29 Types of Red Aquarium Plants

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Read on to find out all about Red Aquarium Plants! These beautiful varieties will surely make your aquascape pop with vibrancy.

Looking for red plants for aquarium? While people think that these bright Red Aquarium Plants are only reserved for experienced growers, there are plenty of options out there for beginners as well! Here are some of the best red aquarium plants!

Check out our article on Fishtank aquaponics ideas here

Why Do Aquarium Plants Turn Red?

Aquatic plants turn red due to a fascinating natural process that involves the interaction of pigments, light, and environmental conditions. The red coloration is primarily attributed to pigments called anthocyanins.

When exposed to certain light conditions, these pigments react by producing red hues. The red coloration serves various purposes in plants, including protection against excess sunlight and UV radiation.

Additionally, changes in water chemistry play a role in this color transformation. Acidic water, for instance, can enhance the red pigmentation in certain plants. Factors such as iron availability and pH levels influence the extent of red coloration.

Note: You should know that not all aquarium plants turn red, and the degree of color change can vary based on the species, genetics, and environmental factors. 

Beautiful Red and Black Flowers

Red Aquarium Plants

1. Dwarf Rotala

Red Aquarium Plants

Botanical Name: Rotala rotundifolia

A classic among red aquarium plants, it needs only intense lighting and pruning once it has reached the surface. Low light might harm the plant. But you can grow it well in medium light. Try to maintain proper lighting so that the plant can introduce its true colors.

2. Red Wallichii

Botanical Name: Rotala wallichii “Red”

Red Wallichii is one of the more popular plants among aquarium hobbyists. It is a stem plant with pink-red hues and needle-like leaves. The surface parts of the plant develop lateral shoots and produce the most vibrant colors under the right growing conditions.

3. Indian Toothcup

Red Aquarium Plants 2

Botanical Name: Rotala indica

The Indian Toothcup is a favorite of aquarium hobbyists as one of the best red aquarium plants. Its leaves are pink at the bottom and green towards the tips. With sufficient carbon dioxide, intense lighting, and an appropriate dose of iron, the plant can grow and spread across the water quite quickly.

4. Red Mint Plant

Botanical Name: Alternanthera reineckii

This is a very fashionable but also very demanding plant to grow. It is ideal for growing in a small aquarium. More exposure to ideal lighting will bring out the best colors. The flowered leaves have different shapes and shades. The tips of the leaves can be sage green, and the lower surface is deep purple to red.

5. Narrow Leaf Ludwigia

Red Aquarium Plants 3

Botanical Name: Ludwigia arcuata

This is another easy-to-maintain choice of red aquarium plants that just need extra lighting to turn orange to red. Pruning the top of the stem produces new shoots from the newly formed node. Doing this repeatedly grants you the look that most hobbyists aim for.

6. Water Purslane

Botanical Name: Ludwigia palustris

The leaves of this plant can be gold, red, or orange, depending on the conditions present in your tank. It grows side shoots that can be used to replant the cut-off shoots that grow roots in very little time.

7. Mermaid Weed

Red Aquarium Plants 4

Botanical Name: Proserpinaca palustris

This plant can take the transition from its green hue to an orange-red submersed form. It needs sufficient lighting, carbon dioxide, and nutrients to thrive. Since it grows slower than most plants in this category, you need only trim it a few times once in a while.

8. Copper Leaf Ammania

Botanical Name: Ammania senegalensis

Copper Leaf Ammania has some color variations. But with the right lighting and proper nutritive care, you can turn these into beautiful brick red aquarium plants. The wavy patterns of this plant look best as a mid-ground to your aquarium.

9. Red Devil

Red Aquarium Plants 5

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Red Devil’

The Red Devil is actually a combination of a few different species. With nutrient-rich soil and generous lighting, it can get deep ruby-red colors. While carbon dioxide can be additional, you should take care to fertilize the plant bed regularly.

10. Brown Cryptocoryne

Botanical Name: Cryptocoryne albida ‘Brown’

This plant has long and narrow leaves and is ideal for the foreground. The leaves grow red-brown with crimped edges and can grow up to 6 inches long, which would look great to set between some taller plants. This plant is very easy to grow in almost any condition.

