Limnophila aromatica, is an aquatic flowering plant that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family of aquatic vegetation. The origins of said plant are from Asia, specifically South East Asia, where it is mostly used as a comforting decoration plant in fish tanks to create a more alluring environment for tropical fishes.

If you would like to have a tank setup that recreates a tropical environment, this is the plant you should go for. Read this article to figure out how to best care for it and make the most out of its flowery, colorful appearance!

Limnophila Aromatica: Stats

Type Aquatic Stem Plant
Origin Southeast Asia
Growth Rate Moderate to Fast
Height 7+
Light Low Medium Light
CO2 Recommended

Limnophila Aromatica: Basic Information

This peculiar plant is a sub-specie of the Plantain family of flowering plants, which originated from the tropical water beds of Malaysia. Another name for Limnophila aromatica is the paddy rice herb due to its rugged nature. It can grow in any watery or wet environment with very hot temperatures.

It is widely recognized for its tapered and soft green leaves which are somewhat purplish on the back. The coloration diversity in such plants is due to the uncontrolled exposure to light, which results in the change of the original colors.

The most effective way of cultivating Limnophila aromatica is by cuttings. In order for the plant to grow healthy and fast, you have to split up the bunch of the jumbled stems and assort them into independent plants. You may cut the damaged leaves and plant the stems with some distance. This technique will surely result in the development of some strong and beautiful flowering plants.

Limnophila Aromatica Care

In controlled conditions like home aquariums, the requirements of the plant get a bit demanding. Its caretaker will have to provide maximum light to it in order for it to grow according to expectations.

For the proper growth of the said plant, the regular intake of certain supplements is highly recommended. Its basic needs consist of CO2 (20-30mg/L), iron, phosphate, nitrate and other minerals.

The Limnophila aromatica care should take into account the necessities required for the plant to flourish in a controlled space. It is impossible for the Limnophila Aromatica to grow in a tank with low levels of lights and a lack of essential minerals.

For example, a regular amount of phosphate is needed for the prevention of algae to start forming on the leaves of the plant.

Physical Characteristics

The Limnophila aromatica hippuroides is a hermaphrodite, belonging to a group of plants that have both male and female organs. The pollination of said plants mostly happen due to insects and they are known to be self-fertile.

They can grow in harsh conditions like marshes, but not up to their full extent. They can grow in a loamy environment as well, because pollination is easy in such conditions. Actually, the presence of a significant amount of clay provides this plant with a suitable pH. However, a good level of light is always needed for their growth.


As stated before, the propagation of Limnophila aromatica is not very complex, as the plant grows a variety of branches which can be later on cut and planted again.

In the warm months, one can easily get a number of cuttings. Furthermore, it is easier for the plant to grow above water rather than being submerged in it, so you don’t have to bother planting the sprouts into the substrate.

You may even find mini Limnophila aromatica shoots with white flowers growing on them, enhancing the beauty of your aquarium.

This flowering plant can grow at a considerable pace if trimmed at precise times. Thanks to that, you may reach the bushy effect which is inclined by most tank fanatics quite quickly.


Limnophila Aromatica is a charming perpetual plant that can attract all hobbyists with its alluring colours, varying from green to red and purplish pink. The leaves of Limnophila aromatica are quite thin and pointy and are accustomed to grow in pairs.

There’s no condition in trimming them aggressively, this will only help the plant to grow fast, making the bush effect we talked about before.

Other Factors

– Growth Rate

The Limnophila aromatica growth rate is quite fast. These plants can grow up to 27 inches. If looked after, they will spread through your tank rapidly.

– Tank

Limnophila aromatica can grow easily in congested situations, so the tank size doesn’t really matter. If the tank size is too small, however, the propagation will be a bit hard. An average-sized tank will be fine.

– Lighting

You can grow Limnophila aromatica in gloomy light situations, but they won’t grow much or develop the colours you want in the tank. The light requirements for this species to thrive is bright. Our experts suggest you should add an external light in the tank so the growth of the plant isn’t affected even in winter.

– Substrate

Regular aquarium soil and heavy clay sand is recommended for the Limnophila aromatica. You can add some pebbles so that the soil medium doesn’t look mushy. The reason for this recommendation is that the clay sand will have the minerals needed for the growth of the plant, so that you don’t have to bother too much adding fertilizers or other supplements.

