How To Grow Amazon Sword Plants: Planting, Propagation, Care & More

Amazon Sword plants are aquatic plants and are amongst the most popular species of flora that an aquarist can possibly pick to have on display in their tank.

This is because they’re super easy to care for and, aesthetically speaking, are wonderful to look at, as they’ll instantly brighten up your tank if you get one!

How To Grow Amazon Sword Plants: Planting, Propagation, Care & More

They also have a high endurance threshold, meaning they won’t die easily and you don’t have to pay them ridiculous amounts of attention all of the time to make sure they survive in your tank conditions.

They even reproduce without any hassle, so you can create a forest of them within your tank in no time, or share them with your friends and family so they can have some of their own.

Added to this, they provide so many benefits to your tank environment and the rest of the species in there, so they’re worth getting just for that. 

If you want to know all about Amazon Sword plants because you’re thinking of getting one, and you’d like to learn how exactly to grow them properly, read this expert guide to find out all about these impressive plants! 

Background

Amazon Sword plants come under the Echinodorus genus and their scientific name is Echinodorus grisebachii/amazonicus.

Technically speaking the entire Echinodorus genus are Amazon Sword plants, but a lot of aquarists contend that Echinodorus grisebachii/amazonicus is the true Amazon Sword plant. 

Therefore it’s likely that in shops you’ll see a lot of different plants – all of which still come under the Echinodorus genus – being sold under the name of Amazon Sword Plant, but this doesn’t matter too much, even if they’re not specifically Echinodorus grisebachii/amazonicus, as they’re all extremely similar and require the same care needs and water parameters anyway. 

They live under freshwater conditions and originate from the Amazon river basin, which is well known for having beautiful, unique plants. 

Because this plant is so popular amongst aquarists the world over, you can easily pick it up online or in any store that sells things for aquariums – and it only costs around $5 to $8 per plant!

The price is generally based around their size, though, and sometimes retailers offer an extra large one for $10 or more.  

Appearance

All Amazon Sword plants have the same basic appearance, despite there being different varieties of them. The main difference tends to be how big they are and the texture of their leaves.

They’re bushy plants and have a stem that’s quite short. Their leaves come straight out of the roots on fine scapes and are the part of the plants that make up most of their length, reaching almost 14 inches long.

The entire plant usually grows to about 15 to 16 inches.

The reason they’re referred to as Amazon Sword plants is because each individual leaf looks like the blade of a sword, making the plants look completely stunning and unique.

The leaves begin to get wider at the base and are at their thickest close to the middle, before getting narrower again as they go up towards the top.    

In terms of the color of the plants, they should be a fairly dark green, as long as you’ve got their tank’s water conditions good enough so they can actually thrive within their environment.

If they happen to turn brown or a dirty red color, it means they’re not getting enough nutrients, which is when you’ll need to take immediate action to make sure they survive by altering the tank conditions.

It’s also worth noting, even though you can’t necessarily see them, that their roots are a light color and are extremely strong and sturdy. They can go very far down into the soil at the bottom of the body of water that they’re living in.

Benefits

One of the best things about Amazon Sword plants, and potentially the biggest reason why they’re worth having, is the benefits that they provide to the rest of the living organisms you keep in your tank.

They particularly make a great habitat for certain fish to explore, hide or breed in, and they’ll do a great job of making your fish feel like they’re still in their natural environment in the wild.

Amazon Sword plants have a great impact on the water conditions in your tank due to the fact that they absorb carbon dioxide and, in turn, produce more oxygen for the fish that you have in there – all plants have this effect no matter which environment they’re planted in, and aquatic plants are no different! 

They also use fishes’ waste and other organic materials to help them grow, and therefore will keep ammonia and nitrate levels low, which will help with the general health of your fish. 

Planting

Planting Amazon Sword plants is, fortunately, a very easy task.

First, though, it’s important you check the general health of your plant and also quarantine it on its own to make sure it doesn’t have any diseases, infections or pests in it that will then transfer into your main tank, as this could be fatal to any living creature that you have present in there.

Once it’s been under quarantine for two weeks in a tank of its own, you’ll need to give it another check over and get rid of any leaves that are either dead or discolored because it can’t naturally heal by itself, meaning you’ll have to deal with any unhealthy parts of it. 

Next up, you need to prepare your main tank for the plant’s impending integration.

To do this successfully, you’ll have to dig a hole – only a small one – in any area within your tank that will allow plenty of room for the plant to grow; the center of the tank is usually the optimal place for it, but you can also put it in front of the tank’s filter or equipment if you have a very big tank.

