Time lapse of Ludwigia palustris mini ‘Super Red’ growth
(the red plant in the back behind the green foreground Lobelia cardinalis wavy )
I am really happy with this plant! Purchased from Aqua Essentials on 15-Oct-2020 and produced by AquaFleur in the Netherlands, Ludwigia palustris comes in (at least) three flavours: green, red, and mini super red (this one). As is typical, the plant is grown in the trade emersed in water rather than submerged in water, and again as is typical there is a quite dramatic difference between the two forms. The emersed form has green leaves with almost no trace of red, however, once planted submerged the new growth takes on a more progressively red colour, where now after a month of submerged growth the leaves at the top are a very dark red. The older leaves don’t change colour so if you look closely the plant ranges from dark red at the top to green at the bottom. The plant is described as easy to trim and replant the tops and the older less red bottom stems can be removed if desired. I haven’t needed to try this yet and might not for a while since the ‘mini’ plant lists with a maximum height of 30 cm, while the non-mini forms (both red and green) grow to 40 cm. Of course what actually happens is what will happen, and information in the trade is, again as is typical, non-standardised, variable and often at least partially contradictory.
I was looking for a red plant to provide some contrast to the green of the carpet plant, foreground plant, and if I’m honest, to the algae and thus far this mini ludwigia is much more successful than the alternanthera I tried previously was, and I think the smaller leaves of the mini ludwigia are also a better look for this small aquarium than the larger leaves of the alternanthera were.
Replanting stem plant tops keeps the look fresh.
Algae buildup isn’t a big problem with this plant, and I have noticed that the catfish seem to enjoy being on the leaves which, along with the rapid growth of the plant, maybe helps explain why. The Ludwidia grows around 0.5 cm per day once it gets going, so it requires regular trimming to keep it in check. It has no difficulty reaching the water surface in the Fireplace Aquarium if I just let it go. Eventually the lower leaves can get ratty-looking. In that event the entire plant can be removed and replaced with just the healthy top pieces. Ludwigia has no difficulty re-rooting from these cuttings after replanting.