Covid-19 update: our shipments to India, Philippines, the middle east and a few other regions are temporarily unavailable


Your Cart is Empty

How to grow ludwigia arcuata

December 30, 2019 2 min read

ludwigia arcuata

Ludwigia arcuata has attractive reddish foliage and is easily trimmed to form dense bushes. Tank example below by Thomas McCowan.

ludwigia arcuata


Ludwigia arcuata is a delicate stem aquatic plant that originates from the US. It is often confused with Ludwigia brevipes, which is similar, but slightly larger with broader leaves. It is also similar to Didiplis diandra which is much harder to grow well. Ludwigia arcuata has attractive orange - reddish leaves and thin stems and leaves.

Ludwigia arcuata is tolerant of a wide range of water parameters and is generally an easy background aquarium plant to grow as long as it receives enough light and nutrients. This stem plant grows much redder with nitrate limitation.

Ludwigia arcuata can be trimmed aggressively. This encourages side shoots to form and the plant can become very bushy. It is quite resilient to being grown densely, and can be pruned for many weeks without requiring replanting. It can be used in aquascaping smaller tanks as mid/background aquarium plants due to its fine texture.

Key success factors

  • Sufficient light (medium onwards)
  • Avoid extreme water parameters
  • Basic fertilization
  • CO2 necessary to grow it in good form

dennis Wong ludwigia arcuata

Water in this tank is between 9 -11 dKH. Suffice to say, Ludwigia arcuata still grows well.

To learn more CO2 setup, click here.

how to get it redder

  • Stronger light (higher PAR values)
  • Stronger red/blue light spectrum
  • Low nitrates causes it to become significantly redder

This is one of the plants that exhibit much redder colors under nitration limitation - meaning that the plant grows much redder if it is starved for nitrates. Over-do this and the plant will stunt. However, since it is tolerant of much lower nutrient levels than other plants - other plants will usually stunt first.

Dennis Wong lugwigia arcuata

Trimming allows Ludwigia arcuata to be trimmed into dense bushes. In the tank above, under slight NO3 limitation it appears orange rather than deeper red. Ludwigia arcuata becomes significantly redder under low NO3. Water column NO3 levels measure near 0 in this tank below:

ludwigia arcuata under nitrate limitation


Cut off top of plant a few inches below the final desired height. Side shoots will sprout from the remaining bottom portion to fill in the area. As the side shoots form, trim away faster growing shoots that poke above the rest. Over time, you will have a nice contoured bush.

​This stem plant will grow sideways if there is a lot of light and empty space. Planting a bit more densely at the start - with stems about 1.5cm apart, will encourage them to grow more vertically.

Head here to find out how to read PAR values.

Head here to find out how to fine tune light spectrum.

Also in Plants

Propagating Eriocaulon species
Propagating Eriocaulon species

May 31, 2020 5 min read

How to propagate Eriocaulon species by splitting them using a blade.
Read More

April 19, 2020 2 min read

The Syngonanthus species is found in the Amazon in very soft blackwater rivers. The variants featured here all have attractive bright green foliage.
Read More
How to grow red plants (Bahasa Indonesia)
How to grow red plants (Bahasa Indonesia)

April 08, 2020 11 min read

A deep dive into 3 critical factors and how to adjust them to help you achieve richer, deeper tones and red colors in your planted tank. Translated to Bahasa Indonesia
Read More