Hornwort can be used either as a floating plant or as an upright stem plant. Although it has no roots, in nature it produces rootlike rhizoids that anchor it to the substrate. This fragile plant breaks easily and any sizable pieces will grow into individual plants. Side shoots are produced regularly and if left unattended, the plant becomes a dense mass of tangled vegetation. Hornwort can be used in coldwater and tropical tanks and provides good hiding areas for fry and young fish.
Common name: Chinese ivy, Japanese cress
Origin: China, Japan, Korea
This unusual plant can be placed in the foreground, even though it reaches up to 14 in (35 cm) in height. It has a messy appearance and unusual leaf shape and often looks best when planted in small groups of three or four stems in between smaller, low-growing foreground plants. At higher temperatures and without adequate lighting, leaf growth may be stunted and stems will become weaker. Ideal conditions include a low temperature, bright lighting, and a pH of 7-7.5. The plant is sensitive to many chemicals and does not do well in very soft water.
Maximum height: 14 in (35 cm)
Growth rate: Medium to Fast
Area: Midground, Foreground, Specimen, or unusual
Propagation: By cuttings, self-propagation
Difficulty: 1, 2
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