Can Aquarium Plants Grow in Cold Water? The Simple Answer

If you’re like me you may have thought about creating an aquarium without a heater. A cold-water tank needs plants, but are aquarium plants able to grow in cold water?

There are a lot of aquarium plants who are able to grow in colder temperatures, but it depends on the type of plant. Species like hornwort and frogbit are popular plants that can grow in colder water. Always do research and find out what water conditions a plant needs to survive.

It is important to know what plants are able to grow in cold water, but also how temperature affects plants. The rest of the article will explain what you need to know in order to grow plants in cold water.

What is the ideal temperature for your aquarium plants?

A lot of aquarium plants are grown out of water. When they are still out of the water and exposed to air, they tend to prefer growth in slightly colder climates as opposed to hotter ones. Of course, this depends on the plant. Some species are from tropical regions, and while they don’t need to be put under sweltering conditions, they might prefer more heat.

In the water though, this is a different story. Plants growing pattern changes drastically when they are fully submerged. Most plants will require temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just a general estimation and does not apply to all aquarium plants.

Of course, the temperature your plant needs to grow at will depend on the species of plants. Some plant species might like a warmer range. And other plant species might prefer a cooler range. Really, for any plant, you want to do your research. Find out what water conditions they need to survive. This way you know exactly what your plant needs to thrive.

Saltwater vs. freshwater plant temperatures

In addition to differences in specific plant species, you should also consider the differences between saltwater aquarium plants and freshwater aquarium plants. Freshwater plants have a much larger range of temperatures in which they can grow. Saltwater plants, on the other hand, will, by and large, require warmer temperatures in order to grow properly. This is because they are usually found in more tropical regions.

When you choose plants for your aquarium, you want to consider this. Saltwater aquariums are not well suited for cold climates in general. If you want a colder tank, it is best to stick with freshwater plants. There are cold water marine plants, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Are there aquarium plants that dislike cold water?

Some plants are not going to grow well in cold water. It’s an undeniable fact, certain species need a specific and warm climate. Still, some plants thrive in colder waters. In this next section, we’ll discuss some of these plants.

When you shop for plants, you’ll come across several species with stringent growing requirements. They won’t want to be in warm water and climates ever. They might even melt in the summer months. These delicate plants are not the norm, but they do exist. It is just a trait they have adapted from their natural habitat.

Cold water pond plants

Cold water pond plants are the perfect example of a plant that will only grow in cold waters. If you have a colder tank and live in a colder region of the world these are great options. They have a number of benefits that make them attractive for fish owners.

Cold water pond plants will help oxygenate your tank, they will also provide shade for your tank. They tend to float at the surface of your tank.

Dwarf aquarium lilies and tiger lotuses are popular options for cold tanks. Know that they will melt easily in hotter climates though. Scarlet Temples and Water Sprites are another type of aquarium plant that does well in colder waters temperatures.

Water Hibiscus is a bog plant and particularly hardy. Like lilies, they are great if you want a little color in your tank. They grow flowers even in cold waters. Many flowering plants actually like cooler temperatures at night. A range of around 60 degrees or 55 degrees is good for these fauna.

This depends on the plant, but some flowering plants like temperatures 10 or even 15 degrees below their normal temperature. Again though, research your specific plant for the best care.

There are plenty of cold water pond plants available for aquariums. Look online to find other species, and to see which plants will best suit your tank. Along with temperature you want to think about which plants are best for your fish.

Plants that can grow in cold and hot temperatures

If you need more options for cold water pond plants, Frogbit and Hornwort can also be put in your tank. These two plants are well known and frequently used in planted aquariums. They are not as inflexible as other cold water pond plants. In fact, they can be grown in several water conditions.

Hornwort can be kept in temperatures of 59 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Frogbit can be grown in water that is 64 to 84 degrees. These both have a pretty large range of climates they can live in. And their care is not complicated or difficult.

Other types of aquarium plants can be grown in cold and hot temperatures as well. Hardier plants can be cultivated in a range of temperatures that go from cold to hot. Some of these plants might grow a little better in a warmer climate, but they can still grow in cold climates. An example of this is Anarcharis. These are easy to grow plants that can thrive in multiple temperatures.

Anarcharis can grow in water that is 59 degrees Fahrenheit, all the way to waters that are 82 degrees Fahrenheit. These are adaptable plants that do well in multiple aquariums. Along with being able to grow in cold climates, Anarcharis require minimal lighting and maintenance. So they can be an ideal plant for your cold water tank!

Another adaptable plant you can purchase is the Java Fern. These plants are a favorite among fish hobbyists. They look great in any tank, and fairly easy to care for. They also grow in several climates.

Java Fern can be grown in water ranging from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The waters they grow in are not completely frigid, but they do grow in climates much lower than typical plants. We highly recommend this species of aquarium plant for people new to fish keeping. They thrive easily and fit in with all types of tanks!

What are the benefits of plants that can grow in cold water?

One of the biggest benefits of these types of plants is versatility. Many cold water plants can be grown in warm and cold climates. If you live in a place that experiences climate fluctuations this could be helpful for your tank.

One of the biggest benefits of these types of plants is versatility. Many cold water plants can be grown in warm and cold climates. If you live in a place that experiences climate fluctuations this could be helpful for your tank.

Cold water plants maintain many of the benefits of other plants. With a cold water plant in your tank, your water will be cleaned by your fauna. Your tank will also be oxygenated by your cold water plant. And, you might also get some shaded area for your fish. It all depends on the type of plants you end up getting.

So, to conclude

To get back to the original question, plants can definitely be grown in cold water climates. But not all plants can be grown in these conditions. The species of plants you get is a big factor. Some plants will not grow in cold climates, they might even die. Other plants love colder climates and could die in the heat. Differences between saltwater and freshwater should also be considered when choosing plants.

Still, if you get the right type of plant you can grow them in cold water. Personally, we recommend purchasing plants that can be grown in cold and warm temperatures. This way, if the season change and your tank heats up at little, you won’t have to worry about your plant dying. Either way, this is up to your own preference and the needs of your tank.

Many aquarium plants are hardy and can survive multiple climates. There are many plants out there that can survive in cold water, more than you would think. It just takes a little research and effort to keep your tank in the right conditions for your plant.

Bart Sprenkels

I have been keeping multiple aquariums since I was 18 years old. Just like many of you, I started with two goldfish but quickly learned they were not suitable for aquariums. Later, I switched to a tropical community tank and I also have two pet musk-turtles in a bigger aquarium. You can read more about me here.

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