Water Wisteria Aquarium Plant Guide: Beginner Care Info

Being an aquarist means having a myriad of species in your tank and caring for them. When you want to begin adding plants to your aquarium, you will want to start with hardy plants like the water wisteria. Here’s a closer look at this marvelous plant.

The water wisteria is a hardy freshwater plant from India. This versatile plant can endure several water conditions, making it perfect for beginner aquarists. One of its attractive features is the fast-growing pace. The water wisteria is a great plant to accompany fish and shrimp.

Although this plant can do very well on its own, there are some things you can do to help it be at its finest. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know to create an Eden for your water wisteria! Keep reading to learn it all!

What is water wisteria?

The water wisteria is a hardy tropical plant with an electric green color. This plant can create a beautiful background for any aquarium. Moreover, its fast-growing capabilities make it a perfect match for beginners. The water wisteria does not require extensive care to thrive. 

The leaves of this wonderful plant create structures that can complement the looks of your aquarium. Furthermore, the water wisteria produces beautiful violet flowers to further beautify your ecosystem. 

As seen in the picture above, the water wisteria propagates, creating a green background or wall. Species such as fish and shrimp love these structures and live happily with this plant around. 

Unlike other species like bucephalandra, which has several subcategories, the water wisteria stands on its own.

This plant has short green stalks, and bright green oval leaves spring from them. The leaves can be 1 to 4 cm long, and they grow side by side alongside the stalks. The stalks, on their part, spring from the stem of the plant. 

The stem can reach up to 30cm when given enough room. In most cases, you can tell the stem apart from the stalks because it has a darker green color. This consistent plant would be a great addition to any tank, don’t you think?

Here you have some general information about the water wisteria:

Criteria 
Common nameWater Wisteria
Latin nameHygrophila difformis
Country of originIndia
DifficultyEasy
Lighting requirementsMedium
Temperature20 – 27 degrees Celsius
pH6.0 – 8.0
GHSoft to hard
KHSoft to hard
Fertilization needsLiquid fertilizer
Growth speedFast
CO2 requiredYes
Tank placementMid – background

The versatility of this plant makes it one of the go-to options when you want to start having plants in your aquarium!

Natural habitat

The water wisteria comes from South Asia, specifically from India. However, this plant also teems in neighboring regions like Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. There, the water wisteria profits from the rainy season and shallow waters. 

As its name presents it, water is a central part of the requirements of this part. In the dry season, the water wisteria has a slower growth. During the rainy season, in contrast, this plant thrives in shallow waters and marshy areas.

In these areas, the water wisteria can grow semi-submerged, one of its favorite conditions. This status can be easily replicated in an aquarium. No wonder the water wisteria has been a prominent aquarium plant since the 70s!

The natural habitat of the water wisteria gave it a superpower; it made the plant heterophylly. This superpower allows the water wisteria to alter its morphology and adapt to almost any condition it is put under. 

Whenever you find a water wisteria with a different leaf shape, it has probably morphed to adapt to its environment. That is neither good nor bad; it is just one of the benefits of having this plant in your tank!

Tank Size, Water Parameters, and Lighting Requirements

The water wisteria thrives under virtually any tank condition. Being heterophylly also allows the plant to adapt better than other species. The tank size, water parameters, and lighting requirements are not strict, so this plant can survive and develop anywhere. 

Tank Size

The water wisteria likes to spread, so the bigger the tank, the better. In a 10-gallon tank, the plant will create a beautiful background. However, you could have water wisteria in a smaller tank with the proper care and trimming. 

I would recommend placing it in a big tank to enjoy all the benefits of this marvelous plant!

Water parameters

There are few conditions the water wisteria cannot endure. This hardy plant can grow without problems in difficult places, so your tank should be a piece of cake for it. Can your other plants survive there? Then so can the water wisteria!

This plant is tropical, which means that any temperature around 20 and 27 degrees Celsius will be perfect for it. The water wisteria is also forgiving with pH. The plant can endure a pH from 6.0 up to 8.0 without problems.  

The hardness of the water cannot harm the water wisteria. Whether soft, moderate, or hard, it is likely that the plant will thrive problem-free. Moderately hard water might be its favorite parameter, but other conditions will not cause harm to it. 

Filtered water can be of great help to this plant but be careful with the filter you choose. Some filters could cause water splashing on the surface. This unwanted movement could disturb your species.

The conditions of a tank perfectly emulate the natural habitat of the water wisteria. Just give this plant a shot, and you will be marveled by its fast growth rate and elaborated structure. 

Lighting

Although water wisteria can endure many a condition, it prefers moderate lighting. Moderate lighting will not only help the plant grow faster but also brighten its color. 

If the light is too dim, the growth rate will be considerably lower. Too strong lighting, in contrast, could make this plant grow uncontrollably. However, none of these conditions will be harmful to the health of the plant. 

Keep your water wisteria away from shaded areas in the tank, and you will see it develop in your ecosystem!

CO2 and Fertilization for water wisteria

Although adding CO2 and fertilizers is not mandatory, these supplements can help the water wisteria grow faster and healthier. The growth rate will be increased, and the leaves of the plant will develop a brighter color. 

The water wisteria can thrive perfectly without any added supplements. Yet, you can give it a helping hand with root tabs, CO2, and liquid fertilizer. The truth is that this plant consumes lots of nutrients from the substrate. With this in mind, providing enough for the plant to feed is essential. 

One thing to be careful with is your shrimp. If you have shrimp in your tank, the CO2 and fertilizers could be harmful. These species cannot endure copper nor CO2. 

You can check my thorough article on the best plants for shrimp for further information. Here, you will find a more detailed explanation. And yes, you guessed it right! Water wisteria is on the list!

Trimming and propagation

The water wisteria can be easily propagated by cutting and replanting or by floating it in a tank. The fast-growing pace of this plant makes it crucial to trim it regularly. The water wisteria can spread rapidly and take over the tank if left alone.

Propagation

This hardy plant can be propagated by cutting parts of the stem and replanting them on the substrate. Due to the fast pace of this plant, the cuttings require just a couple of days to develop new roots.

It is essential to remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem. Leave at least two inches for the roots to grow from the bottom node of the plant. 

You can cut the upper part of your plants and start spreading them on the surface you desire. Try to place the separately so that your ecosystem doesn’t suffer from stuffing and competence for nutrients. 

After you have planted some cuttings, you can evaluate the free space left and plant some more.

The other method would be by floating. This is as easy as placing your water wisteria on the water surface and let it grow there. The closer it is to the light source, the faster it will grow.

The problem with this technique is that you would be losing all the benefits of having the water wisteria attached to the substrate. The plant would, for example, not create a root system.

Although floating is a practical propagation method, I would recommend you let it develop roots and then plant it on the substrate. It is not compulsory to plant them, but it can be beneficial for your tank!

Trimming

Due to the fast growth of this plant, trimming it regularly is necessary. You need to keep the water wisteria controlled if you don’t want it to take over your tank. Moreover, the cut parts need to be disposed of correctly, as they could continue propagating the plant if left in the tank. 

The nutrients the plant consumes are also something to be careful with. If the water wisteria overpropagates, it could hoard the nutrients of the substrate. 

Trim it regularly to keep it under control and enjoy all its benefits!

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.

Recent Posts