Lemongrass aquarium plant: features of cultivation and care
On the shores of small swampy reservoirs of Southeast Asia, you can find dense thickets of an amazing plant. Aquarium plant lemongrass, large Indian bog, straight nomaphila (Nomaphila stricta) – under these names the freshwater inhabitant of the tropics of the acanthus family is known.
The ability to develop equally well in the air and under water, its beautiful appearance made the plant popular among fans of aquarium flora.
External signs of lemongrass aquarium
The acanthus family includes about ten types of nomaphiles: toothed, Thai, long-leaved and others. Lemongrass is called nomaphila straight for the light citrus scent exuded by the plant. Schisandra aquarium has a number of characteristic features:
- The plant has the shape of a dense bush with a height of 30-40 cm.
- The stem is straight, powerful, with a well-developed root system.
- Leaves are oval in shape with a wedge-shaped base and a pointed end. The surface side is light green, the back is greenish-silver. Opposite arrangement on the stem.
The aquarium plant lemongrass, under favorable conditions, often reaches a height of 50-60 cm. Its upper part rises above the surface of the water, the leaves become rough, medium-sized blue flowers with a lilac shade may appear at their base.
A complete picture of the appearance is given by a photo of the aquarium plant lemongrass.
Features of the content
Nomafila straight adapts well enough in an artificially created environment. Subject to the simple rules of care, it will actively grow and multiply for a long time..
Lemongrass in an aquarium feels better in a group. 2–3 plants planted near the back wall will create a lush green background. The optimum volume of the aquarium should be at least 150 ml..
It should be remembered that lemongrass is an inhabitant of tropical waters. The natural habitat determines the norms for the content of lemongrass of an aquarium plant according to a number of priority indicators:
- Water of medium hardness, with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH value (pH 7–8.5). Once every 7-10 days, it is necessary to replace 30% of the water. The most comfortable temperature is within 24-28ºC;
- Intense lighting using direct sunlight or electroluminescent lamps. The power of the artificial source is determined at the rate of 0.5 W per liter of water. With sufficient light, the stem of lemongrass is brown;
- Soil 5 to 7 cm thick, silted, with a rich nutrient medium in the form of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium (you can purchase special complex fertilizers). River sand can be used as soil, but then clay should be placed under the plant to provide the necessary support for the root system.
Under favorable conditions for keeping lemongrass in the aquarium, the plant stretches 10 cm per week. Often it fills the space, suppressing other flora. You can avoid the problem. To do this, lemongrass is not planted in the ground, but in a clay pot..
Choose a small container. Otherwise, lemongrass will direct forces to build up the root system to the detriment of the green mass..
Reproduction and cutting of lemongrass
The plant is propagated by cuttings. The apical shoot is cut by about 5 cm and planted in prepared soil or a low container with water. The procedure allows you to develop in width and give new shoots.
Trimming an aquarium plant lemongrass is necessary not only for reproduction. An adult nomaphila that has risen above the water sometimes sheds all the lower leaves. Removing the tip will help avoid the problem..
Twice a year, lemongrass is rejuvenated by removing old, weak and unpresentable shoots. If you don’t, it won’t bloom..
The high decorative qualities of lemongrass make it a desirable inhabitant not only of aquariums, but also of the increasingly popular aquatic gardens – paludariums. The plant feels great in greenhouses. Soil composition and lighting requirements are the same as for water content. In the air, lemongrass quickly produces strong shoots that can be rooted in aquarium soil..
Lemongrass aquarium plant: diseases, treatment methods
Changes in the conditions and norms of keeping nomafila can cause various diseases..
Elimination of unfavorable factors will return the lemongrass to the aquarium plant a healthy look.
The development of lemongrass aquarium occurs continuously, for it there is no autumn-winter period of slowing down of life processes. Subject to the specified parameters of water and light, the presence of a sufficient amount of nutritious soil, the plant will delight all year round with lush foliage, a pleasant lemon aroma and delicate flowers..