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Ludwigia Repens Aquarium Plant: Care & Growing Guide

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By Lindsey Stanton


When you have a lovely aquarium or pond to maintain, you want it to look as natural as possible—but you also want it to have character. Adding live plants to your seascape adds personality and appeal. When you’re on the hunt, you probably have some tank criteria that will make or break your luck with various aquatic plants.

If you’re thinking of adding the gorgeous Ludwigia Repens to your setup, we are going to go over all the facts about this aquatic plant. Let’s learn how to care for this “beginner’s luck” beauty.

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Useful Information About Ludwigia Repens

Family Name: Onagraceae
Common Names: Ludwigia Repens, Water Primrose
Origin: Americas
Color: Dark green, dark brown, brownish red, deep red
Size: 12–20 inches
Growth Rate: Fast
Care Level: Easy
Lighting: Moderate
Water Conditions: Soft, slightly acidic
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Supplements: Not necessary
Placement: Mid-ground, background
Propagation: Easy
Compatibility: Peaceful fish

Ludwigia Repens Appearance

Image Credit: Aleron Val, Shutterstock

Ludwigia Repens is an interestingly pretty aquatic plant that grows in many water conditions. This plant can grow fully or partially submerged, so it makes a good candidate for many setups.

If the plant is fully submerged, it develops heart-shaped leaves of varying colors. Your plant might be a dark lagoon green, brownish mahogany, or even a deep red. Light intensity is the primary determining factor when it comes to overall plant color.

Ludwigia Repens look fabulous as a standalone plant—or in combination with many others. It is a mat-forming perennial plant that can grow up to 20 inches in the right environments. These plants do have flowering potential, sprouting small yellow four-petaled blooms.

The stems of your plant will grow leaves down to the base. These plants might sprout what are called aerial roots, shooting out of the stem nodes. They require a nutrient-rich substrate to take hold and flourish.

Where to Find It?

You can find Ludwigia Repens for purchase at many aquatic stores and online shops. Some people prefer to go physically where they can see how healthy the plant is before buying.

Some others feel more comfortable ordering from convenient online sites. Several reputable companies have stellar standings with customers with shipped plants.

You can expect to pay around $2 to $15, depending on how healthy they are and how many you get.

Ludwigia repens_ijp2726_shutterstock
Image By: ijp2726, Shutterstock

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General Care

Ludwigia Repens are terrific plants to toss in a splash of color to your tank. Many aquarists like this plant because it’s lush, healthy, and easy to grow.

Whether you are experienced or just starting out, you can try your hand at having this plant. You just need the right environment to get the ball rolling.

red ludwigia repens aquatic plant up close
Image credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

Tank/ Aquarium Size

To grow efficiently, Ludwigia Repens needs at least a 10-gallon tank to thrive, but it can live in much larger spaces. If you place these plants in the shallow areas of your pond, they make charming additions for outside setups, too.

Water Temperature & pH

One terrific aspect of the Ludwigia Repens is that they grow well in both soft and hard water. They do best in temperatures of 75 °F to 79 °F, but they can tolerate as low as 59 °F.


Luckily, Ludwigia Repens roots very well, so you can use your choice of substrate. Try to avoid sand since it packs tightly, potentially suffocating the plant.

Compatible Plants

Ludwigia Repens can coexist nicely with many freshwater aquarium plants. They aren’t incredibly invasive, so they won’t choke out healthy plants. As long as the two plants share the same water specifications, they should match nicely with many potential seascapes.


For best results, the Ludwigia Repens needs an intensely well-lit area, as it thrives on light. This is how their leaves gain their most vivid colors. They require at least 3 watts per gallon.


Ludwigia Repens filters water very well—both in a tank or a pond setting. They’re also a food source for some water dwellers.


Having high iron in the tank will make colors more brilliant. You can add Co2 injections to help the plant grow densely, but it isn’t a requirement.

ludwigia repens aquatic plant growing in the tank
Image credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock

The 4 Planting Tips for Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia Repens plants do very well in aquariums, so if you follow a small set of tips, you should have success.

1. Choose a Suitable Substrate

Ludwigia Repens anchors effortlessly, so you can plant it in many types of substrate. For optimal growth, nutrient-rich soil is best.

Avoid sand entirely. Sand packs tightly and can suffocate the plants. If you already have sand, you might want to think about switching it out or choosing another plant.

2. Obtain 4-5 Stocks to Start

You can gather up to four or five stem stocks for planting. You can keep them nearby each other, but make sure there is enough room for each to grow comfortably. Plant each stem approximately one inch deep in your chosen substrate

3. Easy Propagation

When the Ludwigia flowers, the stems have to stick out of the tank. The seeds then fall off of the flowering parts and back down to the bottom, where they take hold. If you want to propagate, snip the tips off the flowering sections and plant accordingly.

4. Control Plant Color

Ludwigia Repens can change color depending on how much light it gets. The higher the light, the redder the leaves. This trait gives you a lot of creative freedom. You can set up a darker, greener theme, or you can produce lovely red tones—it’s ultimately up to you.

The 5 Benefits of Having Ludwigia Repens in Your Aquarium

1. Adds personality and texture

Ludwigia Repens has a very unique leaf production and texture. It will add dimension and volume to your existing plant life.

2. A great option for beginners

Ludwigia Repens is extremely easy to manage, especially if you aren’t familiar with finicky plants quite yet.

3. Works in singular or multi-plant tanks

Ludwigia Repens looks fabulous as a single plant in the tank or among other plant friends. The red Repens can spruce up an otherwise green tank with some color.

4. Boosts oxygen levels

Ludwigia Repens takes the carbon dioxide in the tank and releases oxygen for your fish.

5. These plants can flower

Not only do you have brilliant red stalks, and sometimes leaves, you also have yellow flowers that can develop.

Concerns About Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia Repens doesn’t get as vibrant in a darker tank. If you have to have minimal lighting because of other life in your water, this plant will still grow—just not as extravagantly.

If you have aggressive fish, they might damage this plant. Ludwigia Repens works best in tanks that have a low-key atmosphere.

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Final Thoughts

If you want to add a little personality to your aquarium but don’t want the extra hassle—the Ludwigia Repens would be a charming addition to your tank or pond. It’s colorful, hardy—and it’s even a food source for some water life. Plus, it thrives in hard or soft water.

If you’re looking to buy, you can find this plant online and in aquatic shops. You can choose whatever method you feel most comfortable with.

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Featured Image Credit: Bagoes MJ, Shutterstock

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