How To Plant Amazon Sword [ Full Guide ]

The Amazon sword plant (Echinodorus grisebachii) is a popular and visually captivating aquatic plant species often found in freshwater aquariums. Known for its vibrant green leaves and impressive size, the Amazon sword can become a stunning centerpiece to any aquatic environment when properly cared for. To ensure the successful growth and development of this striking plant, it is essential to understand the correct procedures for planting and maintaining it in an aquarium.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of planting Amazon sword plants, covering everything from selecting the right tank and substrate to preparing the planting environment and choosing high-quality plants. Whether you are a seasoned aquarium enthusiast or a beginner looking to enhance your aquatic setup, this article will equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to cultivate thriving Amazon sword plants in your aquarium.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Amazon Sword

Before delving into the details, here is a quick overview of the step-by-step process for planting Amazon sword plants:

  1. Choosing the Right Tank and Substrate: Select a suitable aquarium tank and substrate that provide the ideal conditions for Amazon sword growth.
  2. Preparing the Substrate for Planting: Ensure the substrate is prepared adequately to accommodate the planting of Amazon sword plants.
  3. Selecting High-Quality Amazon Sword Plants: Choose healthy and robust Amazon sword plants to ensure successful establishment and growth in the aquarium.
  4. Planting the Amazon Sword: Carefully plant the Amazon sword in the substrate, taking into consideration the optimal planting depth and spacing.
  5. Maintaining the Amazon Sword Plant: Establish a maintenance routine that includes proper lighting, fertilization, and regular care to facilitate the healthy growth of the Amazon sword plant.

By following these essential steps and incorporating the detailed instructions provided in this guide, you can create an optimal environment for the Amazon sword plant to flourish within your aquarium.

Choosing The Right Tank And Substrate

Selecting the appropriate aquarium tank and substrate is crucial for creating an optimal environment for Amazon sword plant growth. The following considerations will help guide you in making the right choices for your aquatic setup.

Aquarium Tank Selection

When choosing a tank for Amazon sword plants, consider the following factors:

  • Size: Select a tank size that accommodates the potential growth of Amazon sword plants. Larger tanks provide more space for planting and allow the plants to reach their full size without overcrowding.

  • Depth: While Amazon sword plants can thrive in various depths of water, a tank with a moderate depth allows for adequate root development and stability for the plants. A minimum depth of 12 inches (30 cm) is recommended for optimal growth.

  • Lighting: Consider the lighting requirements of Amazon sword plants. Tanks with appropriate lighting fixtures, such as LED or fluorescent lights, that can provide the necessary intensity and spectrum for plant growth are essential.

  • Water Circulation: Ensure the tank has sufficient water circulation to prevent stagnant areas that could lead to the accumulation of debris and hinder plant health.

Substrate Selection

The choice of substrate plays a significant role in providing essential nutrients and stability for Amazon sword plants. Consider the following factors when selecting a substrate:

  • Nutrient Content: Opt for a nutrient-rich substrate that provides essential nutrients for plant growth. Substrates specifically designed for planted aquariums often contain beneficial elements such as iron, potassium, and other micronutrients that support plant development.

  • Grain Size: Choose a substrate with a suitable grain size that allows for proper root penetration and aeration. Fine-grained substrates may compact easily, while excessively coarse substrates may hinder root development.

  • pH Stability: Ensure that the substrate composition contributes to maintaining stable and suitable pH levels within the aquarium. Amazon sword plants thrive in slightly acidic to neutral pH conditions.

  • Appearance: Consider the visual aesthetics of the substrate, as it will impact the overall appearance of the planted aquarium. Substrates come in a variety of colors and textures, allowing you to select one that complements the natural habitat and enhances the visual appeal of the Amazon sword plants.

Preparing The Substrate For Planting

Proper preparation of the substrate is essential to create an environment conducive to the growth of Amazon sword plants. Follow these steps to prepare the substrate for planting:

Substrate Rinse

Before adding the substrate to the aquarium, it is advisable to rinse it thoroughly to remove any fine particles, debris, or dust that may cloud the water or affect water quality. Place the substrate in a clean container or bucket and rinse it with water until the water runs clear. This process helps prevent excessive cloudiness in the aquarium upon initial setup.

