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Aquatic and Terrarium Plant Care

Petco carries many types and varieties of plants:

  • Aquatic plants improve the water quality and add color and shape to your aquarium.
  • Desert plants require less water and humidity and are ideal for a desert terrarium.
  • Tropical plants are best suited for tropical terrariums and provide a lush tropical feel to any room.

Aquatic plants: Plants that can survive completely submerged under water. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and nitrates and provide shelter and security for fish. Aquatic plants are available potted or in a loose bunch. Examples of aquatic plants include echinodorus, anubias, cryptocoryne ludwigia, lilaeposis, microsorium, vallisneria, hygrophila and bolbitis. Fish-safe plant food can be added as needed to the water to enhance plant growth. Good aquarium lighting, specifically for live plants, is essential to the survival of aquatic plants.

  • Plants can grow in any substrate, but 2 to 3 inches of laterite covered with an inch of larger substrate is ideal. Plants can remain in the pots they were sold in or they can be removed from the pot and planted in the substrate.
  • If not using laterite, be sure to provide your aquatic plants with food additives, iron supplements and fertilizers. Some plants may also benefit from a liquid CO2 supplement.

Tropical plants: Tropical plants need high humidity and frequent watering. Popular tropical plants include bella palm, cracaena, aglonema and pothos.

  • Bella palm, or parlor palm, is a graceful palm that requires medium lighting, is hardy and has a fast growth rate. Whenever you place a neanthe bella, make sure that you don’t place it in afternoon sun. Do not let the plant sit in water.
  • Dracaena sanderiana, the "lucky bamboo," is actually not related to bamboo. It will do best in medium to high lighting and has a medium growth rate. While it can be submerged for short periods of time, it should never be submerged in water for more than a month at a time. This easy-to-care-for plant is a great choice for topping betta habitats.
  • Aglonema, or Chinese evergreen, is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that prefers low light and low humidity. Water regularly and keep the substrate continually moist.
  • Pothos is a beautiful vining plant with green or variegated heart-shaped leaves that will thrive in low light, as long as it is watered thoroughly when the top of the substrate dries out.
  • Brazilian swords are well-suited for an amphibian terrarium due to broad leaves and tolerance to high humidity.

Desert plants: These plants require less water and low humidity. Desert plants include crassula, haworthia and sanseveria.

  • Haworthia, or "zebra plant," is easy to grow and prefers moderate light. Allow the substrate to approach dryness before watering.
  • Crassula, the jade plant, is very popular. Its fleshy leaves and trunk-like stems give it a natural bonsai-like appearance. The jade plant is happy with bright light and low humidity. Water liberally, but allow the substrate to dry out before watering again.

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