After seeing a really cool video snap of Rotala Rotundifolia, it reminded me how beautiful this plant is in an aquarium. It produces spectacular colours, including reds, oranges, browns and greens. It make’s a perfect contrasting plant which can help break up an aquascape or create a focal point. Here’s the video that inspired me to write about this plant…
Rotala Rotundifolia is native to south east Asia. It has become widely available in the planted aquarium market and for good reason. It’s fast growing, easy to care for and eye catching. It’s leaves are needle shaped (2-3cm long), however oddly enough when in it’s emerged state, Rotala Rotundifolia has very small round shaped leaves, like this…
That’s why when you buy your Rotala Rotundifolia from Aquarium gardens, you will receive your plant with little round leaves, rather than needle shaped leaves. Do not panic, this is a good sign. Our Rotala has been cultivated emersed, meaning your plant will be fully rooted and in great health. The transitional stage from round leaves to needle leaves will happen over time, as your plants slowly adapt to being under water. Other sellers will sell cuttings in bunches, however these are normally of very low quality with no roots and have trouble adapting to new environments, which means they often suffer early on. Our potted Rotala will always arrive in superb health and fully rooted, allowing the plant the best possible start in your aquarium.
Here’s a few quick fact about Rotala Rotunidifolia:
ORIGIN: Southeast Asia
MAX HEIGHT: 30cm
GROWTH RATE: Moderate
LIGHT: Medium to high
CO2: CO2 and NON CO2 tanks
WATER HARDNESS: Soft to hard
To get the best out of this plant I would suggest using CO2 injection (especially with high light). I would also suggest to prune regularly. This allows you to create a very bushy plant as each time you prune the Rotala, each parent stem will produce 2-3 new shoots. Using a good pair of aquascaping scissors will help you with your trimming. You may notice new roots appears from the sides of stems, do not fear, this is very normal and means the plant is growing. Cuttings from the plant can be re-planted straight into you substrate. You can plant them individually or in groups of 2-3. Each stem will quickly develop new root systems.
The plants colourations will vary under different light intensities. In the video above you will notice lots of bright oranges and reds. To achieve this you will need much light and CO2. Under lower light intensities this plant will stay more green and yellow.
It is very common for the lower sections of the plant to become overshadowed by the bushy sections of the plant above. It is therefore a good idea to prune regularly and not let the plant become too tall. I often like to use this plant as a midground plant and trim bi-weekly to keep the plant at the correct height and to ensure the lower sections of the plant stay strong and receive enough light.
You can purchase Rotala Rotundifolia here, you will get 6-8 stems per pot, fully rooted. Have fun with this plant!