be removed before or during early spring’s growth.

Position: In the garden a spot on the edge of a pond is ideal for Sarracenia psittacina. Make sure the bog garden is situated in a sunny area. Bog plants need lots of sun. Place Sarracenia psittacina in an area that will get at least six to eight hours of direct summer sunlight each day in summer.

The colouration of this plant can be mostly green when shaded by low-growing vegetation or with much red venation when grown in full sun.

Soil: Use one-to-one mix of peat and sand to prepare the right soil for planting Sarracenia psittacina.

Placing a layer of long-grain sphagnum moss over the soil mix is optional but will help to retain the moisture of soil, which is crucial for the wellbeing.

Irrigation: Sarracenia psittacina likes boggy, humid environments, so make sure their soil remains constantly moist.

Plants are able to spend their winter dormancy in an outdoor bog garden. In freezing climates this plant should be mulched to add some protection.

Fertilising: No fertilizer is necessary for Sarracenia psittacina; in fact, doing so might kill them, as they are accustomed to nutrient-poor soil. Carnivorous plants have adapted to capturing insects on their own and insects will naturally be attracted to this plant. If you choose to feed your plant, use recently killed insects. Do not feed your plant meat. Feeding is not at all required during the winter months when the plant is dormant.

Propagation: Sarracenia psittacina can be propagated by seed. The seedpod will turn brown and  gradually crack open by autumn. The seed, up to several hundred, can be collected at this time. Each seed is brown to reddish tan and about the size of a large pinhead. Separate the seeds from the ovary and store dry seed.  Always store seed in the refrigerator. To germinate, the seed needs several weeks of chilly, damp stratification. It is usually best to sow the seeds in the middle of the winter. Do not bury the seed. Sow sparsely and treat with fungicide if any hint of damping-off or botrytis disease. Light frost is helpful during stratification.
After stratification, with warmer, pertly sunny conditions, the seed will germinate. At the end of the growing season, the seedlings will have pitchers 2.5 to 5cm (1-2 inch) tall. The plants will take, on average, about five years to reach maturity. Baby plants can achieve maturity in as short time as three or four years with fertilisation.

Sarracenia psittacina are slow at producing  offshoots and new growing points or they will never multiply.  However, sometimes potted specimens should be divided and transplanted every three to five years or when the growing points become crammed along the edge of the pot. This should be done only during dormancy or early spring growth. Rermove the plant from its pot and wash away as much soil as possible. The growing points from which the pitchers emerge are clearly separated. The rhizome is often gnarled and branching, the roots tough and wiry. Separate the growing points making sure that each growing point has roots  and plant them in different pots. After dividing a mature rhizomes it is best to be cut off any emerging flower buds so the plant can put its energy into healing and plant growth.

Primary pests of Sarracenia psittacina are aphids, scale, thrips and mealybugs.
Treatment: Use an appropriate insecticide. Treatment may need to be repeated with annoying pests like mealybug, which can be spread by ants. After treatment, cut off any badly deformed emerging pitchers so the plant can put its energy into growing new, healthy leaves.

Seeds can be attacked by damping-off fungus.
Treatment: Treat the plant with an appropriate fungicide.

Uses: Sarracenia psittacina make excellent windowsill plants and are also able to live outdoors year-round in bog gardens.


Foliage – coloured
Shape – bushy
Height: 15-20cm (6-8 inch)
Width: 15-20cm (6-8 inch)

Watering in rest period – plentifully
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 10°C max 15°C (50-59°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 20°C max 30°C (68-86°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zones: 5a-9b

Sarracenia psittacina - flowerSarracenia psittacina - flowersSarracenia psittacina - flower

Bog Plants, Carnivorous Plants, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , ,

Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster

Common name: Feather Reed Grass

Family: Poaceae

Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster

Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster

Description: The most popular ornamental grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora has a distinct upright habit that looks fantastic all winter long. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ it is a hybrid which is valued for its early bloom, vertical lines and ability to grow in wet soils. It is a slowly-spreading, clump-forming, cool season ornamental grass which features an erect, slightly arching, slender clump of narrow, stiff, rich green leaves growing to 1m (3 feet) tall and 45-60cm (18-24 inch) wide. Leaves produce little fall color, eventually turning tan in winter. In spring, tightly-vertical flower stalks rise well above the foliage up to 1.8m (6 feet) tall bearing narrow plumes of feathery, purplish-green flowers which turn golden as the seeds mature in summer and eventually tan. It is one of the first ornamental grasses to bloom in spring.

Gardening: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster is fast growing hardy perennial and like many grasses, this tough plant tolerates a wide range of conditions. It is sterile, so mass planting can be done without fear of becoming invasive.

