Bucephalandra Care Guide | How to Plant, Grow, and Maintain? 

When it comes to captivating people for aquatic decoration then there are limited plants that do that. And one of them is Bucephalandra.

And there are various types of this plant and each differs in shape size and color. With that, this plant is a slow grower thus it engages its beauty in the aquarium.

If you are buying this plant then this can be worth your money and time as it can be the best decorative piece that you get for your aquarium this season. 

All of the species of this plant look beautiful in any aquarium and if you have proper lighting and background then this plant can be a charm.

With that, this plant can be grown by anyone with the proper knowledge of aquatic plantations but you would need a little bit of patience on your side when you are growing this plant.

As I said, it is a slow grower but when it grows completely then your patience will be of worth.

It can make any aquarium look great by enhancing its beauty and giving your fisheries a more natural habitat.

There are several things at play when it comes to growing this plant and there are various factors that you should consider when you are growing this plant.

So, I have prepared this article for those who are intrigued by the characteristics of this plant and want to get one for themselves. 

In this article, we are going to discuss various factors that are necessary and should be in your knowledge for growing or even buying this plant.

Name Derivation:

Name Derivation

I know the name is difficult, it can be a mouthful to speak or even pronounce this name.

The thing is when it comes to naming any plants I think the Botany experts make up different names by just juggling the alphabets. 

So, this name BUCEPHALANDRA is derived from I don’t know what but there is a reasonable explanation behind this name. 

The thing I know about this name is that this series or I should call species of BUCEPHELANDRA was introduced in 1858 and since then all.

The discoveries that were made under the BUCEPHELANDRA Genus series have difficult and uncommon names. Thus this plant also has such a difficult and uncommon name. 

Natural Habitat:

These are special species of aquatic plants and they are categorized as rheophilic aquatic species.

Bucephelandra is categorized as rheophilic species because these species can survive extreme weather conditions or water conditions.

What I mean is that they can grow under harsh conditions and pleasant conditions. 

These species have the characteristics to grow in such harsh conditions, unlike any other plant species.

If you grow any other plant species in the conditions in which Bucephelandra grows then they will die instantly. 

This is the reference to take an estimate of how harsh conditions can they survive.

Have you heard tropical rainforest of Borneo well, the conditions of that rainforest are harsh and when I say harsh I mean extremely harsh as it is low land.

And in that rain forest, these species of Bucephelandra grows.

The proper natural habitat of this species is similar to the Anubias as they grow on a rock and driftwood on streams or rivers. 

And when it is the dry season the water level in those streams and rivers drops and plants grow immersively and reach a point that is above the waterline. 

And when the rainy season arrives then they turn their growing method to submerses as there are floods and heavy streams that can be harmful if they were growing immersed. 

In the end, what this says is that they can grow in harsh conditions thus now if you buy it for either.

Your aquariums or terrariums then they can easily grow in them and provide them with beauty and a natural vibe.



The identification of this species Bucephelandra can be both hard and easy.

Hard in the sense that there are various types within these species, some have variations in colors, and some are different by sizes, with that some differences in leaf shapes and thicknesses. 

All in all, by just looking at them it can be difficult to spot a Bucephelandra but you can notice them growing out of the water easily.

This is how both ways you can identify this species of plants.

But in identifying this species there are various factors in play such as you need to check whether the top of the leaf is glossy or not.

If it is glossy then it is sure that the species relate to Bucephelandra. 

With that, the range of colors in this species is between blue and green that’s it.

Although the range of colors at the bottom of the leaves has a wide spectrum ranging from white, red, or yellow spots. 

There is another way through which you can identify this plant, you can just look at the creeping root system of this plant and by that, you would know it is of Bucephelandra species. 

Coming towards the growth length of this plant well, they can reach up to 10 inches or 25 cm in height.

But it happens in rare and perfect scenarios, as they grow slowly thus before they reach this height they tend to die or get weekend thus.

It is possible but when you provide the perfect conditions that they require and keep them well-maintained they can reach the suggested height. 

And if you like flowers then this also is categorized as a flowering plant as it can bloom flower from time to time.

These flowers are simple such as they are either white or pink.

So, if you want to keep them in a decorative piece in your aquarium then they can enhance the charm of your aquarium and make it more natural for your fishes to lurk around. 

Now: what’s stopping you to get one of these and grow them by yourself.

And don’t worry we are going to discuss the growing planting procedure right after this heading. 

Planting Bucephelandra:

When it comes to planting a Bucephelandra plant species in your aquarium then you should get rocks that are commonly known as base gravel.

Driftwood or you can get a large-grained substrate that is similar to driftwood

As I have mentioned that these species are rheophytes thus they need or we can use a strong root system to support themselves and anchor themselves in hight streaming water flow.

As far as the driftwood goes then it is hard or non-adaptable for them to grow on soil surface thus needing driftwood support. 

As far as this article has reached you might have guessed that their roots are exceptionally strong and they can anchor themselves on most of the surfaces.

But if you are my personal opinion then I would say that you should use lava rocks instead of anything else. As they can be porous and I say the more porous the better it is.

As far as attaching the plant goes then you should not worry about it unless the roots are not fully grown. Why?

