Overview: Native to Florida, Pearl Weed or Pearl Grass is one of the popular aquatic weeds. It belongs to the Scrophulariaceae family. From its bright green color and medium growing habit to full coverage growth, everything is loved by aquarists around the world. Besides, it is easy to care for and can be propagated with no hassle. This plant can grow very dense and covers the bottom of the tank like a carpet. It can also be used in aquascaping by attaching to driftwood. The best part is it doesn’t require any special care, making it one of the most demanding aquarium plants. It is perfect for beginners and can be grown as a foreground, midground, or background plant.
Appearance: Pearl weed is a bright green, low-growing stem plant that is versatile and spreads runners horizontally. Therefore, it needs to be pruned constantly. It will ensure that the plant will keep growing low and spreading runners horizontally. Since the growth and shape of the plant depend upon the conditions, planning ahead for the perfect aquascaping is a must. Pearl weed looks a lot similar to other carpeting plants. It is a good alternative to those carpet plants that require huge maintenance. Initially, this plant grows slowly, but once the roots take hold of the substrate, it proliferates. The approximate growth rate of pearl weed is 5 to 8 inches per month.
Hard/Soft Plant: It is a hard plant.
Ideal water temperature: The suitable water temperature is 19-28 °C. Since most tropical fish require a temperature between 24 and 27 degree Celsius, pearl weed can be introduced at that temperature.
Lightening conditions: It requires medium light to grow; however, a high level will increase the compact growth rate. Therefore, if you are planning for full coverage growth or carpeting the floor of the tank, using a high light intensity light is the most suitable.
Carbon dioxide injection will also prove to be beneficial to get good growth of pearl weed. It will allow full and dense growth, and the plant will easily cover the bottom of the tank.
Ideal pH level: 6.5 to 7.5 is an ideal pH for pearl weed.
Propagation: For propagating pearl weed, cut a piece of a mature and healthy plant, make a bundle of a few stems and place them in the substrate. Under good water conditions, the plantlets will root and continue growing.
Do you know: Most aquarists use pearl weed as a good alternative to other carpet plants. They keep pruning to allow it to grow horizontally and take over the bottom of the tank.