Then, finally, put the rootstock in the hole that you’ve dug in a firm manner, making sure to leave the crown still visible. 

Maintenance

Maintenance

You’ll be happy to hear that Amazon Sword plants don’t actually need too much maintenance or attention at all.

You don’t even need to trim or prune them, but you can if you want to, simply for aesthetic reasons, as it will make them look much neater and cleaner. 

If you really do want to make the effort of trimming them, all you have to do is trim off any old growth that occurs as they eventually age.

This is quite an easy task anyway, as all of the old leaves are nearer to the outside of the plants, so they’re simple to gain access to. 

Even though Amazon Sword plants don’t tend to require much maintenance, they can pick up an infection or illness, which will result in their leaves losing their shape and their beautiful dark green color deteriorating.

This will then leave an outgrowth that looks black. 

If this does happen and you’re lucky enough to catch it early on in the process, try to remove the leaves that appear ill and double check the water conditions to make sure the quality is still spot on. Doing this could save your plant’s life! 

If you notice that the water conditions are extremely on the soft side, you’ll need to help your plant by adding combined supplements that contain micro elements into the tank, otherwise it might suffer from mineral starvation. 

Another small part of maintaining Amazon Sword plants, which is a habit you should already have got into as an aquarist anyway, is changing the water frequently because, despite the fact that these plants can deal with a flexible range of water conditions, they absolutely must not be kept in dirty water.

Propagation

The majority of Amazon Sword plants that you see in stores, and that you’ll end up buying yourself, began as propagations. In order to reproduce, they develop small blossoms that stick out from long stems.

However, even though they can easily reproduce in a wild setting, it’s extremely difficult to make them propagate in a tank environment. They will produce runners, though, which might allow you to potentially propagate them with your intervention. 

These runners give off the appearance of another leaf that’s beginning to grow, but instead the branch will continue to stay thin even as it outgrows the other leaves. Plantlets will then grow from the stem.

Here, you might have the possibility of being able to aid propagation and, in order to help them stand a chance of surviving, you’ll need to let them develop a few roots before then taking them out ready to replant in a different area of the tank. 

To go about this, you’ll have to trim off the runner in order to take the plantlets out by beginning the trimming at the end of it, which will subsequently allow the younger plants to continue growing. 

Finally, once that’s done, you’ll simply have to plant them back in the soil at the bottom of the tank and hold them in place with little rocks. You might also want to raise the carbon dioxide levels to aid its development. 

Care

Amazon Sword plants can deal with pretty flexible and varied water conditions, as long as they’re not extreme, such as boiling hot or freezing cold. Where they originate from, in the Amazon river basin, the climate and wildlife is very diverse and tropical. 

Many of the most popular fish that aquarists like to keep come from that area of the world as well, so if you already have a tank with these types of freshwater fish in, it will be extremely easy to introduce an Amazon Sword plant into it as the conditions should already be perfect for it.

Even though these plants come with a lot of flexibility in terms of water conditions, there are still ideal water parameters that it should be kept in if possible, which include a water temperature of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, a fairly neutral pH level of 6.5 to 7.7 and a water hardness of 3 to 8 KH.

Water hardness is particularly important because, as mentioned earlier, if it’s too soft they won’t get a sufficient amount of minerals.

When it comes to the amount of light they need, only a moderate amount is necessary, as too much will allow algae to grow on their leaves, which could make them unhealthy. 

It’s also worth mentioning that they can grow even a small tank of around 10 gallons, but the common recommendation is to put them in a tank that’s 20 to 30 gallons to let them grow as much as they possibly can.

Size

Speaking of growing, Amazon Sword plants’ leaves can reach around 12 inches long.

They’re also slow growers, which will make your life easier when you choose to buy one because it means it’ll be so much easier to deal with and keep in check than certain other species of plant. 

Final Thoughts

Amazon Sword plants are stunning aquatic plants that require very little maintenance due to their sturdy nature.

They’re bound to brighten up your tank with their beauty, but possibly the best part about them is the benefits that they provide to the rest of your tank’s inhabitants.

They’ll allow your fish to believe they’re swimming in their natural habitat in the wild, as they’ll give them plenty of places to breed, hide and explore, and they’ll also keep them healthy by providing them with extra oxygen as they soak up all the bad carbon monoxide from the tank.

It’s definitely worth getting an Amazon Sword plant for your tank, so we hope this guide has told you everything you need to know about Amazon Sword plants and how to grow them!

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