Because if the roots are grown properly and they have anchored the plant then you wouldn’t need any additional support. 

By additional support I mean you can attach a rubber band, stick it with some super glue, or use fishing wire to support them.

This is temporary and for a time being because the roots are not fully grown yet.

And when they are grown then you can remove additional support. Until then these tricks might do the trick to support Bucephelandra in your aquarium. 

And I can tell the exact duration you have to wait until you remove the additional support to be exact a few weeks would do the job.

As in a few weeks, new roots will emerge and then it can be anchored with some strong base. 

By strong, I mean you will be surprised with the support that the roots provide, and don’t forget because of the strong roots and perfect condition they can grow up to 10 inches or 25 cm.

Requirements for Bucephelandra:

Requirements for Bucephelandra

Now: for planting and growth of this plant you would need to fulfill some requirements of this plant if you want them to grow properly.

And don’t worry these species do not require much you just need to cover a few factors that can help you keep the growth of your plant well-balanced and maintained. 

Here are the requirements that you need to cover for growing this plant in your aquarium:

The Lighting of the Aquarium:

The amount of light that is required for the growth of this plant is completely dependant on you. What does that mean?

You might wonder, well, it is rather simple the application of this plant is what you require and for that application, the lighting is dependant on it. 

So, what I mean to say is? That the lighting requirement is completely dependant on what you want to form the plant. 

If it is for decorative purposes then low lighting will do the job.

As it grows slowly and in a static motion thus you won’t notice a difference and it has dull and dark colors it won’t add some vibrant touch to your aquarium.

But it will be perfect in low lighting as it will add some touch to the environment of your aquarium.

And if you want these plants to project some vibrant coloration then that can be hard as they have dark colors.

But if you merge them with high or medium orchestrated lighting then that can be perfect for your requirement. 

Nutrients for Bucephelandra:

Nutrients for Bucephelandra

What nutrients does is that it can enhance the growth of this plant and the same as light if you want to grow them fast then normal rates then you can provide them with nutrients or CO2.

But if you don’t want them to grow faster than the normal rate then you should not provide them with any nutrients or CO2 dosage.

On the other hand, if you asked the plant and the plant could reply then you would know that this plant loves the presence of CO2.

It would appreciate your concern about providing a dosage of nutrients to it.

And if you can set up such a system or a cycle through which you can transmit CO2 or any other nutrients only to this plant then you will see the result fast and efficiently.

So, if you have the opportunity to set up such a system then you should set it up but if not then this does not matter the plant will survive and remember it can survive in harsh conditions so it can adjust. 


What is propagation? It is a process where you can insert it with nutrients and power so that it can grow more plants around the rhizome.

And with such expensive plants, this process can be easy and if you do it correctly then it might grow more plants around the rhizome and fill your aquarium eventually.

To do this process you can easily cut the plantlets that are emerged from these plants.

Plantlets are some extensive roots that are outgrown from others.

So when you cut them then you should reattach them on different sides of the rock or driftwood either one of two or which one you are using. And from there it can grow a separate new plant. 

Now: when it comes to new growth of the plant then it should appear soon it won’t take as long as Bucephelandra would take to grow.

But if you have added nutrients or CO2 and your lighting is replicating the natural light then it will appear even faster. 

But the question is what if you don’t see any plantlets yet? Well, the answer is patience, patience is the key for everything and if you wait for a time being then it might appear.

Or you can change the routine for the care or enhance the routine for the care of Bucephelandra. 

Buying Bucephelandra:

Buying Bucephelandra

The availability of this plant is exquisite as it has been added recently as an aquarium decorative plant thus it has outgrown the popularity of other decorative plants.

It is now available on various aquatic stores or any online store that is related to aquatic life in past recent years. 

But as I have said, if you are buying any plant related to this species then consider counter checking the name as they won’t be as accurate as we have mentioned.

There are various types of this plant with different qualities thus you need to be sure which one you want. 

As I said, there are various types and variations of this plant species thus there are some expensive ones and some cheap ones.

Such as one variation of this species are cheap and can be bought at an affordable price.

The name is Bucephalandra sp. “Green Wavy.” again a mouthful right? Well, this can be the best one.

If you want for decoration because other species are sold under crazy price tags.

If you want to have Bucephelandra that is limited then you can try your local aquatic decorative store they would have limited to no quantity of this plant.

But if you hop on to the internet then that could be great as nowadays the online store is a trend thus most of the sellers opt for an online store rather than a physical store. 

So choosing the internet over your local store might be a good option.

You can see various sellers either on Amazon, eBay, or any other online store or eCommerce platform that are selling such plant species.

As it has been introduced recently thus it is hard for you to find them in a local store.


Having an aquatic hobby can be expensive even having any hobby can be expensive and when it is related to fish and aquarium then it can be extremely expensive.

So, when you have everything set up for starting your aquarium hobby then you need to be sure that you want it.

Because you are caring lives of fishes and plants. And caring for them won’t come at cheap rates. 

Getting this species for plantation in your aquatic life can be a wonderful addition as it can be the perfect resemblance of the natural habitat for fishes and other aquatic creatures.

So, getting this won’t be a regret and we have discussed everything that you need to know about Bucephalandra and now buying them should not be an issue.

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