The Complete Water Wisteria Care Guide

If you are an aquarium lover and take pleasure in adorning it with freshwater plants, it is obvious that you will wish to have the water wisteria plant for yourself. Wisteria is an amazing option to deck up your freshwater tank. 

The rich green hue of the plant adds to the brightness of your aquarium. The lacy leaves of the plant have added to its huge popularity. Raising this plant is a hobby of many plant lovers and we know that you too are one of them. The plant has a high propagation rate and grows really fast. 

Wisteria and fishes

We will be assisting you in taking care of your wisteria and that’s the reason we have come up with a comprehensive guide. It will shed light on all the important aspects of maintaining the health of this aquatic plant. 

With wisteria, you can actually relax because it is a hardy plant and can be handled very easily. Besides, you can also grow it in the form of floating vegetation or as an aquarium carpet. Sounds interesting, right? 

Well, so gear up to delve deep into the world of aquatic growing plants! The table of contents is listed here in the form of the following sub-headings!

Water Wisteria

water wisteria in an aquarium

Water Wisteria (or, Hygrophilia difformis) is a highly robust aquatic plant and is an endemic freshwater species to the Asian countries of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. It is even said that India contains a great deal of wisteria habitat in the aquatic ecosystem. 

As said before, water wisteria does not demand much and can withstand extreme conditions. So, you can actually save your time as there is no such need of devoting long durations to this plant. 

You won’t even have to spend a huge fortune buying the stems. Just buy a few stems and the wisteria will grow fast as it has a trait of propagating at a rapid pace. 

Benefits of Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria is one of the greenest aquarium plants and can be used as a rich and bright background to your fish tank. Do you know that water wisteria aids the fishes in their survival? Interesting, right? 

The sheer thickness of the wisteria lets the small fishes seek shelter in its bushy leaves. Since this plant grows at a fast pace, the wisteria consumes the nitrogen waste compounds present in the water and does not let the algae grow fast. The plant also keeps the water oxygenated, thus letting the fishes survive well in the aquarium. 

It is essential that you take pains to give the stem plant adequate lighting and proper fertilizers. Else, the plant will start losing its leaves as a result of intense starvation. 

Wisteria also offers substantial cover for animal fry. 

Height of the Water Wisteria

20 inches is the maximum height up to which the water wisteria can grow. Its leaves are usually very long and thin but may have variations in shape. Its stems are quite thick and hardy. Simply speaking, a water wisteria occupies a lot of space in the tank. 

We all know that 20 inches are quite a great height! So, you can use the wisteria as an apt background of the aquarium. 

Ensure that you have got a large aquarium tank to give adequate space for both the plant to grow and the fish to move freely. 

Growth Rate of the Wisteria 

Wisteria takes the first initial weeks to grow slowly. After about 7 days, it starts growing at the rate of 2 to 3 inches per week. This implies a growth rate of about ¼ a cm per hour. Isn’t it an amazing fact?

How to Plant Aquatic Plants or Water Wisteria 

An image of the freshwater plant- Wisteria (the image may differ due to the variations in species)
  1. As a Typical Rooted Plant 

With great care, remove the stems from the band, rock wool, or bundle that might be present in the pot. 

Cut the damaged stems and leaves from the plant. These may get damaged at the time of transporting the plant. 

Use either your fingers or tweezers to thrust the bottom of each stem to the deepest possible point in the nutrient-rich substrate, soil, or gravel. 

Plant the stems one at a time. Make sure the stems have a distance of about 2.5 to 5 cm between them. Leaving this space is necessary to make room for the growth of roots later. Once you are done with these steps, you will get the wisteria rooted in your tank. 

If your aquarium consists of any freshwater fish that has a tendency to dig into the substrate, it is crucial that you shield the planted stems by placing a ring of rocks or wood around the plant. 

  1. Water Wisteria Carpet 

Growing water wisteria as a carpet is the loveliest thing to do! This adds to the elegance of your aquarium. It is a favorite option of growing wisteria among a large group of aquatic plants lovers. 

The process of growing the plant in the carpet mode implies the flipping of the water wisteria sideways. Unlike in the previous model in which you had planted the aquarium plant vertically, you have to lay the plant sideways now. 

Bury the stems into the substrate partially but don’t bury the leaves. This is the step that will give rise to the carpeted form of the water wisteria. 

Depending upon the carpet coverage that you wish to get in your tank, bury multiple plants in the way mentioned above. 

