Plant guides Limnophila Sessiliflora Care Guide: Fertilization, Substrate

Limnophila Sessiliflora Care Guide: Fertilization, Substrate

Limnophila sessiliflora is an excellent freshwater aquarium plant that has a unique needle-like leaf structure. It’s one of the easiest low-tech plants to grow, making it a great choice for beginners.

This guide will help you understand how to care for this plant and grow it successfully.

Where is limnophila sessiliflora from?

Limnophila sessiliflora is a fast-growing freshwater aquarium plant that’s native to Southeast Asia. It’s commonly referred to as “Asian marshweed” or “Ambulia” in the hobby.

How to plant limnophila sessiliflora

Plant limnophila sessiliflora by simply pushing the stem of the plant about 1.5 inches into the substrate. Make sure to plant the plant upright so the leaves are pointing upwards.

We recommend planting it towards the back of your tank so you can feature shorter or slower growing plants in the front.

We made the mistake of positioning our rock hardscape too close to the back glass panel of our 20-gallon tank, which makes it difficult for us to plant anything there.

We would suggest keeping a 1-2 inch gap on the back for planting your background plants.

How to propagate limnophila sessiliflora

The easiest way to propagate limnophila sessiliflora is by cutting the stem between two of the nodes and planting the trimming directly into the substrate. The trimmed part of the plant will sprout new shoots. The newly planted stem will quickly grow its own root system.

Limnophila sessiliflora care strategy

Limnophila sessiliflora will grow successfully with little maintenance as long as it’s planted in nutrient rich substrate. A twice-per-month dose of liquid fertilizer at 1ml per 10 gallons will benefit the plant’s growth.

Optimal water parameters for limnophila sessiliflora

Limnophila sessiliflora grows best in 72-82°F (22-28°C) and a pH range of 5.5-8.5. This makes it an incredibly versatile plant for pretty much any freshwater aquarium.

Does limnophila sessiliflora need CO2?

Limnophila sessiliflora does not require CO2 injection and will thrive in low-light, low-tech tanks. It will grow up to 6-inches per month in low-tech tanks as long as it has nutritious substrate and water column fertilization. Added CO2 will help it grow bushier, more quickly and express red coloration.

How much light does limnophila sessiliflora need?

Limnophila sessiliflora requires low light intensity to grow successfully. This plant grew rapidly in our 16-inch tall 20-gallon tank with a 70 PAR light on about 30% intensity. This means the plant was receiving an estimated 40-50 PAR and still growing exceptionally well.

Medium-intensity HICREW lighting in our 20-gallon

How quickly does limnophila sessiliflora grow?

Limnophila sessiliflora grows about 4-6 inches per month in low-tech tanks with a nutrient-rich substrate and liquid fertilization. High-tech setups will likely allow the plant to grow more quickly due to increased nutrient uptake and photosynthesis.

This is the best low-tech plant in our experience due to its unique look and rapid growth.

Newly planted 20-gallon tank with limnophila sessiliflora in the center

Our plants grew about 6-inches in the first month in a dirted 20-gallon tank.

You’ll notice in the picture below that there are at least twice as many limnophila sessiliflora stems. This is because they grew near the top of the tank and we trimmed and propagated them elsewhere in the tank.

The tall stem on the left side of the tank beneath the floating plants shows the length of an untrimmed stem after about a month.

Our dirted tank after 1 month

As you can see some of them grew another 3-5 inches after another month of growth.

20 gallon tank after 2 months

Best substrate for limnophila sessiliflora

Limnophila sessiliflora grows best in nutrient rich substrates such as Fluval Stratum, ADA Amazonia, or organic dirt. This will provide adequate macronutrients to promote healthy growth. We recommend supplementing liquid all-in-one fertilizer once or twice per month to enhance growth.

The organic soil we used for our 20-gallon tank

Here is the fertilizer we use:

Thrive all-in-one liquid fertilizer

What fertilizer does limnophila sessiliflora need?

Dosing an all-in-one liquid water column fertilizer is beneficial for providing a good balance of micronutrients to limnophila sessiliflora. Planting in a high-tech tank with high light and increased micronutrient fertilization may bring out some red coloration on the leaves.

We used to dose 2ml of Thrive all-in-one fertilizer to our 20-gallon tank once per week. We found this caused algae problems and raised the nitrate levels too quickly. We reduced this frequency to abot twice per month and have been seeing good results with plant growth and fewer algae problems.

Ryan Ferguson

Founder, Rooted Tank

Ryan Ferguson, the founder of Rooted Tank, started fishkeeping in 2019. He has continued to level-up his planted aquarium skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other aquarists.


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