Water Wisteria (Hygrophilia difformis) is a surprisingly attractive, yet hardy and undemanding plant that is ideal for the larger aquarium. Its variance in appearance depending on the light and temperature conditions in which it grows gives this plant an air of mystery. In low light, the leaves will be wider and lobed in appearance, while in higher lighting, they will be thin and feather-like. It is very light green in color and will add texture and depth to any tank.
Cuttings from this plant, including just a single leaf, can grow into an entire new plant. When it fully matures, its leaves provide extensive foliage that is very suitable for the background of the aquarium. It can also be weighted and placed on its side to “carpet” the foreground of the aquarium as roots will grow out of nearly any part of the plant.
Water Wisteria is one of the easier aquarium plants to maintain. It can grow as tall as 20 inches when planted in its typical position, so it is best used in the background of the aquarium. It will grow upward as well as outward, and one bunch can easily reach a width of 10 inches, so it is best used in larger aquaria unless it is pruned very regularly.
Water Wisteria does not require CO2 supplementation or overly high lighting, but it usually will not display the “forked” appearance in its leaves in low lighting. Due to the somewhat thin width of its leaves, Water Wisteria is not suitable for aquariums with destructive animals such as crayfish, large cichlids, or goldfish.
Like most plants, Water Wisteria will benefit from supplementation such as Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel, Nitrogen and other plant supplements.
Temperature: 72° – 82° F (22° – 28° C)
Origin: Indigenous to Indian subcontinent, cultivated in US nurseries
Aquarium Placement: Background, foreground when properly modified