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Bucephalandra Care Guide

by Hoang Nguyen 22 Aug 2016 0 Comments

In love with the Bucephalandra plant? This is a new fad among plant lovers and aquarists. Keep reading for practical tips on Bucephalandra care.

What is Bucephalandra?

The Bucephalandra is a plant native to Borneo, Indonesia. This rheophyte plant flourishes over stones and rocks usually in areas where there is a prolonged period between dry periods and flooding.

In appearance and in the growing pattern the Bucephalandra is very similar to the Anubias of Western Africa. This plant has a very strong root which latches onto the smooth surface of the stones and rocks.


The Bucephalandra is an expensive plant since it is very rare to find and have an outstanding appearance. Another feature that makes this plant captivating is the attractive shape of its leaves.

The form of the leaves vary, and you can find these plants with a variety of leaf shapes such as oval with wavy edge, long and wavy, flat edge, almond shaped and long and straight.

The stems appear in red and pink colours while the leaves are multi-coloured, in fact, some of them appear like a rainbow.

Bucephalandra Care & Growing conditions

When growing bucephalandra plants at homes or aquariums for aquascaping, you can use roots of other trees, wood or coconuts to set as their base. However, these plants grow much better on stones and rocks because they prefer harder surfaces to hold onto tightly.

It has been found that when there is a shift in the environment, the plants stress out, and this can be noticed in their appearance; when in a stressful environment the plants lose their beautiful leaves.

The change in fertilization and the algae in the tank can also lead to leaf loss. And all the leaves are not lost immediately; it is a slow process.

And in case your plant has lost all its leaves you don’t have to worry because if the roots remain healthy, the plant is most likely to recover. So you can always treat the plant to health. If you see signs of unhealthy try to dim the lights and enhance the oxygen supply.

Tips for better colouration of Bucephalandra leaves

Leaves are the best feature of these plants and the most important thing that you need to do keep the colour intact. Better lighting and extra fertilization can enhance the colouration of the leaves. Supplying small amounts of carbon dioxide also improves the color of the leaves.
bucephalandra care Guide

Although bucephalandra leaves do well in aquariums the colour is not as attractive, and the leaves appear to be of weaker quality. In such situations, you need to supply additional humidity to prevent the leaves from drying out. For healthy leaves, you need to ensure a pH level of 5-8 and a temperature ranging almost between 22 – 28 degrees Celsius. A temperature above 28 degrees can cause the plants to wilt. Some people, however, have not seen any such side-effects when the temperatures have gone above 28 degrees.

Since these plants thrive in fast-flowing waters, you need to ensure similar conditions at home in the aquariums so that the plants grow to their maximum potential and health. For creating swift currents you can make use of an internal filter or you can place them near to the filter outlet. You can see that the leaves of these plants are quite flexible, and this is due to the nature of their native aquatic environment.

The rate of growth of these plants is entirely dependent on the variety. Some of them can grow 2 leaves per week, and some produce only one. And this also depends on how good the conditions are in the aquarium.

The Anubis produces flowers when the conditions around them are deteriorating; it is a form of survival for them; but the reason why Bucephalandra flowers are entirely different. If you provide plenty of nourishment and care, you might even witness them flower. If you provide optimum conditions, these are also likely to produce more than one flower.

Bucephalandra is a magnificent plant with beautiful flowers, but they need a lot of care to grow well. These plants grow very slowly, and you need to be very patient to grow these types of plants. Give them plenty of light, good fertilization, and enough carbon dioxide to see swift growth.

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