How would you feel seeing little flowers blooming in your aquarium? Surreal, right? A lush green aquarium with attractive aquatic plants and colorful fish alone increases the aesthetics of the tank, and when this setup is combined with florals, the beauty is enhanced manifold.
If you are a hardcore aquarist looking for different ways to increase the beauty of your tank, it’s high time to ponder upon aquatic plants that flower. Adding aquarium plants offers multiple benefits, such as improving the water quality and fish health, creating pleasing visuals, and much more. Since aquatic plants come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, they are the best for aquascaping and giving an interesting look to the tank.
Moreover, some aquatic plants flower when they are grown under suitable water conditions, and this article talks about them. Let’s check out some amazing aquarium plants that flower, how to promote their flowering, and ways to maintain them.
Aquatic Plants that Flower
A lot of aquarium plants flower when they are grown under the right water conditions. When these plants are provided with the perfect temperature and pH, along with essential macro and micronutrients, stunning flowers bloom, making the setup visually pleasing and appealing.
Here are some aquarium plants falling under easy, moderate, and difficult maintenance ranges that you can grow in your tank as per your expertise.
- Madagascar lace (Aponogeton madagascariensis)
- General Introduction
Madagascar lace is number one on the list due to its pretty white flowers with a purple tint that looks extremely beautiful. Apart from its pretty flowers, the unique pattern of leaves that resemble lace is what makes Madagascar lace distinctive.
It got its name due to its characteristic lace-like leaf patterns. Moreover, the skeletal appearance of the leaves with a see-through appearance gives the plant an amazing look. Even though the leaves are fragile due to their one-of-a-kind appearance, it is highly preferred by the aquascapers.
Flowers of Madagascar lace are white, developing a purple tint over time. They blossom above the water surface of the tank. When the plant receives proper water condition, it develops flowers and makes the tank look amazing.
If the aquarist has little experience in maintaining aquarium plants, it becomes easy to get flowers in Madagascar lace. However, maintaining the flowers requires skills.
- Temperature– The foremost step in creating flowers in Madagascar lace is adjusting the water parameters, especially the temperature. Usually, it should remain anywhere between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is better to install a thermometer to ensure that plants are under the right temperature.
- pH– pH should remain between 5.5 and 7. Soft to moderately hard water will be best for Madagascar lace growth and flowering.
- Lighting– For flowering, moderate to high light levels are needed in Madagascar lace.
- Substrate– Lastly, to ensure that this plant flowers, offering essential nutrients becomes a must. For instance, rooting the plant into a nutrient-rich substrate and adding root tabs and liquid fertilizer helps it to develop flowers abundantly. You can grow it in sand or fine gravel. However, they should be nutrient-rich.
- Other requirements– Additional carbon dioxide will accelerate plant growth as well as flowering. Even though the plant will thrive in its absence, adding CO2 will only benefit the plant.
- General Introduction
While most of the flowering aquarium plants develop flowers above the water surface, Anubias is one of those that flower when completely submerged. There are different varieties of Anubias, like Anubias barteri, Anubias barteri var. nana, Anubias hyterophylla, Anubias gracilis, and more that flower underground. All these varieties are pretty popular among the aquarists- both beginners and experts. Based on their size, they can be planted as a foreground, midground, or background plant.
Since Anubias is an undemanding plant, it is easy to maintain and care for. At the same time, their requirements are flexible. They can thrive well, even under fluctuating water parameters, for a while. All this makes Anubias ideal for beginners, too.
Flowers of Anubias are creamy white in color and small in size. Almost all Anubias varieties develop flowers above or under the water that last for several months. When these plants flower underwater, they also develop seeds.
Since this plant is hardy and offers numerous paybacks, such as keeping control of water’s nitrate level, getting one will be beneficial in the long term.
- Temperature– For the best results, make sure the temperature stays between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius. Even though Anubias will grow even if the temperature goes a little above and beyond, when maintained within the range, it shows great growth and flowering.
- pH– The ideal pH range is between 6.5 and 7.8.
