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The Complete Dwarf Sagittaria Care Guide for Beginners

get 5 secrets to thriving plants

It is always fantastic to have plants in your aquarium. If you are just starting, you will want to have plants that don’t require much care to thrive. The dwarf Sagittaria is a hardy plant that can add many benefits to your aquarium without much fuss! 

The dwarf Sagittaria is a popular plant for freshwater aquariums. This plant is easy to care for since it does not have many requirements. With moderate lighting and stable water conditions, this plant can thrive in almost any environment. The dwarf Sagittaria is a grass-like plant. 

Although it is always helpful to have the facts, you need to go beyond to give the best care to your plants! In this article, I will explain in detail all the necessary aspects of caring for your dwarf Sagittaria. Keep reading to have all the insights!

What is the dwarf Sagittaria?

The dwarf Sagittaria is a hardy plant that is perfect for beginners. This plant is a freshwater grass-like species that grows at a fast pace and can endure almost any condition. The dwarf Sagittaria is a fantastic addition to any freshwater tank.

The dwarf Sagittaria is very similar to different varieties of grass. Its leaf is completely green and long. It is shaped like an arrow, narrowing towards its top. This plant also has small white flowers that spring off the leaves. The dwarf Sagittaria normally grows 4 – 6 inches. 

As seen in the picture above, many leaves spring off together from the substrate of the tank. Together they form these interesting formations called rosettes that can add beauty to the tank. Furthermore, having plants can better the conditions of an aquarium, in general terms.

The dwarf Sagittaria is an amphibious plant. This means that the plant can grow both submerged and half-submerged. In some cases, the leaves of the dwarf Sagittaria could stretch to the surface of the tank.

Here you have some general information about the Dwarf Sagittaria:

Common nameDwarf sagittaria
Latin nameSagittaria Subulata
Country of originColombia and The United States
Lighting requirementsMedium
Temperature20 – 28 degrees Celsius
pH6.0 – 8.0
GHSoft to hard
KH3 – 8
Fertilization needsLiquid fertilizer
Growth speedFast
CO2 requiredYes
Tank placementFore – midground

Thanks to these forgiving conditions, the dwarf Sagittaria is perfect for beginners. 

 Natural habitat

The dwarf Sagittaria comes from the shores of South America and North America. In the south, it is very common to find this plant in Colombia and Venezuela. In the United States, you will find this plant throughout the Atlantic coast in estuaries and marshes. 

You will find dwarf Sagittaria in as many as seven states of the US. They can be seen in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

In many other regions, the dwarf Sagittaria is considered an invasive species. Although this plant comes from the American coasts, it can be found in Portugal, Great Britain, and Indonesia. 

Since the dwarf Sagittaria is a hardy plant, it does well in freshwater and also brackish water. In this sense, it can endure many a condition and thrive. This growing ease is the reason why it is sometimes considered an invasive species. 

Tank Size, Water Parameters, and Lighting Requirements

The dwarf Sagittaria is a hardy plant that requires little care to thrive. This plant can do well under virtually any water parameters and in any tank size. The dwarf Sagittaria prefers moderate lighting but will live perfectly under any other condition. 

Although the dwarf Sagittaria can do wonders with little, it does have some preferences regarding its environment. Let’s take a closer look at the most optimal conditions for the dwarf Sagittaria. 

Tank Size

You can grow dwarf Sagittaria in nano tanks as well as larger ones. The advised minimum would be a five-gallon tank to ensure the plant growth does not harm any other species. In some cases, the dwarf Sagittaria can grow fast and overspread in the tank. 

With smaller tanks, the necessity to prune and trim increases. If left alone, the dwarf Sagittaria can take over the bottom of a small tank in no time. If you have a small aquarium, try to control the growth and spread of your dwarf Sagittaria.

Although the normal growth of the dwarf Sagittaria remains around 4 – 6 inches, there are cases of this plant growing up to 12 inches. If given enough room, this plant will grow and reach the surface of the tank. 

