Aponogeton boivinianus leafAponogeton boivinianus is a bulb plant native to Madagascar. Thanks to its beauty and ease of care, this plant is a popular addition to many aquariums. They are perfect for beginner aquarists as well.

Let’s walk you through everything there is to know about Aponogeton boivinianus: its appearance, care, and growth patterns.

Aponogeton Stats

Care Type Easy
Propagation Vegetative
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallons
Height 5 12 inches
pH 6.5 to 7.5
Temperature 68 to 72 F


Aponogeton boivinianus belong to the large Aponogeton family, which boasts of over 40 species. This species is found in fully aquatic and terrestrial habitats in Asia, Africa and Australia. They are hardy, thus adapt well to a broad range of aquarium conditions.

Several Aponogeton boivinianus that grow in shallow bogs or marshes have a growth period that coincides with the rainy season. They also rest during the dry season, in anticipation of another growth phase. These plants experience minimal growth during their resting phase; however, they should begin to grow again once this phase is passed. These bulbs benefit from a nutrient-rich substrate and favorable tank conditions.

Aponogeton Boivinianus Appearance

The Aponogeton boivinianus aquarium plant makes for an excellent addition to your home setup. It has long dark green leaves that differ in size. Some are as short as 5 inches, while others can measure up to 12 inches. Most of its leaves have a hammered look and texture.

Aponogeton Bovinianus Care

Caring for this Aponogeton bovinianus is relatively easy once you have the basic knowledge and can be very rewarding. That said, let us explore the best ways to care for this unique freshwater plant.

Tank Size

The first step is getting a large tank that can handle the rapid growth of Aponogeton boivinianus. For starters, get a 10 gallon tank for the plant; this gives the bulb the necessary space to spread out and grow.

Of course, if you want to plant clusters of this plant, you will need more tank space to prevent overcrowding. An overcrowded tank is at high risk of developing high levels of ammonia and nitrate, which can harm the plant and other tank inhabitants. One sign that you have taken proper care of the plant is its development of tiny flowers at the water surface.

Tank Set-Up

Once you have the correct tank size for this aquatic plant, the remaining steps should be easy. Tailor your tank conditions such that it is similar to what the Aponogeton boivinianus enjoys in its natural habitat. That way, the plant has an easier time adjusting to the new environment.

Lighting Requirements

Another reason beginners have an easy time growing Aponogeton boivinianus is that it does not require complex, state-of-the-art lighting. A simple low light is enough to kickstart this plant’s internal processes and get it to proliferate. A plus side of the low light is that you will not need to trim the plant as often as other plants.

We recommend led floodlights; they provide just the right amount of light to brighten up your tank. Alternatively, you can opt for 10-watt floodlights for every 10 gallons of the tank.


These bulbs require a substrate that has a high nutrient concentration. Thus, we advise that you get aquarium soil or work with enriched gravel or sand.

The downside to using gravel and sand is that you will need to enrich them with nutrient supplements and fertilizer.

Water Conditions

Aponogeton bovinianus are tropical aquatic plants that favor warmer waters. Thus, you must ensure your tank is filled with warm water, and the temperature maintained at 68 to 72F. A tank heater will help monitor and maintain the temperature of the aquarium water all year long.

Keep the pH between 6.5 nad 7.5 and the water slightly hard for best results. Monitoring the water parameter is crucial to this plant’s survival. We recommend that you get a tank kit tester to help with this aspect.


This Aponogeton species is capable of growing without additional supplements. However, they still benefit from plant supplements like nitrogen, Flourish excel, and Seachem flourish.

Is Aponogeton Bovinianus Beginners-friendly?

Yes, Aponogeton bovinianus is beginner-friendly. We have listed the reasons behind this conclusion. Let’s look at some of them below.

They Tolerate Low Light Intensity

Aponogeton boivinianus aquarium plantOne reason why Aponogeton bovinianus is ideal for beginners is that they tolerate low light conditions exceptionally well. This means that you do not need to fit your tank with canopy lights or struggle with getting strong lights.

Also, since the plant works great with low light, you won’t have to worry so much about algae growth and constant pruning.