- Lighting- The lighting requirements of Anubias are also a no-brainer as it can survive well under a wide range of lighting conditions. Whether the lighting is low or high, it will show growth. However, you can notice that under low light conditions, the growth is slow and otherwise, in higher light levels. Since high light may lead to profuse algae growth, keeping it moderate will suffice.
- Substrate– When it comes to the substrate, Anubias plants give a lot of options. They can grow in fine gravel and also when attached to driftwood or rocks. However, make sure that the substrate is nutrient-rich for better growth. While planting, ensure that the rhizome is not buried deep inside the gravel but kept above the substrate, visible to the eyes.
- Other requirements: Carbon dioxide is not necessary at all for Anubias. Even though its addition will enhance growth, usually, it is not desired. Let the plant grow at its own pace and flower subsequently. If needed, you can add liquid fertilizer to the water.
- Inducing Underground Flowers in Anubias
An interesting fact about the Anubias plant is that underground flowering can be induced in this plant. Here’s how it can be done:
- Remove Leaves– Since flowering needs energy, you need to remove a few leaves from the plant to transfer the energy in inducing flower buds. Keep around 5 to 6 leaves around each rhizome for photosynthesis and remove the rest. Pluck the leaves off by hand carefully without disturbing the other parts of the plant.
- Expose Rhizome– As already mentioned, rhizomes of Anubias should not be buried deep inside the substrate but kept slightly above. For inducing flowers, expose rhizomes a little more and make sure no rocks are hindering their growth. It is necessary because the plant’s stalk grows upwards and needs enough space and no hindrance while growing. You need to be extra careful if the substrate is hard, as exposing the rhizomes in such cases may disturb the roots.
- Stop Fertilization– While it is said to add fertilizers to accelerate growth, you need to stop fertilization to induce flowering. When the source of energy is stopped, the plants make efforts to develop flowers to ensure their survival, and thus, flowers emerge. All you need is to simply cut back on the dose of liquid fertilizers or root tabs you were offering previously.
- Lighting– Cutting the lighting back to around 1 watt per 4 liters is ideal for inducing flowers.
- Be Patient– When it comes to inducing flowering, patience is the key. Let the nature do its work and stay calm. Flowering is a process, and it may take days or weeks for Anubias to flower. Just keep your efforts uptight; you never know when a flower stalk will become visible.
- Red Tiger Lotus
- General Introduction
While most of the aquarium flowers are small in size, Red Tiger Lotus is an exception, producing large flowers. The big flowers of this plant are white in color with hues of red and yellow that look exquisite. The good thing is Red Tiger Lotus is a low-maintenance, fast-growing plant, suitable for beginners too. The leaves are also big, wavy, and broad with variegated patterns. They also come in shades of red. Some leaves also develop on long and thin stems and look nothing less like lily pads. Overall, this plant looks great, produces beautiful flowers, and compliments any aquarium.
The large flowers developing on Red Tiger Lotus at the surface are its USP. They look stunning with hues of white to yellow. From the big flowers to the broad leaves, everything about this plant makes it eye-catching. Aquarists often grow this plant in their tanks to make it a centerpiece and bring uniqueness to the setup. Once the flowers wilt, you may collect the seeds present inside to reuse.
- Temperature– The ideal temperature for Red Tiger Lotus is between 22 – 28 degrees Celsius. Maintaining the temperature within this range will ensure that the plant will stay healthy, leaves will stay colorful, and beautiful flowers will emerge. The flowers always bloom at the surface of the tank. Since this is the ideal temperature requirement for most aquatic plants, there is no need for extra effort.
- pH– Water pH should remain between 6 and 8 when you are planting Red Tiger Lotus for its flowers. Also, it can thrive well when the water is soft and hard.
- Lighting– For its best growth, medium to high light works wonders. However, even if the light stays low, the plant won’t suffer much and keep thriving happily. When provided with moderate to powerful light, you can see faster growth with the plant getting compact. Since flowers bloom only at the water’s surface, it is recommended to provide high light intensity so that stalks grow bigger, reach the surface, and flowers bloom.
