Synonyms: Ludwigia sp. 'Guinea'
Light Needs: High
Plant Structure: Stem
Location: Western and Central Africa
Size: Stem width: 5-8cm (2-3 inch)
Growth Rate: Medium
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes
Of all the new plants recently introduced into the hobby, Ludwigia senegalensis has perhaps generated the most interest. Its uniquely patterned leaves and brick-red coloration make it very attractive and a real standout among stem plants. It is most easily obtained through trading with other hobbyists but may also be obtained through the few vendors who sell it. This species is also known in the hobby as Ludwigia sp. 'Guinea'.
Stunning as it is when at its best, certain conditions have to be met before Ludwigia senegalensis gets to be in prime condition. First of all, it needs a lot of light; dim illumination and shading are not tolerated well. And like many Ludwigias, growing tips can turn black and die if not provided with sufficient micro nutrients. At least a double dose of whatever micro nutrient supplement used along with high iron levels are recommended. Macro nutrients should also be present in abundance. Best results are obtained with nitrate levels around 20ppm and phosphate around 3ppm. Another thing this plant really seems to need is space. Its tendency to drop its lower leaves and remain smaller than it otherwise would can be alleviated if light and good water flow surround the whole plant. Soft water seems to be beneficial too and also helps it reach its full potential.
Even when growing optimally, growth is moderate, which can definitely be a blessing in disguise. Despite the relatively slow rate of growth, side shoots are abundantly produced.
Even more so than many others in its genus, Ludwigia senegalensis is a real eye-catcher that looks absolutely fantastic placed near green plants of all shapes and sizes. Groups of a few stems of staggered heights up to a full stand are equally effective.
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