15 Types of Red Aquarium Plants

There are many varieties of Bright colored plants that can fit in your aquascape. Read on to find out all about Red Aquarium Plants!

The mystifying charm of red plants in the realm of your aquarium is always going to be an everlasting charm. While people think that these bright Red Aquarium Plants are only reserved for the experienced growers, there are plenty of options out there on which you can try your hands on! Here are some of the best ones!

Check out our article on Fishtank aquaponics ideas here


Red Aquarium Plants

1. Dwarf Rotala

Red Aquarium Plants

Botanical Name: Rotala rotundifolia

A classic aquarium plant, 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

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Botanical Name: Rotala indica

The Indian Toothcup is a favorite of aquarium hobbyists as a freshwater mid-ground plant. Its leaves are pink at the bottom and green towards the tips. With sufficient carbon dioxide, intense lighting (with full-spectrum bulbs – 5000-7000k), 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

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Botanical Name: Ludwigia arcuata

This is another easy to maintain plant that just needs 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. Additional iron supplements can help bring out the red tones of this plant.

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. You can bring out the best colors by giving the plant intense lighting and high nutrient levels.

7. Mermaid Weed

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Botanical Name: Proserpinaca palustris

This plant can take a 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, it can turn into a beautiful brick red. The wavy patterns of this plant look best as a mid-ground to your aquarium. It grows best in high lighting, CO2, and with rich fertilization.

9. Red Devil

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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 set between some taller plants. This plant is very easy to grow in almost any condition.

11. Red Diamond

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Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Red Diamond’

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). Regular application of fertilizer and proper lighting can achieve the desired red colors.

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 being that the soil is kept nutrient-rich. Remove the side shoots to control growth.

13. Hadi Red Pearl Sword

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Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Hadi Red Pearl’

One of the rarer breeds on this list, 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 its surface. The plants can grow about 4 to 9 inches tall.

14. Fancy Twist

Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Fancy Twist’

This eye-catching plant makes for a very pretty addition to your aquarium centerpieces as it’s round leaves vary in colors from green to dark red. It can be both emersed and submersed. Plant it directly in a substrate, as long as the roots are properly cared for and in reach of sufficient nutrition.

15. Red Chameleon

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Botanical Name: Echinodorus ‘Red Chameleon’

The Echinodorus Red Chameleon is a rather new variety that has deep red colored central leaves. Like all Echinodoriis, just keep the plant well-fed with a nutrient-rich substrate and regular fertilization. Also, keep adequate carbon dioxide levels for strong growth.


Why Do Plants Turn Red?

Depending on your plant of choice, the resultant red color might be introduced as a sort of deficiency of some nutrients or excess of some other nutrients. For example, iron causes plants to turn red but it also plays a part in the formation of chlorophyll, which again turns the leaves green.

Limited exposure to nitrogen and phosphate can also turn leaves red, and an increase can turn them green or brown. However, adjusting plant nutrition isn’t a good long term strategy as it can hamper the growth of the plants altogether.


How to Care for Red Aquarium Plants?

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your red plants thrive in your tank.

  1. Find out the precise lighting requirements for your plants and ensure you have the right setup in place. Since some plants require more light than others, arrange them accordingly.
  2. Check CO2 levels and keep it in the range your plants can grow best. Some plants require a particular pH and temperature range. While setting the balance of different parameters, it’s good to start with what you know and correct where needed.
  3. Trim any brown or dying leaves before they break off and affect the tank’s health levels. You should trim off any excess or damaged leaves before planting a new plant in the tank.
  4. Prune on a regular basis. Trim as you need to maintain the look of the aquarium.

Conclusion

While some red plants may be difficult to care for, others are easy. Start with some of the easier-to-maintain plants on this list and work your way up. It might take a little trial and error on your part, but with proper care and pruning, you are sure to get your tank looking like what it deserves!

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