Alternanthera: Colorful Aquarium Stem Plants

Alternanthera is a genus of colorful stem plants native to South and Central Americas. They are in the family Amaranthaceae and make a stunning and adaptable stem plant, perfect for aquarium hobbyists of all skill levels. Ranging from deep glossy green to brilliant red, pink, purple or crimson, their leaves are generally spear shaped, but vary by variety. Alternanthera is a fabulous choice to add variety and contrast to your aquascape.

These tall growing stems are best planted in the midground or background of your aquascape, but the mini variety (Alternanthera Reineckii Mini - AR Mini) proves an exception and is an excellent choice for foreground or nano tanks. It's best to plant the stems in groups without planting them too tightly together for an improved foliage effect. Alternanthera Reineckii offers great background coverage and provides sanctuary for aquarium life and can be trimmed to maintain your desired growth. The closer they are to the soil, the greener the leaves. The nearer they are to the surface, the more red they become.

To maintain the aquascape appearance and layout you desire, it's encouraged to trim these stems regularly to grow then bushier and propagate the clippings. Trimmings can easily be floated to grow roots or replanted with tweezers back into the soil substrate to grow anew.

Alternanthera is not difficult to grow, although we recommend regular attention and maintenance to these aquarium stem plants. Iron will to help enhance the vivid coloring of their leaves, and higher nitrate and phosphate make for more robust growth. To keep this plant in good condition, you need to dose ferrous/iron fertilizer routinely. If provided with intense lighting and iron-rich substrates, the plant will prove vibrant and simple to maintain. The soil should be nutrient-rich. The water's temperature should not be too warm. Make cautious modifications to the aquarium to avoid unstable tank conditions that can cause plant melting and decay.

Some Alternanthera stems can grow as tall as the water column in the tank, so you can uproot it and cut off the stem's base, then replant the stem back into position to keep it submerged. Cuttings can also be propagated by cutting and floating trimmings in the aquarium. Roots will grow and they may be re-planted. To propogate, you can cut off the terminal bud and plant clippings in the soil; because more side shoots are generated as a result of this, the mother plant becomes bushier.

  • Common Names: Alternanthera, AR, AR Mini, AR RosaefoliaAR PinkAR Rosanervig, AR Bettzickiana, AR Green
  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Origin: Central/South America
  • Growth Height: 4-12+”
  • Aquarium pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Care: Easy to Moderate
  • Light: Medium to High
  • Substrate: Nutrient Rich
  • Fertilizer: Nitrate, Phosphate, Iron
  • Coloration: crimson, reddish-brown, red, purple, pink, green (varies per variety)
  • Growth State: emersed or submerged
  • Propagation: Cut the stem and replant or float to grow roots
  • Growth rate: Moderate to Fast
  • CO2: +/-30ppm
  • Carbonate Hardness: up to 14°dKH
  • General Hardness: up to 30°dGH

Shop our complete collection of Alternanthera Stem Plants for your planted aquarium. We have a variety of Alternanthera potted plants and tissue cultures from our very own GLA Greenhouse and from the celebrated Tropica Nursery.

15th Sep 2021

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