Stem plants are some of the most popular plants available for decorating aquariums!

Stem plants go well almost everywhere; in the background, along the sides, and in the center. They are fairly easy to propagate due to the fact that you can simply plant the cuttings from the present plants. These usually have long stems and look good when planted in groups.

Stem plants used along the backs and sides of the aquarium create a green frame or backdrop effect to the aquarium design. But don’t think you are limited in your aquascaping options to just a background, some varieties of stem plants make very beautiful, stand-alone plants. Stem plants can be used in a cluster or individually to create a focal point in your aquarium aquascape

For Information on setting up and keeping a planted aquarium see:
About Planted Aquariums, Adding Aquatic Plants For a Healthy Aquarium

Click for more info on Anacharis
Egeria densa
Click for more info on Brazilian Pennywort
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Click for more info on Broadleaf Ludwigia
Ludwigia palustris
Click for more info on Cabomba
Cabomba caroliniana
Click for more info on Creeping Jenny
Lysimachia nummularia
Click for more info on Dwarf Rotala
Rotala rotundifolia
Click for more info on Fountain Plant
Ophiopogon japonicus
Click for more info on Hornwort
Ceratophylum demersum
Click for more info on Japanese Rush
Acorus gramineus
Click for more info on Water Milfoil
Myriophyllum Sp.
Click for more info on Water Primrose
Ludwigia repens
Click for more info on Water Wisteria
Hygrophila difformis

Favorite Stem Plants

Some aquarium plants deserve mention because they tend to be hardy handsome plants. In general these are easy aquarium plants to keep with normal plant care, tolerating a wide variety of water conditions and will fit in either small or large aquariums, They need moderate light for plant growth and propagate freely without aid. Here are a some stem plants that tend to fit this description:

  • Hygrophila: The Hygrophila, one of the best leafy-stemed plants, looks similar to Ludwigia but needs less light and grows faster. Water Wisteria, Hygrophila difformis, is one of the most popular and hardy aquarium plants.

  • Hornwort: Hornworts of the Ceratophylum group are hardy graceful plants with good plant growth. They have slender branches with many needle-like looking leaves. The branches will fan out in the aquarium making a beautiful decoration, but their fine thin leaves intercept very little light from any rooted plants below them. They are also valuable for egg deposits and offer a lot of shelter for baby fish and other shy fish to hide in. Though they may look delicate, they are seldom damaged by snails or plant-eating fishes. The common Hornwort, Ceratophylum demersum, is readily available and a great plant for both the beginner and the experienced aquarium aquascaper.

Types of Stem Plants

  • Alternanthera – Scarlet Hygro
  • Alternanthera reineckii – Copperleaf
  • Ammannia gracilis
  • Bacopa caroliniana – Water Hyssop
  • Cabomba aquatica – Fanwort
  • Cabomba caroliniana – Carolina Fanwort, Green Cabomba
  • Cabomba piauhyensis
  • Cardimine lyrata
  • Ceratophyllum demersum – Hornwort, Coontail
  • Didiplis diandra – Water Purslane
  • Elodea/Egeria – Anacharis
  • Egeria densa – Brazilian Waterweed
  • Hemianthus (Micranthemum) micranthemoides
  • Heteranthera zosterifolia – Mud Plantain
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala (Nomaphida corymbosa) – Water Pennywort
  • Hygrophila corymbosa (Nomaphila stricta) – Giant Hygro, Temple Plant
  • Hygrophila difformis – Water Wisteria
  • Hygrophila polysperma – Green Hygro, Indian Hygro
  • Limnophila aquatica
  • Limnophila sessiliflora – Ambulia
  • Lobelia cardinalis
  • Ludwigia repens – Water Primrose
  • Mayaca fluviatilis
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum – Water Milfoil, Parrot’s Feather
  • Rotala macrandra – Tooth-cup
  • Rotala rotundifolia – Tooth-cup
  • Shinnersia rivularis
  • Utricularia – Bladderwort