Substrate Layering

Once the substrate is rinsed, carefully add it to the aquarium, creating a layer of the desired thickness. Aim for a substrate depth of approximately 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) to provide ample anchorage and nutrient availability for the Amazon sword plants.

Nutrient Supplement

Consider incorporating root tabs or substrate fertilizers designed for planted aquariums to provide additional nutrients for the Amazon sword plants. Place the nutrient supplements at intervals in the substrate to ensure even distribution and availability of essential nutrients for plant growth.

Substrate Leveling

After adding the substrate, gently level the surface using a substrate leveling tool or even a clean, flat object. This helps create a uniform substrate depth and provides a stable foundation for planting the Amazon sword plants.

Substrate Moistening

Before planting, moisten the substrate lightly to facilitate the initial establishment of the Amazon sword plants’ root systems. Avoid saturating the substrate excessively, as it may lead to anaerobic conditions that can be detrimental to plant health.

By diligently preparing the substrate according to these guidelines, you can create an optimal planting environment that sets the stage for the successful establishment and growth of Amazon sword plants within your aquarium.

Selecting High-Quality Amazon Sword Plants

Choosing healthy and robust Amazon sword plants is essential for ensuring successful establishment and long-term growth in the aquarium. When selecting Amazon sword plants, consider the following factors to identify high-quality specimens:

Visual Inspection

Examine the overall appearance of the Amazon sword plants to assess their health and vitality. Look for the following characteristics:

  • Vibrant Coloration: Healthy Amazon sword plants exhibit vibrant green leaves without signs of yellowing, browning, or discoloration. Avoid plants with dull or faded foliage, as they may indicate underlying health issues.

  • Firm and Plump Leaves: The leaves of healthy Amazon sword plants should be firm, turgid, and free from wilting or drooping. Avoid specimens with limp or sagging leaves, as they may be indicative of poor health or inadequate care.

  • Sturdy Stems and Roots: Inspect the stems and root systems of the plants for firmness and integrity. Healthy Amazon sword plants have sturdy stems and well-developed root systems that indicate vigor and resilience.

Pest And Disease Assessment

Carefully inspect the plants for any signs of pests or diseases that could compromise their health and spread to other inhabitants of the aquarium. Look for indications of common plant pests such as snails, aphids, or spider mites, as well as symptoms of fungal or bacterial infections.

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Size And Growth Stage

Consider the size and growth stage of the Amazon sword plants when making your selection. While smaller specimens may initially appear more affordable, larger plants typically have more extensive root systems and established growth, providing a head start for acclimation and development in the aquarium.

Source Reputation

If possible, acquire Amazon sword plants from reputable and trusted sources, such as established aquarium stores or certified aquatic plant suppliers. Reliable sources are more likely to offer healthy, well-cared-for plants that have been cultivated under favorable conditions.

Quarantine Period

Regardless of the source, consider implementing a quarantine period for newly acquired Amazon sword plants before introducing them to your main aquarium. This precautionary measure helps prevent the inadvertent introduction of pests or diseases that could jeopardize the well-being of existing aquatic inhabitants.

By carefully evaluating Amazon sword plants based on these criteria, you can select high-quality specimens that are poised for successful integration into your aquarium and subsequent flourishing within the aquatic environment.

Planting The Amazon Sword

Once you have prepared the substrate and selected healthy Amazon sword plants, it is time to proceed with the planting process. Follow these detailed steps to ensure proper planting and establishment of the Amazon sword within the aquarium:

Planting Depth

Consider the optimal planting depth for Amazon sword plants, as it directly impacts their growth and stability. When planting Amazon sword specimens, ensure that the crown, which is the point where the roots meet the base of the leaves, sits slightly above the substrate surface. A planting depth of approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) for the roots is generally suitable for most Amazon sword varieties.