It is important that you keep trimming the plant periodically to cope up with the wisteria’s fast growth rate and maintain the dense, green-carpeted look of this plant species. 

  1. Floating the Water Wisteria 

Growing the water wisteria in your fish tank by letting it float is a great, innovative idea to enhance the beauty of your aquarium. 

Make sure you are floating it somewhere close to the source of light. This will ensure the plant’s fast growth rate. 

At the same time, it is essential for you to trim the plant more frequently now than it would have been while rooting the plant in the substrate, as the wisteria grows at the speed of lightning when it is made to float at the surface. 

Do note that the floating wisteria may clog the filters and pumps. It may even block the entry of light to reach it to the fishes or other sort of aquatic plants that might be present in the tank. This is only one disadvantage of keeping the wisteria floating in the water. 

How to Propagate Water Wisteria 

water wisteria

After you have planted the wisteria, it starts growing just like a weed at a pace of about 0.5 to 3 inches each day. To ensure it doesn’t block the entry of light into the aquarium and make a life for other plants and fishes difficult, it is essential that you cut off the upper half of the stems. 

Now, plant the trimmings again for the propagation of wisteria. If you want, you can leave out the lower half of the stem in the ground itself. Gradually, new leaves will start sprouting from the very tip. 

If your water wisteria has shed its leaves owing to starvation or inadequacy of light, you can remove the lower half of this freshwater plant species. After the removal, you can plant the upper half of the stem in the place of the bottom half. 

If you have planted the wisteria as a floated vegetation, be sure to not let the plant occupy more than 50% of the water surface. Else, it may lead to an acute shortage of oxygen for the fishes present in the tank. 

Why is My New Wisteria Plant Dying? 

It is usual for your wisteria to look good and healthy for a couple of days initially. Once you are halfway through the first 7 days, you will witness the aquatic plant putting on an appearance of yellow and brown leaves. This tinge usually occurs at the bottom of its thick stems. 

The wisteria might seem to die and its stems start taking up a yellowish hue when it does not receive adequate light and nutrients. It is recommended that after the removal of the yellow parts, you replant the healthy green stems of the wisteria. This time, be careful to supply the water plant with sufficient fertilizer and lighting. 

Tank Conditions and Parameters 

  • Size of the Tank: Since water wisteria propagates at a fast pace and reaches the width of 10 inches way too quickly, it requires a lot of space to get accommodated in the tank. It is better if you go for a tank or aquarium having a capacity of at least 40 liters or 10 gallons. The bigger the tank size, the better! 
  • Water pH, Temperature and Other Properties: Make sure that the water pH stays between 6 or 6.5 – 7.5. Water pH exceeding 7.5 may prove to be harmful to the plant. You may also ascertain the nature of the water by using a pH testing kit. The water has to be either soft or moderately hard as it is essential for the survival of the plant. Also, maintain an optimal temperature degree of 68 to 82 f in the tank for the wisteria to grow properly. 
  • Filter: Install a mechanical filter so that it can eliminate the toxins from the water in the tank and a constant supply of oxygenated water is ensured. Too much surface splashing may be disrupting for the plants, check if the filter doesn’t cause this problem. 
  • Substrate: Selection of the substrate is extremely important while burying the root of any plant in the aquariums. The ideal choice for wisteria is a nutrient-based substrate. You may also go for fine gravel-based substrate and sand-based substrate, provided these are well-fertilized. 
  • Lighting Conditions: Artificial lighting is the favorite mode of lighting among aquarists. Create a condition of moderate lighting for a minimum duration of 10 hours per day. Proper lighting is crucial both for the growth of the plant and the brightening of the hues of the leaves of the wisteria. 
  • Fertilizers: Iron (0.01-0.5 mg/l), Nitrogen (10 to 50 mg/l) and Potassium (5 to 30 mg/l) injections might be provided to the plant to retain its healthy state, but the provision of these is not mandatory. Search for root tabs from Amazon or other stores as these are essential to ensure the wisteria is receiving proper nutrition. 

Water Wisteria Care 

wisteria plant (the image may differ due to the variation in the appearance of species)

You can easily take care of the water wisteria as it can survive in extreme conditions and even without the supply of co2. To ensure your plant has a healthy state and bright leaves, provide a nutrient-rich substrate to it or fertilize the wisteria with root tabs. Remove the dead and brown leaves immediately after you spot any.

