- Hardiness: Moderate
- Light Needs: Medium
- Plant Structure: Stem
- Family: Onagraceae
- Genus: Ludwigia
- Region: Asia
- Location: East Asia; specifically widespread in Japan and Taiwan
- Size: Stem width: 3-6cm (1-2in)
- Growth Rate: Fast
- Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes
Ludwiga ovalis is a relatively new species in the aquatic plant hobby. This Asian native is steadily gaining in popularity within the U.S. due to its relative ease of culture and its beautifully pink-orange, ovate foliage. In its native habitat, it can be found growing in slightly cooler bodies of water or creeping on very moist or wet soil.
L. ovalis is a low-growing stem plant with alternate leaves, a characteristic shared by only one other commonly cultured species in the Ludwigia genus. glandulosa. Though they tend to grow at a slight angle, the stems of this species generally develop vertically, and new shoots often stem from the nodes. A medium to high level of light is sufficient for good growth, and the limitation of nitrate and/or phosphorus fertilization in the water column will bring out a more intense coloration. Though CO2 supplementation is not entirely necessary, the stems of L. ovalis definitely appreciate it and will respond to it with more rapid and robust growth. Micronutrient fertilization is necessary, and iron is of importance for good color. Emersed culture is difficult and requires high humidity and very high light values (sunlight is recommended).
The aquarist may carry out the propagation of L. ovalis by either pruning off and replanting any side shoots or topping the plant and replanting the trimmed shoot.
L. ovalis is a unique and preferable addition to any aquascape, as most other reasonably accessible pink-orange plants are significantly more difficult to cultivate. This said, the low-growing stems of this Ludwigia are well-suited to the middle to front zones of the aquarium, where they should be backlit by other species of a light green color to form a striking contrast.
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