- Substrate– Usually, bulbs are used to propagate Red Tiger Lotus. These bulbs are planted on the substrate, and over time, stems emerge. When the substrate is nutrient-rich, it makes the process fast and easy for the rhizomes.
- Other requirements– Prunning is one of the essentialities of Red Tiger Lotus. Since it is a fast grower, you never know when it takes up the entire tank, especially the water surface, if left unattended. To check the growth, you may need to hold back on fertilizers. Make sure the plant doesn’t wilt in the process.
- General Introduction
The next aquatic plant that flowers underwater is Bucephalandra. Due to its compact size and easy growing, it is one of the popular aquarium plants. If aquarists are looking for a small blooming flowering plant for their tanks, Bucephalandra is a must-try. Due to its exotic look, it is often used as a decorative plant, perfect for aquascaping.
Bucephalandra produces beautiful flowers that are small in size and usually pink and white in color. These flowers bloom only under submerged conditions. When the water parameters are right, and within the range, the plant gives out stunning blooms in white and pink. These flowers are unisexual, flat, and sterile with solitary inflorescence.
- Temperature– For the best growth and development, the temperature should remain between 21.5 °C – 28 °C. Since Bucephalandra is a hardy plant, it survives well even if the temperature fluctuates a bit. However, to ensure great blooms and proper growth, maintaining temperature in the range is crucial.
- pH– Being a hardy plant, Bucephalandra can stay well when the water’s pH is between 6 and 8. Additionally, it loves soft water, so try to maintain it so that the plant stays healthy with no hassles.
- Lighting– The demand for light is flexible with Bucephalandra. Usually, it depends on what you want to achieve. For instance, low lighting will lead to slow growth, and it will work best when you are using the plant for ornamental purposes. Low light will ensure slow growth and less coloration; however, in case of better color and intense growth, high lighting is necessary.
- Substrate– Bucephalandra is propagated through rhizomes like Anubias; therefore, keeping the substrate nutrient-rich will accelerate its growth. However, being a slow-grower, it won’t require much fertilizers.
- Other requirements– Bucephalandra is an easy plant with no specific demands. There is no need to add fertilizers, give additional carbon dioxide, or offer any macro and micronutrients. It takes what is needed from the substrate and water and grows slowly.
- Echinodorus muricatus
- General Introduction
The last aquarium flowering plant in our list is Echinodorus muricatus, also popular as Radican Sword, which produces stunning white flowers above the water surface. It is one of the easy-to-grow aquarium plants that beginners can also try. The plant grows around 12 to 20 inches, thus suitable as a background plant. As it grows and stalks come out of the water, beautiful flowers bloom above the water’s surface. It’s a fast-grower freshwater aquatic plant.
The plant flowers when provided with proper water parameters. Usually, the flowers emerge in clusters of three from the long stems. They are moderately sized and white in color with a yellow center.
- Temperature– Radican Sword is one of the hardy plants among all the aquarium plants, thus thriving well under a wide range of water parameters. It grows well when the temperature is between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius.
- pH– The ideal pH range for Echinodorus muricatus is 6.5 to 8. Maintaining it within this range will ensure better growth and profuse flowering.
- Lighting– Echinodorus muricatus, just like other species of Echinodorus, requires high light intensity for good growth.
- Substrate– Nutrient-rich substrate will help Echinodorus muricatus to grow abundantly. Since it is a heavy root feeder, a nutrient-rich substrate will only help it grow hassle-free. However, being a hardy plant, it will survive without additional fertilizers or carbon dioxide supplementation as well.
- Other requirements– Since Radican Sword is a larger plant, growing it in a large tank is advised.
To make your tank eye-catching, including some flowering aquatic plants is a great idea. Since the plants we discussed are already popular and easily available in aquarium shops or online, get now to increase your tank’s aesthetics. Bring the lost charm to your aquarium and make it beautiful with the pretty flowers blooming underground and above the water’s surface.
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