Name: Lobelia cardinalis|
Origin: Southeast USA|
I own one of this plant. The plant definitely needs bright light or the leaves will turn semi-yellow. However the root can grow very densely which suggests it needs a lot of nutrients. The one I have grows very densely and it is a prefered hiding ground for my shrimp. However, the mollies like to nibble on it. It is a great plant if you keep shrimp or have newborn fishes.
I USED to have one of this lovely plant. However, due to insufficient light it wilted away. This plant requires a bright light and lots of nutrients. My lobelia was kept in a plastic pot and you can see roots growing from all over the place. It also requires CO2 to stay green and grow. I would not recommend this plant to anyone who just took up the hobby and do not have CO2 and good tank environment.
When I initially purchased these, I thought that it was a low-growing bushy plant. But since I have moved them to a new tank with brighter lighting and more nutrients, it has begun to grow upwards. It rooted easily in my clay substrate and the leaves have not needed trimming as of yet. As the commenter said above, it thrives in bright lighting and it should be a priority for this plant.
I recently added this very beautiful plant to my aquascape. It is planted in a flourite substrate and with the addition of CO2 and PMDD along with 0.6 W/L fluorescent lighting the 5 plants I have are just doing great. This plant can be used as a foreground plant with constant trimming and replanting the trimmings. Or, as with my plants, let them grow in the midsection, which are about 9 cm tall so far. The attached picture is just after I planted them.
Lobelia cardinalis or Cardinal Flower is a native American (Northeast) bog plant. It is not a true aquatic plant, hence it needs strong light and rich substrate. If provided with conditions it needs, it will likely want to grow very large and out of the tank to eventually flower.
I have both forms of Lobelia cardinalis, the dwarf form and the larger form. Both are growing extremely well in two different aquariums. I find with the larger form to keep it shorter, I will trim it and replant the tops. After trimming the remaining stems will put out more side shoots. My dwarf form has not needed any trimming as of yet and is very bushy. I do have CO2 and High Powered DIY LED lights on my aquariums. My substrate is mineralized soil and I do use dry fertilizers on a regular basis.
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