Water parameters

The dwarf Sagittaria doesn’t need any strict water parameters to thrive. Almost any temperature, pH, GH, and KH will provide a suitable environment for this plant. However, when it comes to the preferences of the plant, these are the most notable.


The dwarf Sagittaria enjoys temperatures that oscillate between 20 – 27 degrees Celsius (68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature were to drop below these parameters, the dwarf Sagittaria would still do well.


The ideal pH for this plant would be 6.0 – 8.0. In case the conditions of the tank were others, the dwarf Sagittaria would not have many troubles to continue growing healthy. 


The optimal GH for the dwarf Sagittaria ranges from 2 – 15. These parameters mean that this hardy plant can do well in both soft and hard water. 


Just as the dwarf Sagittaria is forgiving of the GH parameters, the same happens with the KH. This plant prefers a KH of 3 – 8. Yet, other parameters will not harm it. 


The dwarf Sagittaria benefits from moderate lighting at its best. If the light is too intense, the leaves of the plant could discolor and even melt. 

With too dim light, the growth of this plant will be considerably slower. Yet, dim lighting would not harm dwarf Sagittaria in any way. 

When given the most optimal conditions, the dwarf Sagittaria can reward your effort with beautiful white flowers that blossom on the surface of the water. 

CO2 and Fertilization for the dwarf Sagittaria

This plant can grow without extra CO2 added to the substrate. However, providing additional CO2 will speed up the growth rate of the dwarf Sagittaria. In case you decide not to add extra CO2 to the plant, consider providing sufficient lighting for its growth. 

The dwarf Sagittaria is a root feeder, which means it extracts its nutrients from the substrate. In this sense, a CO2-rich substrate will be beneficial for the dwarf Sagittaria. 

This plant is vulnerable to suffering from a lack of iron. In this sense, you might want to consider keeping the substrate high on nutrients with liquid fertilizers. If you see discolored yellowish leaves, you might be looking at low iron levels in your dwarf Sagittaria. 

Looking at it from this perspective, fertilization is paramount to make sure that the dwarf Sagittaria is receiving enough and proper nutrients. Without fertilization, you risk harming the plant in your tank.

Something to take into consideration is the importance of keeping your CO2, lighting, and fertilization balanced. When the balance between these three elements is disrupted, there could be an algae outgrowth. 

If you decide to add more of any of these elements, be sure to adjust the others to ensure the most optimal conditions for all the species in your tank.

Trimming and propagation

The Dwarf Sagittaria propagates through runners. This plant has a considerably fast growth rate, making it necessary to keep a close eye on it. If left alone, the dwarf Sagittaria can take over the bottom of the tank, creating a grass-like carpet. 

If you don’t want this plant to spread too much, you can take the runners out and replant them wherever you prefer. This way, you are always on top of the propagation of the plant and make it happen to your will. 

In contrast, if you want the dwarf Sagittaria to cover the bottom of your tank, you might leave it spread without intervening. In this case, you would only take action when you see, for example, the plant taking over other species’ territory. 

As with many other plants, pruning and trimming are beneficial for growth. Regularly trimming the dwarf Sagittaria will result in new growth and better development. Many aquarists use this technique to obtain an even lawn of dwarf Sagittaria in their tanks. 

Since this plant is so easy to grow, some aquarists spread it to other tanks and even grow it to sell it. The growing ease and the fast-growing pace strengthen the idea that this is an invasive plant. 

Remember that plants can carry pests or any unwanted creatures to other tanks. If you want to relocate or sell your dwarf Sagittaria, you might want to have it quarantine before introducing it to a new environment. 

With the quarantine, you protect both the plant and the new ecosystem you will introduce the dwarf Sagittaria to. 

Don’t be afraid to plant this marvelous plant in your aquarium! You will not regret introducing it to your tank!