Overview: Commonly called Florida Ruffle, Alternanthera ficoidea is an herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. The plant is native to the Caribbean, Central, and South America. It is a seasonal bloomer and, when grown in submerged condition, enhances the look of the tank. The colorful green leaves make the plant perfect for all types of tanks. Its variety ‘green’ is popular for aquarium culture as it is decorative, everything that is needed to increase the aesthetics of the tank. It is a hardy plant and can be grown as a foreground and background plant. The only essential requirement is it must have a period of terrestrial growth to have good health inside the aquarium.
Appearance: Alternanthera adorns lush green leaves. The leaves are long and thin showing dense growth. Although this plant is not truly aquatic, when grown in emerging conditions stays good for a few months. Later, one has to take it out to grow in submerged condition for some time. The plant stays well in terrariums. Since the plant reaches 15-20 cm in height, it is best suited as a mid-ground plant.
Hard/soft plant- It is very hardy and can be used in a Cichlid tank. It is easy to grow and maintain plant that shows fast growth.
Ideal water temperature- The most suitable water temperature for Alternanthera is between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. When the plant is provided with the right temperature range, it thrives well, and the leaves attain bright green color.
Lightening conditions- Medium to high light intensity is suitable for Alternanthera ficoidea growth.
Ideal pH level: The ideal pH ranges between 6 and 7.
Propagation- Alternanthera ficoidea is a stem plant that shows vegetative propagation. Short stem cuttings are often used to plant it. After a few days, the stems attain roots and start growing profusely. Make sure proper water conditions are provided so that the plant stabilizes inside the tank and thrives well.
Do you know- Alternanthera ficoidea is popular with so many names like Joseph’s Green, Hedge Green Pot, Copperleaf, Blood Leaf, Calico Leaf, Joy Weed, Parrot Leaf, and many more. It is one of those aquarium plants that stay in submerged condition for several months only after staying in emerged condition for a few months.