Plant Spacing

Allow adequate spacing between individual Amazon sword plants to prevent overcrowding and provide ample room for their foliage and root systems to expand. Aim for a spacing interval of approximately 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) between each plant, adjusting as needed based on the specific growth characteristics of the selected Amazon sword species.

Planting Technique

To plant Amazon sword specimens, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the Plant: Trim any damaged or decaying leaves and roots from the Amazon sword plant using clean, sterile scissors. This promotes healthy regrowth and reduces the likelihood of introducing potential pathogens to the aquarium.

  2. Create Planting Holes: Use a planting tool, such as a pair of planting tweezers or a specialized planting tool, to create holes in the substrate at the desired planting locations. Ensure the holes are deep enough to accommodate the roots of the Amazon sword plant without causing undue compression or bending.

  3. Insert the Plant: Gently insert the roots of the Amazon sword plant into the planting holes, taking care to position the crown slightly above the substrate surface. Avoid burying the crown or exposing the roots excessively, as both scenarios can impede the plant’s ability to establish and thrive.

  4. Secure the Plant: Once the roots are in place, carefully backfill the planting holes with the substrate, securing the plant in position and providing adequate support for its upright growth.

Initial Settling And Anchoring

After planting the Amazon sword plants, lightly press the substrate around the base of each plant to facilitate initial settling and anchoring. This helps stabilize the plants and promotes proper root contact with the substrate for nutrient uptake and establishment.

Watering And Maintenance

Following the planting process, water the Amazon sword plants gently to settle the substrate and provide hydration to the newly planted specimens. Incorporate a regular maintenance routine that includes monitoring and adjusting water parameters, maintaining appropriate lighting levels, and ensuring the availability of essential nutrients to support the growth and development of the Amazon sword plants.

By following these detailed planting guidelines, you can optimize the conditions for Amazon sword establishment and foster their flourishing within the aquarium environment.

The successful planting of Amazon sword plants in an aquarium involves meticulous attention to tank and substrate selection, thorough substrate preparation, careful plant selection, and precise planting techniques. By adhering to these essential steps and taking into account the specific needs of Amazon sword plants, you can create a vibrant and flourishing aquatic environment that showcases the beauty and resilience of these captivating aquatic specimens. With proper care, maintenance, and attention to detail, your planted aquarium can become a captivating showcase of natural beauty, anchored by the regal presence of thriving Amazon sword plants.

Placing And Positioning The Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) is a popular aquatic plant known for its broad leaves and vibrant green color. It is a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts due to its ability to add beauty and depth to any underwater landscape. Native to the Amazon River basin, this plant is relatively easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of aquarium setups.

If you are considering adding the Amazon Sword to your aquarium, it is essential to understand the proper planting and maintenance techniques to ensure its growth and longevity.

Before planting the Amazon Sword, it is crucial to choose the right location within your aquarium. This plant can grow quite large, so it is best suited for medium to large-sized aquariums. The Amazon Sword requires ample space to spread its leaves and roots to flourish adequately.

1.Substrate Selection: Start by selecting a suitable substrate for your Amazon Sword. A nutrient-rich substrate is essential, as it provides the plant with the necessary nutrients for growth. Ideally, choose a substrate that is specifically designed for aquarium plants or one that contains a blend of sand, gravel, and natural clay.

2.Sword Placement: Place the Amazon Sword in the desired location within the aquarium. It is best to plant it towards the back or sides of the tank, as its size may obstruct the visibility of smaller tank inhabitants if placed in the center. Also, consider leaving sufficient space between other plants to prevent overcrowding.

3.Anchor the Plant: Gently push the Amazon Sword’s roots into the substrate. Ensure that the roots are buried securely and are in direct contact with the substrate. This will provide stability and allow the plant to absorb nutrients efficiently.

Adding Fertilizer And Nutrients To Promote Growth

To promote healthy growth and foliage development, it is essential to provide the Amazon Sword with an adequate supply of nutrients. While a nutrient-rich substrate is beneficial, additional fertilization is often necessary to meet the plant’s requirements. Here’s how you can fertilize the Amazon Sword:

1.Liquid Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizers specifically formulated for aquatic plants are readily available in the market. Choose a comprehensive fertilizing solution that contains a balanced mix of macro and micronutrients essential for plant growth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dosage and frequency of application.

