Ludwigia palustris

2. Aug 2020
By: George Farmer

History and origins 

The stunning Ludwigia palustris is found all over the world growing in a wide range of aquatic habitats both in its emersed and submersed forms. There is some confusion over its close relative Ludwigia repens but palustris has smaller leaves and is sometimes called Ludwigia palustris ‘Super Red’. In nature the plant is usually found under direct sunlight with a nutrient-rich substrate. It is rare to find in the wild in Europe and more commonly seen in the American and African continents. It was not endemic Australasia but has been since introduced. It was original described by Stephen Elliot, the American botanist and educator in 1817.


Plant Overview 

Ludwigia palustris is characterised by its deep bright red leaves and prolific growth of its stems and side shoots. It’s supplied as a pot in Tropica’s Easy category but does require strong lighting to get the best colour and compact growth. In lower lighting the internodal distance (gaps between the leaves) is increased, the leaves remain a duller green/red colour and the lower leaves may drop off. It does produce aerial roots, which can be left alone or trimmed off if desired.


Preparing the plant  

  1. Remove the plant from the pot then split apart the two halves of rock wool
  2. Remove as much of the rock wool as possible.
  3. Split the plant into several portions
  4. Plant into your substrate with aquascaping tweezers.


Where to use the plant 

Ludwigia palustris is an ideal background plant due to it fast growth. With its high impact colour it can be used to great effect as a focal point in the aquascape. It contrasts brilliantly with the greens of other plants and dark brown wood. It is also ideal to use as a starter plant in a new set up due to its fast growth and ability to remove nutrients. This helps to prevent algae which is very common in new aquariums.


Maintaining the plant 

Ludwigia palustris is a fast grower especially when grown with strong lighting and CO2 injection, which are both recommended for this plant. Trimming with aquascaping scissors promotes new side shoot growth and the plant will become very dense in a matter of a few weeks. Eventually the lower portions of the plant may need to be removed from the aquariums and the healthy top portions re-planted. This cycle can be repeated indefinitely for the lifespan of the aquascape. It is a nitrogen hungry plant so dosing regularly with Tropica Specialised Nutrition will be required in higher-energy aquariums with strong light and CO2. It also does best in a nutrient-rich substrate such as Tropica Aquarium Soil.



Ludwigia palustris is a stunning red stem plant worthy of addition to any aquascape in need of some high impact colour. Its fast growth makes it ideal for those wishing to practice their trimming techniques, as well as helping to prevent algae. We love this plant and we’re sure you will too.


More details about the plant

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