Origin and Overview

Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) is an easy aquatic plant that won’t require much of your attention to keep alive. Both beginners and expert aquarists use the plant. It grows quickly and has a hardy nature, making it one of the more common plants used by aquarium hobbyists.

Water Wisteria originates from the Indian subcontinent. It is found in India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The plant primarily grows in shallow water and can either stay rooted to the ground or flat on the surface of the water. The plant mostly grows during the rainy season in the wild, but it grows through the year in aquariums.

This aquatic plant is relatively small, typically growing to an average height of 50 cm (20 inches) with a width of 25 cm (10 inches). It can be much smaller in low-light aquariums, growing narrow leaves.

The plant is the ideal addition to the rear or middle of the aquarium due to its size. It could also be used as a carpet plant if rooted in place on its side. This causes the laves to only grow on the side that faces up, making the front of the aquarium look like a carpet.

Water Wisteria In An Aquarium

Water Wisteria In An Aquarium

Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons

Care Level: Easy

Water Conditions: 6.5-7.5 ph and Soft to Moderately Hard

Temperature: 75–82 °F (24-28 °C)

Maximum Size: 20 inches (50 cm)

Water Wisteria Care

It’s very easy to care for water wisteria. The only thing it needs to continue to grow properly is a rich substrate or fertilizer tabs. They do grow best when exposed to a lot of light, but they can still grow adequately with lower lighting levels.

Some people will insist adding CO2 is necessary for proper growth, but I personally feel that they don’t need additional CO2 in order to thrive. What that said, their rate of growth can depend on the chemical make-up of your water.

Video Courtesy of Maverick Tide

When choosing the right substrate, it’s a good idea to purchase specialty plant substrates. Even with that said though, the plant will do fine if placed in small grain gravel provided they get enough root tab fertilizer.

You need to take the extra step of anchoring the water wisteria to something if you decide on a sand substrate. This allows time for the roots to grow into the sand. The plant can easily become detached if the roots aren’t yet developed fully.


Most fish will get along fine with, but large fish could damage the plant if kept together because of its fine leaves. It works best in tanks with small non-cichlid fish. However, never put water wisteria in a tank with goldfish. Goldfish will eat the plant and leave behind nothing but a few stems poking through the substrate.

Water Wisteria In An Aquarium

Water Wisteria In An Aquarium