2.Root Tabs: Another common method of providing nutrients to the Amazon Sword is by using root tabs. These are small pellets or capsules that contain a controlled release of nutrients. Bury the root tabs carefully in the substrate close to the plant’s roots during planting or as per the manufacturer’s directions. This method ensures a steady supply of nutrients directly to the roots.

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3.CO2 Supplementation: Carbon dioxide (CO2) supplementation is crucial for promoting healthy plant growth. While the Amazon Sword can survive in low or no CO2 environments, providing supplemental CO2 can significantly enhance its growth rate. CO2 can be added using a CO2 injection system or through liquid carbon supplements, which can be found in most aquarium stores. Carefully follow the instructions for safe and optimal CO2 levels.

It is important to monitor the plant’s nutrient levels regularly. Nutrient deficiencies may result in slower growth, yellowing leaves, or stunted plant development. Adjust fertilization methods accordingly to ensure the Amazon Sword receives adequate nutrition.

Proper Lighting For Amazon Sword

Lighting is a critical factor in the growth and overall health of the Amazon Sword. As a light-demanding plant, it requires a sufficient amount of light to carry out photosynthesis effectively. Proper lighting will help maintain vibrant green foliage and prevent the onset of algae growth. Here are some tips for providing suitable lighting conditions for your Amazon Sword:

1.Intensity and Duration: The intensity and duration of light exposure vary based on the aquarium setup and plant requirements. As a general guideline, provide an average of 8 to 10 hours of light per day. Adjust the intensity based on the plant’s response – if the leaves appear to be bleaching or turning yellow, reduce the light intensity.

2.Full-spectrum Lighting: Use full-spectrum lights designed specifically for aquatic plants. LED lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency, longevity, and ability to provide a broad spectrum of light. Choose lights that have a color temperature between 6500K to 7000K for optimal growth. These lights closely mimic natural daylight and promote healthy photosynthesis.

3.Light Placement: Ensure that the Amazon Sword receives direct lighting. Placing the light fixture above the tank, parallel to the surface of the water, will provide uniform coverage. Consider using reflectors or mounting options that allow you to adjust the angle and height of the light source. This will help to prevent shadows and ensure that all parts of the plant receive sufficient light.

4.Lighting Period: Maintaining a consistent lighting period is essential for the Amazon Sword’s growth. It is recommended to use a timer to automate the lighting schedule. A timer will ensure that the plant receives a consistent and appropriate amount of light each day, preventing overexposure or inconsistent lighting periods.

Maintaining The Water Chemistry

Maintaining proper water chemistry is essential for the health and growth of the Amazon Sword. While this plant is relatively tolerant of a wide range of water parameters, certain conditions are more conducive to its growth. Consider the following factors when it comes to water chemistry:

1.Temperature: The ideal temperature for the Amazon Sword lies between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). Ensure that the water temperature remains within this range to provide optimal conditions for its growth.

2.pH Level: The Amazon Sword can tolerate a range of pH levels between 6.5 to 7.5. However, it generally thrives in slightly acidic to neutral conditions. Monitoring the pH level and adjusting it within the suitable range will ensure the plant’s wellbeing.

3.Water Hardness: The Amazon Sword can adapt to a wide range of water hardness levels. However, consider maintaining a moderate to slightly hard water hardness level of about 5 to 15 dGH (German degrees of hardness). That said, some varieties of Amazon Sword may prefer softer water, so research the specific needs of your variety for best results.

4.Water Changes: Regular water changes are crucial for maintaining good water quality. It is recommended to perform partial water changes (approximately 20-30%) every one to two weeks. This will help to remove excess nutrients, waste, and chemicals that can accumulate over time. Ensure that the new water added during water changes matches the temperature and chemistry of the existing tank water.

5.Substrate Maintenance: Over time, the substrate might accumulate organic debris, which can affect water quality and plant health. Use a gravel vacuum during water changes to gently remove debris from the substrate’s surface. This will help maintain a clean and nutrient-rich environment for the Amazon Sword.