– Water Conditions

Limnophila aromatica thrives in hard water conditions that are rich in minerals. Furthermore, it requires water that is warm enough to fulfil its requirements and has a balanced amount of CO2 and phosphate to ensure its beautiful colours can develop to their full extent.

Benefits of Limnophila Aromatica

Limnophila aromatica will offer a variety of pros to your tank and its inhabitants. Read on to find out what they are!

– Aesthetics

Limnophila aromatica will look aesthetically pleasing in your tank, with its rich and lush colours. It will also make the environment of your tank calming and soothing, which will make it a pleasant space for the fish you will keep in it.

– Hiding Places

If grown properly, Limnophila aromatica gives a bushy texture which acts as the perfect laying spot for any species of fish, as its leaves are thin but dense in appearance.

– Nutrition

The nutritional level of Limnophila aromatica is high due to its requirement of growing in hard water conditions. For this reason, when its leaves die, they act as food for the scavenging fishes.

– Oxygen

Limnophila Aromatica are known to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at a high rate, making your tank healthy for the fish you will keep in it.

Limnophila Aromatica: Uses

Limnophila aromatica offers many uses to humans as an aromatic and medicinal plant. Read on to know more about the ways in which you can use it.

– Edible Uses

You can use the leafy parts of the plant as a raw or cooked side dish for plain rice. Moreover, the aroma and flavor this plant offers is delicious and highly distinctive. It gives off a sweet and sour taste that is ideal for Vietnamese recipes. So, this is the best use of this plant so far.

Quick Cue: The plant is used in stir-fries and fish soups as well, and it is also known as the memory herb.

– Medicinal Uses

The leaves of the plant carries following characteristics:

  • Antispasmodic
  • Appetizer
  • Disinfectant
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Febrifuge
  • Galactagogue

People use the leaves of the plant to patients having fevers, gravel in the kidneys, haematuria etc. It is also thought to stimulate the appetite and to vacate mucus from the bronchial tubes.

This is the best plant to calm the stomach after eating a bit too much. Moreover, the sap of this plant’s leaves is also utilized to rinse injuries and sores on the limbs.

It is supposed to be a rather powerful therapy. Thus, this plant is quite helpful in the medicinal sector as well.

Is Limnophila Suitable for Your Aquarium?

No doubt, Limnophila aromatica is among the most beautiful species of the flowering plants, and it will look splendid in any fish tank. It gives a cool aesthetic look to the tank and acts like the perfect hiding spot for the fish.

The plant’s coloration solely depends upon the environment you give it: It will be the most colorful in a quality environment, which will in the end benefit you. This aquatic plant has a very soft scent to it when its leaves are crushed. Don’t worry, they are not toxic and they will look astonishing in your aquarium.

How Many Plants Can Be Kept Per Gallon?

In a 5 to 7-gallon tank, around 1 to 3 Limnophila aromatica plants will be best. If the tank is too small, they will not look as luscious as they could.

Does Limnophila Require CO2?

Limnophila plants are simple and easy to grow plants that have very low requirements. They can also survive low light conditions and the lack of CO2, but it would be best to fulfil their needs if you aim to have healthy plants.


With all that being said, you must be pretty excited right now to get yourself a Limnophila aromatica and make it look absolutely stunning. Your tropical fish will feel more comfortable and at home with these beautiful plants as their base and background. We have listed some of the major points regarding its care down below:

  • Make sure the temperature of the water stays warm. Hard water is recommended for Limnophila Aromatica.
  • Make sure that your tank has enough space for the plant to grow.
  • Add an external light source to your tank, as Limnophila aromatica needs bright lighting conditions for its colors to shine bright.
  • Make sure that the pH level of the water stays balanced.
  • The plant will grow in shady conditions, but not to its full extent.
  • If the plant doesn’t grow accordingly, adding external minerals like phosphate, nitrate is recommended.
  • Limnophila aromatica needs a substrate that is rich in nutrients. In those conditions, the plant will look exceptional. Add a bit of colourful gravel and small stones to bring out its warm colors.

We have listed and talked about the things you will need to grow Limnophila aromatica in a controlled environment. If you will keep these things in your mind, this plant will stay with you for years and provide a stunning look to your setup. If you like plants that give off pink and purple hues, then Limnophila aromatica is the right choice for you!

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