Compatibility and Tank Mates 

  • The best part of water wisteria is that it is compatible with a wide variety of freshwater plant species, fishes, and other aquatic organisms. 
  • If you wish to grow some other plants in the aquarium tanks, you can do so, provided that you are not creating conditions of overcrowding in the tanks. 
  • Avoid keeping goldfish and silver dollar fish as they tend to munch upon the stems of the wisteria. They can devour the plant within a matter of a few hours.
  • Snails like the nerite are to be avoided at all costs as it likes to snack upon the wisteria and eats it up in a matter of one hour.
  • Diverse species of shrimps can also be kept in the tanks along with the wisteria. 
  • Fishes that can be kept with wisteria are Betta Fish, Cory catfish, Dwarf gourami fish, Neon tetras, etc. There are quite a lot of other fishes that are compatible with wisteria. You can explore and search a bit and find out the fish that you will love to keep in your tank. 

How to Convert Your Wisteria From Emersed to Submersed Growth 

wisteria in aquarium

Let’s have a look at the conversion of the process of the wisteria that probably takes around 2 weeks to 2 months. The duration is all related to certain factors of CO2 levels and the amount of suitable fertilizer and light that reach the aquariums. The initial submersed leaves might take around a month to appear in the aquarium plants that do not receive adequate lighting and nutrients. To propagate the process, use a proper medium to give the fish tank high lighting. Position the wisteria under direct light. Enrich the water column with suitable nutrients. If you face a problem in converting the wisteria, float some of its stems so that they can absorb light and co2 at the surface of the water. After a substantial number of roots have grown, try to plant them in the substrate. Keep all the parameters such as lighting and nutrients at moderate levels as the aquarium plants have a tendency to melt away under volatile conditions in the background. 

Buying Water Wisteria Hygrophila Difformis  

While buying water wisteria- Hygrophila Difformis, remember to look for strong specimens as these have a better chance of survival, thus prolonged longevity. Here are some factors that you need to bear in mind while buying water wisteria. 

  • Make sure the roots are tall and elongated so that the planting of the wisteria is made in a perfect way possible. Its long roots will enable it to absorb the nutrients from the soil properly. 
  • The plants must be able to support their own weight and not droop down. 
  • Check if the leaves of the wisteria have bright green colors. Yellow or brown tinges in the leaves indicate that the plant is sick. 
  • Getting this freshwater species is not at all a difficult task. It is largely available in a large number of aquarium stores. The price of the plants depends upon the size and amount of the stem plant that you wish to buy. For an ideally good bunch, you have to pay $5 to $10. Don’t purchase too many stems as this plant has a tendency to propagate at the fastest rate. 

You can place your order from Amazon if you prefer online shopping. You may also avail of free shipping on the purchase of the plant. Tanks are also widely available in both the online and offline markets.

 The estimated shipping size of the plant is 5 to 7 inches when potted and it is 7 to 8 inches when purchased as a bunch. Keep trimming supplies handy to match up with the propagation speed of the plant. 

Can You Float Water Wisteria? 

You can easily make the water wisteria float on the water surface. The leaves will be straightened and turned upright. Then, the roots will suspend in the water- giving a perfect floating picture. 

Is Water Wisteria Suitable for Your Aquarium? 

If you have got a large aquarium, water wisteria is going to be a perfect water plant for you. It is a hardy water plant species and can adapt itself to a wide variety of setups. One thing that you need to ensure is the presence of troublesome fishes and snails that tend to eat away the wisteria. Keep only those fishes in the tank that are compatible with the wisteria plant. 

Is Water Wisteria a Low-Light Plant? 

Water wisteria can manage to thrive under low light conditions. But, such an instance might be detrimental for your fishes as the plant starts using oxygen instead of producing it. This may affect the survival of the fishes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Water Wisteria Need CO2?

Injecting the wisteria with CO2 is a good practice to adopt but it is an optional thing to do. This is because wisteria can survive well even if you don’t supply it with carbon dioxide. 

What Wisteria Smells Like?

Wisteria exudes a very sweet, musky fragrance. Almost all kinds of wisteria are scented. 

Is Wisteria Easy to Grow? 

Yes, wisteria is very easy to grow. The fact that the plant is quite hardy makes the task of the aquarist simpler. You just have to perform certain simple tasks to take care of your wisteria. 

Does Wisteria Require Lots of Water? 

Wisteria doesn’t require an excessive amount of water. But it is true that sheer lack of water may make its leaves and stems turn brownish or yellowish. 
Giving the plant an adequate and moderate amount of water is therefore extremely necessary. 

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Author
Abdul Rahim