By carefully monitoring and maintaining the water chemistry within the optimal range, you can ensure the Amazon Sword’s thriving growth and overall health.

The Amazon Sword is an eye-catching and relatively easy-to-care-for plant that can enhance the aesthetics of your aquarium. By following the step-by-step planting guide mentioned above and providing the necessary care, you can ensure that your Amazon Sword thrives and becomes the centerpiece of your aquatic landscape. Remember to place the plant in a suitable location, provide adequate fertilization and lighting, and maintain optimal water chemistry. With consistent care and attention, your Amazon Sword will reward you with lush, vibrant foliage, creating a beautiful underwater oasis for your aquarium inhabitants.

Watering The Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus species) is a popular aquatic plant known for its vibrant green leaves and ability to thrive in aquariums. It is native to the Amazon River basin in South America and is commonly found in freshwater habitats. Planting and caring for the Amazon Sword can bring a touch of natural beauty and a sense of tranquility to your aquarium or aquatic garden.

Proper watering is crucial for the healthy growth of an Amazon Sword plant. Here are some important points to consider when watering your plant:

  1. Water Quality: The quality of water should be suitable for the Amazon Sword to flourish. The plant prefers water with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6-7.5. Additionally, it thrives in soft to moderately hard water with a General Hardness (GH) level of 2-15 dGH.

  2. Lighting: Amazon Sword requires moderate to high lighting conditions to grow optimally. Provide 10-12 hours of light per day using full-spectrum aquarium lights. Be mindful of maintaining a balance between light intensity and duration, as excessive light can lead to algae growth.

  3. Depth: Plant the Amazon Sword in the substrate, ensuring that the roots are well-covered. The ideal depth should be around 2-4 inches to promote root growth.

  4. Substrate: Use a nutrient-rich substrate specifically designed for aquatic plants. The Amazon Sword is a heavy root feeder and benefits from a substrate that provides essential nutrients like iron and micronutrients. A well-suited substrate option is a mix of gravel, laterite, and clay.

  5. Water Temperature: Maintain a water temperature between 72-82°F (22-28°C) for the Amazon Sword to flourish. This range mimics the natural conditions of its native habitat.

  6. Water Changes: Regular water changes are essential to prevent the accumulation of harmful substances and maintain water quality. Replace approximately 20-25% of the water every week to provide fresh nutrients and maintain optimal conditions for the plant’s growth.

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Pruning And Trimming The Amazon Sword

Pruning and trimming are necessary to control the size and maintain the overall health of the Amazon Sword. Here’s how you can go about it:

  1. Removing Dead or Damaged Leaves: Inspect your Amazon Sword regularly and remove any dead or damaged leaves promptly. These leaves not only affect the aesthetic appeal of the plant but can also become a breeding ground for diseases and pests.

  2. Controlling Growth: Amazon Sword plants can grow rapidly and can outgrow the aquarium if not properly maintained. Trim the leaves and stems to manage the size and shape of the plant. Use a pair of sharp, clean scissors to cut the leaves close to the base. Avoid cutting too close to the crown as it may damage the plant.

  3. Root Pruning: Over time, the roots of the Amazon Sword can become extensive and may start to crowd the aquarium. If the plant becomes root-bound, it is necessary to prune the roots. Gently lift the plant from the substrate and carefully trim away a portion of the roots. Not only will this help control the plant’s size, but it will also encourage the growth of new feeder roots.

  4. Pruning Flower Stems: Amazon Swords occasionally produce tall flower stems with small white flowers. While these flowers add visual interest, they can divert energy from the plant’s main growth. Consider pruning the flower stems to redirect nutrients towards leaf and root development.

Preventing Common Amazon Sword Plant Diseases

Like any other plant, the Amazon Sword is susceptible to certain diseases. By following these preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of disease and ensure a healthy plant:

  1. Quarantine New Plants: Whenever you introduce new aquatic plants to your aquarium, it is essential to quarantine them for a few weeks before adding them to the main tank. This allows you to observe and address any potential disease issues before they spread to other plants.

