Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ is an interesting smaller type of anubias with variegated white and green leaves. After initial planting, the pinto has done very well and is thriving, in stark contrast to the smaller and all-white Anubias nana ‘Snow White’. I wasn’t convinced I was going to like the pinto when I first planted it, but now I have quite warmed up to it. The pintos started with 8 or 9 leaves each when planted, and have developed quite a few new leaves since then.
Pinto colour is a green/white marbling
There is considerable variability in how the ‘pinto’ colour manifests. The plant on the left has more of a green/white mottled/marbled type of appearance. The plant on the right has more blocks of colour on the leaves where some of the leaves are pretty much all the way green but others almost all white with some green blotches. There is some idea that you get a stronger pinto effect in stronger light but I couldn’t say with certainty that’s what’s happening here – the left plant will get more light but they are both pretty well illuminated.
Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ can grab onto hardscape
The pintos were ‘wired’ into place with monofilament fishing line for about three months which was particularly important for the plant on the right which is in a strong flow environment. After that time the fishing line worked itself loose and I then removed it entirely. The two plants are now firmly attached to the hardscape by their roots and don’t need to be tied on anymore. It’s not obvious from the photos but the roots hang straight down from the plants and/or work into the cracks/crevides in the underlying hardscape. The roots are a pretty much solid green colour.
Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ is a slow but consistent grower
The photo below on the left is two months after the pintos got planted in the Fireplace Aquarium, while the photo in the middle is from 70 days later. On the right is the pinto after 9 months. The plants have filled out and matured nicely, dropping an extensive root system and essentially an entire new plant in the back (difficult to see in the photo). The pinto on the right side has gone over to almost entirely green with small white speckling, but now has a new mostly white leaf developing. The shrimp, catfish and snails do a good job of keeping them neat and clean – there have been no algae issues at all.
9 month Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ timelapse photos
Trimming Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ can encourage white leaves
After the pinto had been growing in the Fireplace Aquarium for nearly a year and a half, it and the Bucephalandra caterina had gotten so large they were blocking light from most of the bottom of the aquarium so it was time for a massive epiphyte trim. To my surprise, new leaves that grew on the pinto following the trim were a lot more white than the leaves that had been trimmed off were.
It turns out that the process whereby leaves of variegated plants lose their variegation is called ‘reversion’. When you do get leaves growing that are more green than white, the extra chlorophyll in the greener leaves lets them grow more vigorously and eventually they can take over. The advice is to prune off the green leaves to let the variegated leaves have another chance.