Hygrophila Polysperma, Rosanervig
- Hardiness: Very Easy
- Light Needs: Low
- Plant Structure: Stem
- Family: Acanthaceae
- Genus: Hygrophila
- Region: Asia
- Location: India, Bhutan
- Size: Individual stem width: 8-15cm (3-6in)
- Growth Rate: Very fast
- Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes
The stout Hygrophila polysperma is by and large a universal aquarium plant that is easily acquired. It has been a part of the aquarium plant hobby for many years due to its uncomplicated nature. This tough plant can be found growing predominantly in India and Bhutan.
Few aquatic plant species are as tough or as accommodating as this one. Light intensity seems to be rather unimportant, though lower light values will result in proportionately slower and more diminutive growth. Fertilization, as well, seems to be of limited significance in the maintenance of this species. Its stems will tolerate a variety of hardness values without showing a noteworthy decline in their exceptionally quick growth. CO2 supplementation is definitely not a necessity for this species, and it can be grown in non-CO2 aquaria without problems. In this light, it is a recommendable beginner's plant.
Since H. polysperma develops a multitude of lateral shoots at its leaf nodes, propagation is a simple matter of removing these and replanting them. An aquarist might also top the stems by removing and discarding all of the shoot apexes that rise above a given level in the aquarium; new growth will shortly materialize. The growth of this species is often so rapid that a trim of some sort is required within two or three weeks of the last pruning.
A group of stems of H. polysperma is best suited to the midground area of the aquarium, where they will add an interesting geometry to the aquascape. They are of limited contrast value, making them excellent 'filler' plants in stem plant dominated layouts. Although most hobbyists discount the decorative value of this species, Takashi Amano frequently uses this plant in his layouts.
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