Birds with Red Chest | Red Breasted Birds

11. Red Diamond

Red Aquarium Plants 6

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Red Diamond’

Looking for red aquarium plants? Under the right conditions, the 6-12 inch long leaves of Red Diamond can take on deep, ruby red colors. It’s a good plant for a low-maintenance aquarium and does well in temperature ranges of 60-85F (16C to 33C).

12. Red Banana

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ozelot

Red Banana has dominant veins and bright red spots. It’s a good mid-ground option to add deep red colors to your aquarium. The only requirement is that the soil is kept nutrient-rich. Remove the side shoots to control growth.

13. Hadi Red Pearl Sword

Red Aquarium Plants 7

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Hadi Red Pearl’

One of the rarer breeds on the list of red aquarium plants, the Hadi Red Pearl Sword, is very easy to care for. The plants have large, blunt, sword-shaped leaves that grow from the center to outward, with heavy red markings that cover most of their surface.

14. Fancy Twist

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Fancy Twist’

This eye-catching plant makes for a very pretty addition to your aquarium centerpieces, as its round leaves vary in colors from green to dark red. It can be both emersed and submersed.

15. Red Chameleon

Red Aquarium Plants 8

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Red Chameleon’

The Echinodorus Red Chameleon is a rather new variety among red aquarium plants that has deep red-colored central leaves. Like all Echinodoriis, just keep the plant well-fed with a nutrient-rich substrate and regular fertilization.

16. Red Ludwigia

Botanical Name: Ludwigia repens

Need easy to grow red aquarium plants? You’ll love the striking appearance of Red Ludwigia in your aquarium. Its leaves are a vibrant red color, adding a burst of color to your tank. This plant is fairly easy to care for.

17. Red Alternanthera

Botanical Name: Alternanthera reineckii

Bring a touch of elegance to your red aquarium plants with Red Alternanthera. This plant features red-toned leaves that contrast beautifully against the greenery in your tank. It requires moderate to high light and regular pruning to maintain its compact shape.

18. Indian Red Rotala

Botanical Name: Rotala indica

Indian Red Rotalas are graceful and easy red aquarium plants with thin stems and vibrant red leaves. These are a wonderful choice if you’re aiming for a lush, colorful underwater landscape.

19. Sunset Hygro

Botanical Name: Hygrophila polysperma

Sunset Hygro, also known as Hygrophila polysperma, brings a warm glow to your tank. Its leaves range from green to red, creating a captivating gradient of colors. Regular pruning will prevent it from overshadowing other plants, allowing you to enjoy all your red aquarium plants.

20. Red Nesaea

Botanical Name: Nesaea Crassicaulis

Red Nesaea is a captivating red aquarium plant with leaves that range from green to intense red, depending on lighting and nutrient levels. To encourage its redder hues, offer it high light and nutrient-rich substrate. Regular pruning will help shape its growth.

Best Vines and Climbers with Red Flowers

21. Red Rubin Sword

Botanical Name: Echinodorus rubra

Red Rubin Sword is a distinctive sword plant with deep red leaves. It makes for a stunning centerpiece in your aquarium. Give it moderate to high light and nutrient-rich substrate for optimal growth and coloration.

22. Red Myriophyllum

Botanical Name: Myriophyllum

Still on the search for aquarium red plants? Red Myriophyllum, also known as Red Foxtail, has feathery red foliage that resembles a fox’s tail. It thrives under strong lighting and benefits from regular trimming to encourage dense growth and maintain its reddish appearance.

23. Red Wendtii Crypt

Botanical Name: Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Red’

Red Wendtii Crypt, or Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Red,’ is a popular choice among midground red aquarium plants. Its leaves range from green to deep red, depending on conditions. Plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate and provide moderate lighting to promote its red tones.

24. Giant Red Rotala

Botanical Name: Rotala macrandra

Giant Red Rotala is a larger variety of Rotala with vibrant red leaves. It adds vertical interest to your tank and flourishes under high-light conditions. Proper nutrient supplementation is essential to keep its red color vivid.

25. Red-flowered Bladderwort

Botanical Name: Utricularia graminifolia

Red-flowered Bladderwort is a unique carnivorous variety of the different red aquarium plants. It features tiny red flowers above the water’s surface and a submerged carpet of grass-like foliage. It doesn’t require traditional planting; instead, use it as a red floating aquarium plant.