They Can Thrive Without CO2 Injections

Aponogeton bovinianus bulbs can thrive in low-tech planted tanks. Let’s break it down a bit; Aponogeton boivinianus can thrive in favorable tanks without carbon dioxide supplementation. This is one of the reasons they are regarded as being beginner-friendly.

Even without CO2 injections, Aponogeton boivinianus will reach an impressive length of 1 foot in less than a month. Ensure the plant is firmly secured to the substrate and that it has enough nutrients to grow.

They Are Easy To Take Care Of

Aponogeton bovinianus are pretty popular among aquarists and hobbyists because they don’t require too much attention. Once you have set up the tank correctly and ensure that the water conditions are in range, you have won half of the battle. These plants are hardy and will surely thrive in your aquarium!

How Do You Propagate Aponogeton Boivinianus?

Method 1: Aponogeton Boivinianus Flowers

Aponogeton boivinianus is a beautiful aquatic plant that can quickly become the centerpiece in any aquarium. Thankfully, it is not difficult to propagate. If your Aponogeton boivinianus is already flowering, you can propagate it using the seeds.

We have outlined a step-by-step guide on propagating Aponogetons using their flowers.

1. Provide a Conducive Environment

First, to get Aponogeton boivinianus to flower, you have to provide a favorable environment for them. That means adequate nutrients, light, and carbon dioxide.

2. Nip off the Seeds

Once the plant begins to flower and you can see the seeds, nip them off and leave them in a dark, dry area for seven days.

NB: Nip off only the seeds, not the flowers.

3. Conditioning

The next step is to take out the seeds from the dry, dark place to an area with strong light to get them to grow. You can try out fluorescent lighting. Once they grow, bury them in a pot with one part enriched substrate and two parts water.

4. Replant

When they start to sprout leaves, you can take them out of the pot and plant them in your conditioned aquarium.

Method 2: Planting the Bulb

You can toss the bare bulbs into the tanks and watch them grow after a while. On this occasion, the bulb will sink to the bottom of the tank and sprout roots.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps

1. Pick Out a Spot in Your Tank

Start by picking out a spot at the back of your tank to bury the Aponogeton. If you can’t plant it at the back of the tank, you can try the middle-end of the aquarium.

2. Space Out the Bulbs

You need to leave a space of 2 to 3 inches in between each bulb. That will allow the individual roots to spread out and grow fully.

3. Plant the Bulbs

We recommend placing only the thick end of the Aponogeton bulb in the substrate rather than burying the whole thing. Ensure that you secure the end firmly in the aquarium substrate.

Do I Need To Rest Aponogeton Boivinianus?

If you are growing your Aponogeton boivinianus bulbs outdoors, you must rest them. Resting, in this case, means exposing the leaves to air during the dry season. It helps them store up nutrients for the next season and rejuvenate.

If you are growing these bulbs in a home aquarium, the chances are that they will remain submerged. Thus, the leaves will not wither, nor will the bulbs dry out. While this may look like a positive event, it will mean that you will need to supplement the soil with nutrients. Opt for fertilizers and carbon dosing to get your plant through this resting phase

How To Rest Your Aponogeton Boivinianus Plant

Resting your Aponogeton aquarium plant helps it stock up nutrients ahead of the next season. We have listed the steps below; follow them closely.

  1. Start by taking the plant out of your tank during the dry season.
  2. Next, remove all its leaves and roots and place the plant in a bag.
  3. Transfer the bag to a cool, dry place with little or no light and surround the naked bulb with sand.
  4. Leave the plant in this environment for at least 2 months before transferring it back into the aquarium.

Should I Add Fertilizer to My Tank of Aponogeton?

Yes, you should. If you want bigger Aponogeton bulbs, then you should add small amounts of fertilizer to the tank. Animal wastes like nitrogen, phosphate and carbon dioxide also serve as natural fertilizers. We recommend adding small doses of fertilizer as opposed to larger amounts.


There are a lot of exciting things about Aponogeton boivinianus. Here are a few of them:

  • Aponogeton boivinianus careIt is a native to Madagascar.
  • It doesn’t require constant attention to thrive.
  • It proliferates and can quickly become the centerpiece in your aquarium.

Aponogeton boivinianus is a firm favorite for many aquarists, and it’s not hard to figure why. We hope our guide spurs you into taking on these hardy freshwater bulbs!

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