Cryptocoryne willisii is a popular aquarium plant found commonly in Sri Lanka. It was then introduced in Florida, where it quickly became very invasive. There are several variants of this plant, and each has a different color, size and leaf texture.

Find out essential facts about this aquatic plant in subsequent sections, and become an expert in caring for it!

Cryptocoryne Willisii Stats

Origin Sri Lanka
Scientific Name Cryptocoryne willisii
Family Araceae
Leaf Size 5 – 15 inches
Recommended pH 6 – 8
Temperature 73 – 79 F (23 – 26 C)
Reproduction Runners
Substrate Enriched fine gravel


Cryptocoryne willisii is a rare Cryptocoryne species that is native to Sri Lanka. It favors streams and rivers with low chances of direct sunlight penetration. Place it in a freshwater setting and watch this plant thrive.


Crypt willisii comes in different colors, ranging from green to brown and even red. The leaf size also varies – some may be small, others medium or large. On average, this plant has a leaf size of 5 to 15 inches.

Another characteristic that varies from plant to plant is the leaf texture: Some leaves may be smooth while others rough. Research has shown that the texture and color of these plant’s leaves are dependent on the intensity of light the plant receives.

Is Cryptocoryne Willisii Great for Beginners?

Yes, this freshwater plant is an excellent choice for beginners. It is easy to care for and thrives well in both high and low light intensity. Although they do not respond adversely to CO2 injections, our experts would advise against their use.

One thing this plant certainly needs to thrive is a stable, well-cycled aquatic setting. So it would help if you took additional care to cycle the tank properly. This way, the plant has a chance to adjust and grow. Once Cryptocoryne willisii is well adapted to its tank environments, it will grow without much hassle.

Cryptocoryne Willisii Planting

Once your tank is well cycled, you can plant the new Crypts. It is a relatively simple process: Just place the roots of the plant directly into the substrate. Next, provide it with all the nutrients it needs to grow. Of course, that may mean supplementing with fertilizer regularly.

Since you will be applying fertilizers to your tank, you will need to change the water more often. This helps to control the nitrogen level in the tank. Also, limit the amount of light entering the tank so that the plant can grow and form deep roots in the soil.

– Why Does My New Cryptocoryne Willisii Look Dull?

Congrats, you have just transplanted your new Crypt plant, and it looks perfect. Oops, we spoke too soon: Now it’s looking dead. Your plant’s yellow-brown coloration shows that it is melting.

Cryptocoryne willisii melts when the plant is kept in an unstable environment. Small changes in pH, temperature and water quality can cause the plants to wilt and look dead. However, you don’t need to worry: this plant absorbs nutrients through its leaves during the melting and uses the energy gained to form new roots and leaves.

To restore your plant to its vivid hues, you should keep the tank conditions stable and do a partial water change. With time, the plant will gather enough nutrients to adapt to its new situation.

– Why Is My Established Cryptocoryne Willisii Melting?

Sadly, your established Crypt can also suffer from melting. In that case, we advise that you keep the conditions in its tank stable and give the plant some time to recover. Often, they gather enough nutrients and start to sprout new leaves and stems.

While your plant melts, you should plant some new fast-growing stems or floating plants in your tank. These plants will help keep the tank balanced and minimize the growth of algae.

– What Causes Crypt Meltdown?

There are several reasons why your Cryptocoryne plant is having a meltdown. Most of it comes down to changes in environmental conditions in the tank. Here are a few of them:

  • Irregular water change
  • Poor water quality
  • Changing the location of the Cryptocoryne
  • Lighting intensity
  • Fertilizer dosing
  • Fluctuations in temperature
  • CO2 injections
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Air pollutants

A great way to get your aquatic plant to make the transition in one piece is to prune the leaves as they melt. Alternatively, you can trim all the leaves at once and leave them on the substrate. The latter method helps the plant focus more on producing new leaves rather than struggling to keep the old ones.