  2. Proper Tank Maintenance: Regularly maintain your aquarium by removing decaying organic matter, excess algae, and debris. These can attract pests and pathogens that can harm the Amazon Sword and other aquatic plants.

  3. Water Circulation and Aeration: Ensure adequate water circulation and aeration in the tank. Stagnant water increases the risk of diseases. Running a filter and using a water pump or air stones significantly improve water movement and oxygenation.

  4. Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding the aquarium can create a favorable environment for diseases to thrive. Properly space out plants to allow air circulation, prevent shading, and reduce the chances of disease transmission.

  5. Healthy Water Parameters: Regularly test the water parameters, including pH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels. An imbalance in these parameters can stress the Amazon Sword plant and make it more vulnerable to diseases. Take necessary steps to correct any inconsistencies.

  6. Disease Identification and Treatment: Familiarize yourself with common Amazon Sword diseases, such as black beard algae, leaf spot, and root rot. If you notice any signs of disease, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or decaying roots, take prompt action. Consult with a local aquarium expert or veterinarian specializing in aquatic plants for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Propagation Of Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword can be propagated through various methods, including division and plantlets. Here are the steps to propagate this plant:

  1. Division: To divide the Amazon Sword, carefully remove the entire plant from the substrate. Gently separate the root mass into two or more sections, ensuring each section has healthy leaves and roots. Plant the divided sections in different locations in the aquarium or separate tanks.

  2. Plantlets: Amazon Sword plants produce small plantlets, also known as daughter plants, on their stems. These plantlets can be separated from the parent plant once they have developed their roots and leaves. Cut the stem connecting the plantlet to the parent plant and plant it separately in the substrate. Ensure that the plantlet has enough nutrition and lighting to establish itself.

  3. Emersed Growth Method: The Amazon Sword also has the ability to grow emersed, meaning it can grow partially or fully out of the water. To propagate using this method, remove a healthy leaf along with its petiole (stalk). Plant the petiole in a moist substrate and maintain high humidity. Over time, the petiole will develop new roots and give rise to a new Amazon Sword plant.

  4. Propagation Timing: The best time to propagate the Amazon Sword is during the plant’s active growth phase. This generally occurs during spring and summer when the plant is actively producing new leaves and roots.


Planting and caring for an Amazon Sword can be a rewarding experience, adding natural beauty and vibrancy to your aquarium or aquatic garden. By following the guidelines mentioned above for watering, pruning, disease prevention, and propagation, you can ensure the healthy growth and longevity of this remarkable aquatic plant. Remember to provide the appropriate environment, maintain water quality, and monitor your plant regularly to prevent and address any issues that may arise. With proper care, your Amazon Sword will thrive and become a stunning centerpiece of your aquatic ecosystem.


How Deep Should I Plant My Amazon Sword In The Substrate?

As a general rule, the Amazon sword should be planted in the substrate at a depth of 2-3 inches. This will allow enough room for the roots to spread and establish themselves while keeping the plant stable.

Do I Need To Use A Specific Type Of Substrate For My Amazon Sword?

Amazon swords are known to do well in nutrient-rich substrates such as aquarium soil, sand, or gravel. It is important to choose a substrate that will provide essential nutrients for the plant’s growth.

Can I Plant My Amazon Sword In A Low-light Aquarium?

Yes, Amazon swords can thrive in low to moderate lighting conditions. However, to encourage faster growth and larger leaves, it is recommended to provide moderate to high lighting for your plant.

How Often Should I Fertilize My Amazon Sword?

Amazon swords are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization to thrive. It is recommended to use a liquid fertilizer once a week or a root tab fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, depending on the needs of your aquarium.

How Do I Avoid Damaging The Delicate Roots Of My Amazon Sword While Planting?

When planting your Amazon sword, it is important to be gentle with the plant’s delicate roots. To avoid damage, try using your fingers or a pair of tweezers to create a small hole in the substrate before gently inserting the roots and covering them with substrate. Avoid pulling or tugging on the roots as this can cause damage and hinder the plant’s growth.