Cut clumps to the ground in late winter just before the new shoots appear. By cutting it in fall, the nice winter appearance of this stunning ornamental grass is wasted. Cut it back to about 6cm (6 inch) from the ground. Plant or divide them early to late spring and early fall. If applicable, plant it at the same depth as it is in the pot. Recommended spacing between plants is about 45-100cm (18-40 inch).

Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster are clump forming, rather than spreading by rhizomes. They will eventually need to be divided in fall or early spring, generally every 3 to 5 years, to prevent them from dying out in the center.

Position: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster thrive in sun to light shade positions. Blooms in light shade and appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates.

If grown in too much shade, Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster will be smaller and flop a bit.

Soil: Grows in moderately fertile, moisture retentive soil. It grows quite well in moderately heavy soils, but they must be moisture-retentive and not dry out.

Water: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster can grow in fresh-water bogs, it also does well in drier areas. Water to root depth once every 2 weeks for best results.

Once established,Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster is drought tolerant. It will be a smaller plant if grown in a dry site.

Fertilising: Fertilizer may be required to produce maximum height. Use a slow release, medium-rate fertiliser.

Propagation: This grass will not self-seed in the garden because seeds are sterile. Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster can be propagated by division of clumps in mid-spring every few years.

Container plants: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster has wonderful, tall flower plumes that create an eye catching focal point when grown in a container. Although Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster needs a bit of protection from the hot sun, it can survive winters in containers down to hardiness zone 6.
It is suited to grow in 18-20cm (7-8 inch) pot, 22cm (8.5 inch) pot or 25cm (10 inch) pot – any size will work well.
Soil: Use a soil based potting mixture for Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster.
Light: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster will thrive in full sun or better in partial shade for the hot and dry climates.
Water: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster require to be evenly moist.
Fertiliser: Apply standard liquid fertiliser once every two weeks, from early-spring through summer.

Uses: Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster looks good either as mass, group or specimen plant. Excellent vertical accent for borders and for narrow spaces in the landscape. Also effective in moist low spots or on pond or stream banks. It is suitable for architectural, cottage or informal garden, flower borders and beds or prairie planting. Plant it ‘en masse’ to form a feathery screen. It also looks good planted next to buildings.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster is used as a backdrop for roses and other perennials, in arrangements.

Height: 1-1.5m (3-5 feet)
Spread: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)
Hardiness zones: 5-9

Bog Plants, Container Grass, Cutting Flowers, Garden Plants, Ornamental Grasses & Sedges , ,

Acorus gramineus

Common name: Grassy-Leaved Sweet Flag, Dwarf sedge, Japanese rush, Japanese sweet flag

Family: Acoraceae

Acorus gramineus

Acorus gramineus

Distribution and habitat: Acorus gramineus is native to Japan in eastern Asia, where it usually occurs in wetlands and shallow water. It can grow fully or partially submerged or in very moist soil, but it will usually only flower when at least partially submerged.

Description:  Acorus gramineus narrow leaves, which grow in a dense clump or tuft rising from a slender rhizome that lies just below the surface of the potting mixture, are up to 45cm (18 inch) long. There is a green slower spathe, but is is barely noticeable since it is so fine that it looks almost like another leaf.

Houseplant care: Acorus gramineus grow more or less continuously, but its active growth will slow down under reduced light.

Light: Medium light or direct sunlight filtered through a translucent blind or curtain will suit Acorus gramineus.

Temperature: An indoor Acorus gramineus will grow well in normal warm room temperatures, but can also tolerate temperatures as low as 4ºC (39ºF). High humidity is essential; stand plants on trays of moist pebbles throughout  the year and mist-spray the leaves during the warm periods.

Water: Because they are marsh plants, Acorus gramineus needs more water than most other types of plants. These plants must never be allowed to dry out at the roots. Water plentifully as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist. The pot may even  be allowed to stand in shallow saucer of water.

Fertilising: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks during spring and summer.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil-based potting mixture. In spring move small plant into pots or shallow pans one size larger if their tufts of leaves have completely filled the surface area of the mixture. 13cm (5 inch) pots or half-pots are likely to be the largest size needed.

Gardening: Acorus gramineus when grow outdoor is easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in both boggy conditions (including very shallow water) and consistently moist garden soils. Scorched leaf tips will occur if soils are allowed to dry out. Appreciates some relief from hot summer sun (e.g., afternoon shade or filtered sun) when grown in hot summer climates. Slowly naturalizes by spreading roots, but is not too aggressive.

Acorus gramineus can be planted in baskets in shallow water. It also makes a useful aquarium plant but is short-lived where water temperatures exceed 22°C (72°C) for long periods. Divide every few years to prevent congestion.

