When you visit a garden shop to buy new plants (especially for the beginners), it is crucial to think of the actual sizes of the different plants when they have grown, and likewise the color when they mature.
Talking about color, in this article, we will discuss another beautiful aquatic plant that will bring a new vibe to your aquascape.
I am introducing Ludwigia repens sp. ‘Ruby.’
It's a brilliant dark-red-color amphibious plant that originated from the United States of America and Mexico. Now, it grows abundantly in the Northern and Central parts of America.
Tropica, a Danish aquatic plants shop was the first to introduce the Ludwigia repens 'Rubin,' a variant of the popular ludwigia repens.
Propagation is easy and manageable for a variety of stem plants. Ludwigia "Rubin" can form plentiful lateral shoots during the growth period, of which you can cut, trim and re-plant. How cool is that?
Another cool thing about the plant is it’s one of the darkest red-colored plants available in the aquascape industry that is why it is also known as Ludwigia sp. Weinrot, significant of "Wine red" in the horticulture trade.
Ludwigia repens 'Rubin' Brief Intro
- Country of origin: United States of America, Mexico
- Distribution: North America, Central America
- Common Names: ludwigia repens, ludwigia repens Rubin, Red-Leaf Ludwigia, Red repens, Ludwigia sp. Weinrot, Creeping Primrose-Willow
- Type of Plants: Stem, Aquatic Weed, Flowering Plant, Perennial Herb
- Growth rate: Moderate to Fast (mat-forming)
- Cultivation Type: Emerged
- Growth in height: 20-50 centimeters (based on leaf growth)
- Growth width: 10 to 20 centimeters (based on leaf growth)
- Lighting conditions: low to very high (2 to 4 watts per gallon of water)
- Temperature: 15 to 30 ° Celsius
- Water Hardness: very soft to hard level (slightly acidic water is best)
- PH value: 5 - 8
- Carbon Dioxide: Low (5 to 10ppm)
- Manageability: Easy
Properties and Habitat
Ludwigia repens, an aquatic trailing plant, grown either semi-submerged or fully submerged in the water is a well-known species of coloring plant. When fully submerged, the leaves range from deepest green to brownish red or deep red. The top of the leaves is normally in an olive green hue, and those within the undersides are reddish.
The ruby red ludwigia is simple and have no delicate requirements on the environmental conditions. Its vibrant red color takes place only under favorable conditions.
Ludwigia sp. "Ruby" can make many roots in its nodes, which we can extract with no problem. The plant is only slightly sensitive to transport, but it can quickly recover when it fully adapts to its new environment provided the tank can offer right growth conditions.
Ludwigia repens can be strikingly beautiful as mid-ground plant, or you can decorate it in the background for an added appeal in the aquarium. We highly suggest planting it in clusters to emphasize its great allure. You must be meticulous and patient to prune the plant regularly. Pruning comprises:
- Trimming (with a specialized pair of scissors) the top portion of the plant so the young fallen parts can create new weeds from the substrate.
- Cutting is eliminating dead, broken, and damaged leaves caused about by diseases or fish aggression.
- Replanting trimmed branches and stems (with the use of tweezers) also contribute to it propagation mainly when the plant develops some healthy roots.
You must trim the plant regularly to create an excellent bushy effect. You may want to apply your topiary knowledge and form a unique shape other than the we-all-know rounded shape. Side shoots regularly form when you prune it, so make it a habit to monitor the growth of the weeds while you enjoy a magnificent, relaxing sight it creates.
Ludwigia repens is a widespread weed plant with a sturdy stem system that counteracts algae. It multiplies fast in most aquariums that meet its basic needs. The plant typically grows to a height of 12 to 20 inches with a width of about 2 to 3 inches, based on average leaf growth.
Care and Lighting
The leaf’s red color could be shiningly vibrant and intense depending on the lighting provided, usually from medium to high (2 to 4 watts per gallon of water). If you keep the plants in low light tanks, the color tends to fade, and the leaves fall off. It almost requires a lot of light at > 0.5 watts per liter to display its allure.
Propagation is as easy as for all stem plants. Ludwigia "Rubin" forms lateral shoots regularly, which we can cut off and re-planted, also right with the top shoot. To achieve vigorous shoots, the substrate should contain essential nutrients. Keep lighting to high intensity to achieve perfect results.
