With growing interest in planted tanks, hobbyists are always on the look-out for what’s new or different in the hobby. Aquadip’s Joey Abrahams has hints of what retailers can stock
Nymphoides aquatica, better known as the ‘Banana plant’, is unique and makes people look twice!
It gets its common name from its banana-shaped roots, which you can see in the picture here. Its roots are a curiosity – they grow from the stem and appear as white or light-green shoots, growing downwards to anchor in the substrate.
It is important to not bury the bulbs as they will rot – burying no more than a third is sufficient to anchor it.
And speaking of planting, when planting in gravel and sand, I suggest using an Easy-Life root stick to ensure it gets enough fertiliser.
N. aquatica is a tough plant and can handle a range of different set-ups. For example, in tanks with medium lighting intensity, it will produce short stems with leaves (both small and large) ranging from light green through to dark green.
But under strong lighting, the stems grow quickly and will produce leaves close to the water’s surface, which then take on a heart shape. This makes the plant suitable for open tanks. A word of caution – if it is allowed to grow these surface leaves, make sure it’s been placed in a suitable spot so it does not shade other plants.
Originally the plant comes from Florida, in North America, and requires temperatures of between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius, 24 degrees Celsius being optimal.