Propagation: Prapagate by separating overcrowded clumps in spring or summer. Carefully pull the clumps apart with the fingers, making sure that a piece of rhizome is attached to each section and treat each divided clump as a mature plant.

Problems: Acorus gramineus has no serious insect or disease problems.

Scorch will occur if soils are not kept consistently moist to wet.

Recommended varieties:
Acorus gramineus ‘Variegatus’ is a variegated-leaved form of Acorus gramineus. It has white stripes on its green leaves.

Acorus gramineus ‘Albovariegatus’ is a variegated-leaved and dwarf form of Acorus gramineus. Its leaves grow rarely much larger than 15cm (6 inch).

Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ (Golden dwarf sweet flag) is a dwarf cultivar if Acorus gramineus to 25cm (10 inch) tall and 15cm (6 inch) wide. It has linear fans of glossy, pale green and cream-striped leaves that have an overall golden effect.

Uses: Acorus gramineus can be used as groundcover, in erosion control, rain garden or as a water plant.

Acorus gramineus are generally paludal (marsh plants) and are equally suited to aqua-terrariums and garden ponds, although they will also survive totally submerged.

Acorus gramineus can be used to form mass as ground cover in small areas of water gardens, along streams or ponds or in moist open woodland gardens. It is frequently used around the edges of ponds and water gardens, as well as submerged in freshwater aquaria. Acorus gramineus is ideal for foregrounds in aquariums. Also effective in rock gardens or border fronts or as small landscape accents as long as the soil moisture requirements can be met.

Acorus gramineus is the only one species from genus Acorus often grown indoors. Acorus gramineus provide a pleasant contrast with the more substantial foliage of other house plants.


Foliage – green or coloured
Shape – grassy
Height: 45cm (18 inch)

Watering in active growth period – plentiful
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 4°C max 24°C (39-75°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 5a-10b

Aquarium Plants, Bog Plants, Container Grass, Foliage Plants, Ground cover, Indoor Plants, Ornamental Grasses & Sedges, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , , , , ,

Isolepis cernua

Common Names: Fiber-optic grass, Fairy lights, Bullrush, Tufted Clubrush, Low Bulrush, Slender Club-Rush, Salt Marsh Bulrush, Savis Mud-Rush, Cat’s Whiskers

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: Cyperus ambiguus, Cyperus pumilio
Eleogiton cernua
Fimbristylis pygmaea
Isolepis brachyphylla, Isolepis brevifolia, Isolepis brevis, Isolepis chaetodes, Isolepis chlorostachya, Isolepis chlorotica, Isolepis controversa, Isolepis erubescens, Isolepis furcata, Isolepis fuscata, Isolepis heterolepis, Isolepis heterophylla, Isolepis kochii, Isolepis lepida, Isolepis leptalea, Isolepis leptocaulis, Isolepis magellanica, Isolepis meyeniana, Isolepis microcarpa, Isolepis microstachys, Isolepis minaae, Isolepis modesta, Isolepis monostachya, Isolepis multicaulis, Isolepis nuda, Isolepis numidiana, Isolepis pholiodes, Isolepis prolifera, Isolepis pumila, Isolepis pumilo, Isolepis punctulata, Isolepis purpurascens, Isolepis pygmaea, Isolepis riparia, Isolepis rupestris, Isolepis saviana, Isolepis savii, Isolepis setosa, Isolepis sicula, Isolepis striatella, Isolepis subprolifer, Isolepis tenuipes, Isolepis tenuis, Isolepis trachycarpa, Isolepis trigyna
Schoenoplectus cernuus, Schoenoplectus savii, Schoenus nitens
Scirpus acicularis, Scirpus aphyllus, Scirpus arechavaletae, Scirpus brevis, Scirpus cernuus, Scirpus chaetodes, Scirpus chloroticus, Scirpus filiformis, Scirpus gracilis, Scirpus hookeri, Scirpus leptaleus, Scirpus microstachys, Scirpus minaae, Scirpus minimus, Scirpus modestus, Scirpus nudipes, Scirpus numidianus, Scirpus pictus, Scirpus pumilus, Scirpus pygmaeus, Scirpus riparius, Scirpus savii, Scirpus subprolifer, Scirpus subtilis, Scirpus terminalis

Isolepis cernua

Isolepis cernua

Distribution and habitat: Isolepis cernua is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family and it is widespread, being native to many regions of the world, including parts of Australasia, Eurasia, Africa, and North and South America. It occurs in fresh to brackish, seasonally waterlogged waterways including creek banks, swamps, floodways, seeps, clay pans and lake edges. It is found on most soil types.