26. Red Tiger Lotus Aquarium Plant

Botanical Name: Nymphaea zenkeri ‘Red’

The Red Tiger Lotus is an aquatic plant with striking red leaves that resemble a lotus. It requires moderate to high light, nutrient-rich substrate, and regular pruning to maintain its vibrant color. It can grow submerged or emersed, making it a versatile addition to your aquarium.

27. Malaysian Red Aquarium Plant (Red Java Fern)

Botanical Name: Microsorum pteropus ‘Red’

The Malaysian Red is a popular red aquarium plant known for its vibrant reddish hue. It thrives in bright lighting and benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate. Regular trimming and balanced nutrient supplementation will enhance its growth and color intensity.

28. Red Flame Sword

Botanical Name: Echinodorus schlueteri x E. barthii hybrid

The Red Flame Sword aquarium plant is a captivating aquatic plant that adds a burst of color to your aquarium. Its vibrant red leaves contrast beautifully against green surroundings, creating a striking focal point.

29. Red Cabomba

Botanical Name: Cabomba furcata

Red Cabomba is a captivating red aquarium plant known for its delicate and feathery red foliage. Its vibrant red color adds a vivid contrast to your aquarium. Its finely divided leaves create a unique texture, making Red Cabomba an eye-catching choice for aquascaping enthusiasts.

Best Red Flower Names

How to Get Rich Red Aquarium Plants?


You can easily ensure that your red aquarium plants shine with a rich red hue by following these tips. 

1. Optimal Lighting

Provide your aquarium plants with strong and balanced lighting, especially in the blue and violet spectrum. Use LED lights designed for planted tanks or aquariums to promote intense red pigmentation.

2. CO2 Injection

Maintain a stable and adequate supply of carbon dioxide (CO2) in your aquarium. CO2 injection enhances photosynthesis, which is essential for the production of red pigments.

3. Nutrient Supplementation

Use a comprehensive liquid fertilizer that includes micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and trace minerals. This ensures a balanced nutrient intake for optimal growth and color.

4. Avoid Excessive Light

While strong light is essential, avoid excessive light intensity, as it can stress plants and lead to undesirable outcomes. Find the right balance for your specific plants.

5. Consistent Care Routine

Stick to a consistent care routine that includes water changes, substrate maintenance, and overall tank cleanliness. A healthy environment promotes vibrant colors.

How to Care for Red Aquarium Plants?


Maintaining the vibrant red coloration of your aquarium plants requires attention to their specific needs. Here are essential care guidelines to ensure the health and beauty of your red aquatic plants:

  • Pruning and Maintenance: Trim your plants regularly to remove older leaves, promoting the growth of new, vibrant foliage. Pruning also ensures proper light penetration and prevents overcrowding.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain consistent water parameters, including temperature, pH, and hardness. Fluctuations in water conditions can stress plants and hinder their color development.
  • Water Quality: Perform regular water changes to remove excess nutrients and maintain water quality. Red plants thrive in clean water, and regular changes prevent the buildup of toxins.
  • Temperature Stability: Maintain a stable water temperature within the recommended range for your specific plants. Sudden temperature fluctuations can stress plants and affect their coloration.

Using Aquarium Water for Plants


1. How to Make Aquarium Plants Red?

To enhance the red coloration of red aquarium plants, ensure they receive intense lighting in the blue and violet spectrum. Use nutrient-rich substrate, dose liquid fertilizers containing micronutrients like iron, and maintain stable CO2 levels. Prune regularly and maintain optimal water parameters to encourage rich red hues.

2. Best Aquarium Light for Red Plants?

LED lights designed for planted tanks are ideal for red aquarium plants. Look for lights with adjustable color spectrums that include blue and violet wavelengths. Adjustable intensity and a timer feature allow you to fine-tune lighting conditions for optimal growth and red color development.

3. How to Grow Red Aquarium Plants?

Don’t know how to grow red plants aquarium? To grow red aquarium plants successfully, provide them with strong lighting, nutrient-rich substrate, and proper CO2 levels. Regularly dose a comprehensive liquid fertilizer and trim old leaves to encourage new growth. Monitor water parameters and maintain water quality to support their health and vibrant color.

4. Is Red Light Good for Aquarium Plants?

While plants primarily absorb light in the blue and red spectrums, red light encourages flowering and fruiting. However, an excess of red light alone can lead to imbalanced growth and undesirable algae growth. It’s important to provide a balanced spectrum of light, including blue and green wavelengths, to support overall plant health and development.

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