– How to Plant Cryptocoryne Willisii With Success

Most times, newly planted Cryptocoryne willisii suffers from melting because it wasn’t correctly planted. So let’s see how you can move it into your setup with success.

First, cycle your tank and ensure that all the water parameters are within the recommended range. That way, your submerged Crypt has a better chance of transitioning without falling ill. You can also kick start the transition process by regulating the light and CO2 levels in the tank.

Another piece of advice is to plant them alone rather than in group with other plants. However, if after following these steps, your Crypt still melts, don’t throw it out. Once it has had time to settle in, you will begin to see new shoots. At this point, ensure the new plant has enough nutrients to boost its growth.


The rare Cryptocoryne is a hardy aquatic plant that does not require much care to thrive. Growing them is so easy that even beginners will have a smooth time growing them. Start with a large enough tank with dim lighting to give the plant a semblance of its natural habitat.

More experienced aquarists can even aquascape Crypts into fantastic shapes. Let’s look at easy ways to care for Cryptocoryne willisii.

– Keep the Water Conditions Steady

Cryptocoryne willisii do poorly in unstable water conditions. Thus, you must provide them with clean water with suitable hardness, temperature, and pH levels. Keep the pH around 6-8, hardness around 8-10 dGH, and the temperature within 73 and 79 F.

– Pick Out the Right Substrate

Picking out the substrate is an essential task because the plant needs it to draw nutrients. Thus, we advise that you pick out an enriched substrate: Enriched gravel would do just fine. You can also leave a thin layer of leaves on top of the substrate as an additional nutrient source.

– Lighting

In the wild, Cryptocoryne willisii is found in areas with low light intensity. So, it makes sense to keep your tank lighting dim to allow them to settle in nicely. Thanks to their preference for dim-lit tanks, you don’t have to worry about getting a fluorescent light.

– Ensure That the Tank Is Well Cycled

By now, you must know that it is dangerous to plant your Cryptocoryne willisii in a tank that is not fully cycled. So one way to ensure your plant thrives with as minimal meltdown as possible is to cycle the tank first.

How to Propagate Cryptocoryne Willisii

Now that your Crypt willisii is doing well, it is time to learn how to propagate it. Thankfully, propagating Crypts is a relatively easy task that can be handled by beginners and experts alike. Follow these guidelines to propagate your Cryptocoryne willisii successfully.

First, take out a small portion of the offshoot with some roots attached and plant it in an enriched substrate. With proper care and nutrition, this offshoot will grow into an entirely new plant. Oh, we must warn you that this growth process can be slow, but it will grow if your plant is in a conducive environment.

Alternatively, you can take the mature Crypt apart and plant the small fractions in the tank substrate. Keep the environmental conditions stable, and with time, you should begin to notice some growth.

– Can Cryptocoryne Willisii Propagate Itself?

Yes, left alone, this aquarium plant can propagate itself. Did you ask how? It’s simple: The parent plant sends out runners. These runners develop roots with time and, at this point, can be separated from the parent plant.

Once the runner has been separated from the parent Crypt, you can go ahead to replant them in the aquarium. However, don’t forget to give them time to adapt to the new environment.

What Can Cryptocoryne Willisii Be Used For?

Cryptocoryne willisii tends to grow densely in favorable environments, so most aquarists use it to cover unsightly areas. Since it remains relatively tiny all its life, aquarists do not need to trim it.

Some hobbyists have opened up about using this plant to decorate their tanks. The common areas are the aquarium foreground and middle ground. You, too, can try using this freshwater plant for aquascaping.


Cryptocoryne willisii is one of our favorite aquatic plants, and here are some reasons why.

  • It is relatively easy to grow.
  • It can thrive in areas with low and high light intensity.
  • The plant is easy to propagate and care for.
  • It comes in various exciting hues.

After reading up all about this plant in our article, just follow the guidelines listed. With little luck, you should be able to get your ​​Cryptocoryne willisii to thrive in your tank.

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