Description: Isolepis cernua is a graceful, grass-like plant that produces dense tufts of tread-like, fresh green leaves arising directly from a creeping underground rootstock. The cylindrical leaves which reseamble stems, grow about 25cm (10 inch) long and each carries at its tip a white to cream coloured flower no bigger than a pin head.
Flowers can appear at any time. Although not particularly interesting in themselves, they provide an attractive contrast to the slim, green line of the leaves. New leaves stand erect at fist, but they begin to arch downward as they age. For this reason Isolepis cernua plants show to best advantage when they have been planted in hanging baskets.

Houseplant care: Isolepis cernua is as an evergreen perennial plant when is grown indoors.

Light: Place Isolepis cernua plants in medium light. Unlike most indoor plants, they thrive in a position at a south facing window or even at a window that is obstructed by a nearby construction.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable. These plants, however, will grow actively all year long in temperatures above 13°C (55°F). They can tolerate lower winter temperatures (down to about 7°C (45°F)) but should be given a rest if  indoor temperatures are likely to remain unusually low for more than two or three days.

Watering: During the active growth period (which may be continuous) water plentifully as often as necessary so as to keep the potting mixture thoroughly and constantly moist. Pots may even be permitted to stand in water. If Isolepis cernua plants are grown in hanging baskets, extra care have to be taken as the plants will dry very quickly; they may need a daily soaking in a bucket of water during the active growing period.
If temperatures fall below 12°C (54°F) at any time, it is important to encourage these plants to take a rest period by watering very sparingly, giving only enough to keep the potting mixture from drying out completely.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser to actively growing plants about once every four weeks.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Move Isolepis cernua plants into slightly larger pots or hanging baskets whenever the tufted growths completely cover the surface of the mixture. Pots bigger than 13cm (5 inch) should not be necessary , since young plants are more attractive than old ones. Split up any clump that has reached the 13cm (5 inch) size pot and use the resulting pieces for propagation.

Gardening: Isolepis cernua is not really a grass, but a sedge which thrives with low maintenance and is very decorative. It is a tender perennial (zones 8-11) generally grown as an annual in cold climates, but it can be kept as a houseplant in a sunny window or greenhouse over the winter. Bring it indoors before freezing temperatures occur and set the pot in a shallow tray of water.

The fading flowers can be removed to maintain the look of the plant and limit its self-seeding. All wandering stems may be cut to control plant growth. Cut back yearly in spring for fresh new growth.

Position: Isolepis cernua thrives in shady position outdoor.

Soil: Any moderately fertile soil (clay, loamy, sandy) which is moisture retentive.
It can be planted on the water’s edge or in the shallows of ponds, positioned so that the water level is no more than 5cm (2 inch) above the soil.

Irrigation: Keep Isolepis cernua in consistently moist soil and keep it moist all year. Will tolerate be planted in water up to 10cm (4 inch).
If used this plant in a water garden, gradually increase the water level it sits in unless it is purchased from an aquatic plants display. This will allow the roots to become accustomed to being submerged.

Fertilisation: Isolepis cernua benefits from fertiliser during the growing season. Use a liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the active growing season.

Propagation: Propagate Isolepis cernua plants by dividing overcrowded clumps, preferably in the spring. Pull the clumps apart gently, making sure that each section retain at least 20 leaves. Plant the section either in 8cm (3 inch) pots or group three or four together in a single hanging basket and treat them immediately in exactly the same way as mature plants.

Isolepis cernua can also be propagated by seed. Sow seed in spring, barely covering the seeds. Keep the soil warm at around 21°C (70°F) and constantly moist.

Plants companions: In a water garden it combines well with Equisetum species (horsetails), Cyperus prolifer (dwarf papyrus) and Canna species (cannas) (but it best to keep each in separate pots).

Toxicity: Both the plant and seeds are poisonous if eaten. Keep it away from children and pets if there is any chance they may play with or ingest them. Handling this plant may cause skin irritation.

Uses and display: Growing in a clumping mound, Isolepis cernua spills over the sides of a container as it grows, making it ideal for a tall planter or even a hanging pot. Eye-catching on its own, this decorative grass also adds texture among a display of foliage and flowering plants. It can be used as ground cover, as waterside plant being a low maintenance plant for bog garden. It is great for pots, especially hanging baskets to highlight its fountain-like foliage.


Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – grassy

Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – medium
Temperature in rest period – min 7°C max 13°C (45-55°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 13°C max 24°C (55-75°F)
Humidity – high

Height: 22-30cm (9-12 inch)
Hardiness zone: 5a-9b
Evergreen Perennial in hardiness zone: 8-11

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