Hygrophilla pinnatifida is native to India. It develops brown, patched leaves with a distinctive burgundy colour underneath. If the top shoots are pinched, it produces multiple horizontal shoots. This will keep the growth compact and appealing. The horizontal side shoots attach to both wood and rocks with ease. The growth rate is moderate, with stems 15-40 cm tall and 10-20 cm wide, and the colour is appealing when planted in small groups against a plain background. Due to the plant’s slow to medium growth rate, intense lighting ensures compact growth.
This plant is native to India and has become quite common in the hobby in recent years (2010+) due to the fact that it is stocked and farmed by the majority of large aquatic plant nurseries. Because of its fern-like appearance, Hygrophila pinnatifida blends well with mosses and wood. It must be trimmed on a regular basis to avoid shading the surrounding plants. The underside of the leaf of this plant appears redder. The image above is a top view of the same group of plants shown below. Because it does not require a substrate, it is frequently planted higher up on hardscape, providing us with an attractive underside view of the leaves. It is tolerant of a wide range of water parameters and is a simple plant to grow with CO2 injection, though it can be used effectively in low-tech tanks as well (but success is less certain). If you’ve tried buying emersed growth forms from dealers and they’ve all melted, look for submerged grown ones instead. Some people have problems with the plant during the conversion process because the submerged forms are stable and grow easily. Hygrophila pinnatifida is a popular epiphyte in aquascaping circles because it grows well without substrate – it attaches easily to rocks and wood, and its reddish coloration and unique leaf shape serve as a good contrast against green plants. It can be used in bunches in the middle of the lawn or attached to any type of hardscape with super glue, thread, or cable ties (that can later on be removed as the plant attaches readily to surfaces).
This close-up photograph clearly shows the distinctive leaf shape and patterning. Hygrophila pinnatifida is a stem plant that grows in an upward spiral towards the water’s surface. If allowed to reach the water’s surface, it will eventually break through and produce emersed leaves and small purple flowers. It is an aggressive and fast grower that constantly sends out runners; it becomes very wild and can grow quite large with a width of 25cm+ when provided with rich CO2 and nutrients. This plant can be aggressively trimmed to force it to stay smaller and avoid shading other nearby plants. If you don’t want this plant to take over the tank, cut the runners on a regular basis. The plant sends out runners frequently, making propagation simple. Plantlets will spawn at regular intervals and can be cut and replanted elsewhere.
One of the simplest plants to prune. If you cut the stem above one of the internodes, the plant will produce smaller plants from the remaining internodes. If you don’t want the plant to take over the tank, cut the runners on a regular basis. Plantlets, even when small, can be easily replanted. If your plant is very pale in colour (as shown in the image below) and has yellow edges along the pinholes, and you have not been dosing potassium on a regular basis, you may have a potassium deficiency. If you are already dosing 20-25ppm potassium in your tank and still have pinholes in your leaves, you should rule out potassium deficiency and move on to testing other factors. Many factors influence the health of aquatic plants, including the availability of CO2 as well as all other nutrients, and having holes in older leaves can be linked to a variety of issues other than potassium. Do not fall victim to nutrient tunnel vision.
Is Hygrophila Pinnatifida a simple plant to grow?
Most aquatic plant nurseries classify Hygrophila pinnatifida as either easy or medium to care for. It works well even in low-tech aquariums. Still, it will require high-quality equipment and well-balanced fertilisation to achieve its most incredible appearance.
Is CO2 required by Hygrophila Pinnatifida?
Hygrophila Pinnatifida is a one-of-a-kind plant native to India. The leaves can be brown, purple, red, green, or yellow depending on the conditions in which they are kept. This plant thrives in high-intensity lighting with Co2 and fertilisation.
Is it necessary to plant Hygrophila Pinnatifida?
Hygrophila pinnatifida is a popular epiphyte in aquascaping circles because it grows well without substrate – it attaches easily to rocks and wood, and its reddish coloration and unique leaf shape serve as a good contrast against green plants.