News Plant Of The Month Pogostemon Helferi

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Plant of the month: Pogostemon helferi
14th October 2019

By Joey Abrahams

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



In this issue I’m heading over to South-east Asia to look at the species Pogostemon helferi, also known by its common name Downoi, which means ‘Little star’ in Thai.

P. helferi is a compact, star-shaped plant and very attractive due to its bright green colour and distinct fine, curly leaves which have a scalloped edge.

Growing to a maximum of 10cm tall, this plant is ideal for the foreground location in tanks – though adjusting light levels can affect this height. With a high lighting intensity, the plant produces smaller leaves. On the other hand, under lower lighting levels, its bright green colour will fade slightly and the plant will also grow taller as it searches for light. This taller growth distorts the traditional P. helferi look.

Optimum temperature is between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius.

Best of all, P. helferi can be grown on either wood or rocks – though you may need to tie it into position until its roots gain adequate hold.

It is a good idea to place a root stick like Easy-Life Root Sticks close to the plant to ensure it gets sufficient nutrients. While carbon dioxide is not essential, the plant grows better with its use such as via a liquid supplement like Easy-Life EasyCarbo.