It is prescribed that you separate a stem from another and plant them all individually. Remember that if you break the top of each stem, it will produce several shoots over time.
Also, the lower leaves still receive a moderate amount of light as the weeds grow taller. It is guaranteed that you will produce a high quality of plants with vibrant colors if you adopt this technique.
As a rule of thumb, you need to remember that any plant without sufficient nutrients and enough lighting could not propagate as much. The more light there is, the better because the hues it project will intensify. Take a careful eye and always make sure the plant does not sit in the shade.
Landscaping and maintaining your aquarium entails a lot of time and effort, but it pays off after hard work, more so when plants thrive and display its wonder.
Best Tank Companion
- Microsorum pteropus "Narrow Leaf."
- Hygrophila balsamica
As we enjoy the contrasting hues of all the living elements in your tank, take note that these plants become attractive too to fishes in the environment. As aggressive fish keeps moving, they tend to destruct the landscape, toil the soil, and eat the plants. It is advisable to select your kind of fish for this type of plants.
Substrates, Water, and Nutrients
The ludwigia repens Rubin has firm roots properties that basically can adapt to any substrates, but we still suggest avoiding sand that might suffocate the roots (other than the organic volcanic sand). We always promote a healthy root system for the plants through the excellent quality substrate, which is believed to be nutritional storage for healthy roots.
Your choice of color and type of substrate is determined by how the contrast of hues will appear with other elements in the tank.
To achieve sturdy shoots, you must use a substrate that is rich in nutrients, and with high light intensity. You may add helpful chemicals into it at least for the few early months to feed the plants, hence a strong and sturdy root system.
Aquarium soil can also be suggested for it reduces the KH and pH balance of the water and enables fast absorption of nutrients for the plants. This aquarium soil came from a natural volcanic material fresh from Japan.
The water can be very soft and even very hard although we recommend a mildly acidic one. The ideal growth temperature should range from 75 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can also grow in temperatures like 59-79 degrees Fahrenheit. Constant water change is also recommended for you do not need to wait for the water to go blurry, which is proven unsafe for all living things in the tank.
Nutrient like sufficient iron fertilization and regular supply of Carbon Dioxide are beneficial to the growth of the plants. To avoid pigmentation maintain the Nitrate level to 5 ppm and Phosphate level to high.
Propagation of Ludwigia sp. Weinrot
Reproduction takes place normally in the warm months when the plant is already mature. It yields small yellow flowers on the surface of the water. When seeds develop, they will drop easily to the substrate, and they will start growing into a new plant.
You may cut off the branches atop the plant to propagate favorably. Likewise, taking off the dead leaves up to the last node located at the bottom of the stem is an effective way of cutting and trimming, minimizing the bushy appearance. This pruning process ensures proper growth of the root to multiply successfully.
When you shop for this type of plants, be sure to find healthy leaves with a reddish color. Broken or damaged leaves are presumed infested or might have a disease. You do not want to put them in your tank to contaminate other plants and fish in there.
As much as possible, choose a younger plant to stabilize its adaptation into a new environment. You do not buy too many young stems at once, especially when your tank is not big enough to accommodate all the living things in it. Think that over time, the young plants you purchased now will grow and propagate considerably.
Lastly, for decoration purposes, you can place a bunch of ludwigia repens stems in the middle part of the aquarium and the rest in the background to achieve a more natural look.
Fortunately, nowadays, the wonder of horticulture is paving its way, and the art of aquascape continues to showcase with even more and more updated technology.
The plant we are mentioning here is considered a real eye-catcher in the aquarium. It is regarded as a popular stem plant that can complement the colors of other companion plants to any aquarium if only appropriately arranged.
You may want to position the stem into a small group in the middle ground with green plants in the foreground and background. You will be amazed by the color contrast reflected from other companion plants in the tank.
This stem plant, ludwigia repens can also be cultured in a test tube (as per vitro studies) as long as they are provided with sterile conditions, free from algae, snails, and pests. At present, the garden and aquascape trade are undergoing hybrid procedures to bring you only the best plants that are guaranteed a healthy start for your hobby. Compared to the conventional aquarium plants in the usual pots, for all you know you might also get plenty of a plant’s unwanted elements within.