Common Name: Red Leaf Ludwigia, Red Repens
Native to: U.S. and Mexico
Height: 12 to 20 inches
Width: 2 to 3 inches, based on leaf growth
Growth Rate: Fast
Placement: Mid to Background
Lighting Needs: Medium to very high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal)
Temperature: 75 to 79 degrees
Hardness: Does best in soft, slightly acidic water
Ludwigia repens is popular, beautiful and easy to grow stem plant that will thrive in most aquariums with the basics. The plant typically grows to a height of 12 to 20 inches. The width of each stem is about 2 to 3 inches, based on leaf growth.The leaves ae opposite is very variable and wide eliptic.
In order to achieve strong shoots the substrate should be nutrient rich and light intensity high. The red color is more intense if proper lighting is provided. Three to five strong specimens can be used for the mid to background area. Ludwigia repens can grow well in both very soft and hard water although soft, slightly acidic water is best. Optimum growth temperature is 75 to 79 degrees, although it can grow in temps from 59 to 79 degrees.
Ludwigia repens requires medium to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks the leaves tend to fall off. Separate each stem and plant individually. This will result in better growth and the lower leaves will still receive some light as the this aquarium plant grows taller.
My experience with this aquarium plant is that Ludwigia repens is actually very easy to grow and is a quite stunning aquarium plant when it has enough light. It turns red variegated with good light and grows quite fast. If you break the top off, several side shoots are produced on the remaining stem piece. It is another one of my favorite plants and a welcome addition to any aquascape if utilized properly.
Ludwigia repens is found in the U.S. and Mexico.
Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for freshwateraquariumplants.com. He may be reached via the Aquarium Plants link located below the plant photos.