How To Plant Anubias [ Full Guide ]

Anubias is a versatile and popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts and plant lovers. It’s an attractive, low-maintenance plant that can thrive in a variety of aquatic environments. However, planting and caring for Anubias requires specific techniques to ensure its growth and vitality. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of planting Anubias, including different types, benefits, and the necessary steps to ensure its successful cultivation.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Anubias

To plant Anubias, begin by selecting a suitable location within your aquarium or aquatic environment. Choose a pot or area with substrate that is free from organic debris. Secure the Anubias by attaching it to driftwood, rocks, or other decor using fishing line or specialized plant glue. Keep the rhizome, the thick stem from which the leaves grow, above the substrate to prevent rot. Maintain a consistent temperature, lighting, and water quality to support the Anubias’ growth.

Benefits Of Anubias

Anubias plants offer several benefits, making them a valuable addition to aquatic landscapes. These benefits include oxygenation of the water, natural filtration of toxins, reduction of algae growth, and the provision of shelter for aquatic organisms. Additionally, Anubias enhances the aesthetic appeal of aquariums or aquatic environments with its lush, green foliage, thereby creating a visually appealing and naturalistic habitat for aquatic species.

Types Of Anubias

Anubias plants come in several varieties, each with its unique characteristics and requirements. Some common types include Anubias barteri, Anubias nana, Anubias frazeri, and Anubias coffeefolia. Each type varies in leaf shape, size, and growth patterns, providing options for aquarists to choose according to their specific preferences and tank conditions.

Soil And Pot Requirements

When planting Anubias, it is essential to consider the soil and pot requirements to facilitate its growth and health. Anubias can thrive without soil and is often attached to driftwood, rocks, or other decor. However, if placing it in a pot, it is crucial to use a suitable substrate, such as aquarium gravel or specialized aquatic soil. Additionally, choosing a pot with proper drainage and size is essential to prevent waterlogging and promote healthy root development.

Successfully planting Anubias requires attention to detail and care to create an ideal environment for its growth. By understanding the specific requirements of Anubias plants, such as attachment methods, water conditions, and lighting, enthusiasts can create a thriving aquatic landscape that showcases the beauty and benefits of these versatile plants. Through proper planting techniques and ongoing maintenance, Anubias can contribute to a vibrant and balanced aquatic ecosystem, serving as a natural focal point and enhancing the overall health and aesthetic of the environment.

Watering Anubias

Anubias is a popular aquatic plant that is known for its attractive, broad leaves and ease of care. It is native to Africa and is commonly found in freshwater bodies such as rivers and streams. Anubias can make a beautiful addition to any aquarium or pond, as well as being used as a great ornamental plant for a water garden.

One of the key factors in the successful growth of Anubias is proper watering. Anubias is a semi-aquatic plant, meaning that it can survive in both fully submerged and partially submerged conditions. However, it is important to strike the right balance to ensure optimal growth and prevent issues such as root rot.

When planting Anubias in an aquarium or pond, it is best to plant it in a substrate that is well-draining. This can be a mixture of aquarium soil and gravel or other suitable substrates. Avoid using substrates that compact easily, as this can prevent water circulation around the roots.

It is recommended to partially bury the rhizome of the Anubias, leaving the crown of the plant exposed. Burying the rhizome too deep can lead to rot, so it is important to plant it at the right depth.

When it comes to watering Anubias, it is important to avoid overwatering. Anubias is a slow-growing plant and does not require excessive amounts of water. It is best to allow the top layer of substrate to dry slightly before watering again. This will help prevent the onset of root rot and ensure the health of your plant.

Light Requirements For Anubias

Proper lighting is crucial for the growth and development of Anubias plants. As a low-light plant, Anubias does not require intense light sources and can thrive in moderate to low lighting conditions. This makes it an ideal choice for aquariums and ponds that do not have high-intensity lighting setups.

When selecting a light source for your Anubias, it is important to choose an appropriate spectrum. A light that emits a spectrum similar to natural sunlight is ideal for promoting photosynthesis and overall plant growth.

If you are planting Anubias in an aquarium, consider using LED lights specifically designed for planted tanks. These lights provide a balanced spectrum and are energy-efficient. Ensure that the lights are not too close to the plants, as this can cause excessive heat and damage the leaves.

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In an outdoor water garden or pond, ensure that the Anubias is placed in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn, so it is best to provide partial or dappled shade.

Temperature And Humidity

Anubias plants thrive in a range of temperatures typically found in tropical freshwater environments. The ideal temperature range for Anubias is between 72°F and 82°F (22°C to 28°C). This makes it suitable for most aquariums and ponds.

Maintaining an appropriate humidity level is also important for the health of your Anubias plants. Anubias is adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels, but it thrives in moderate to high humidity conditions. Regular misting or using a humidifier can help create a suitable environment for your Anubias.

It is important to note that sudden temperature or humidity fluctuations can stress the plant and lead to issues such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. To ensure the well-being of your Anubias, try to maintain stable and consistent temperature and humidity levels.

How To Choose The Right Anubias For Your Garden

Choosing the right Anubias for your garden involves considering various factors, such as growth habits, size, and leaf shape. Below are some popular Anubias species to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Anubias barteri: This is one of the most common and widely available species of Anubias. It has broad, dark green leaves and grows well in both aquariums and ponds.

  2. Anubias nana: This species is characterized by its smaller size and compact growth habit. It is perfect for smaller aquariums or as a foreground plant in larger tanks.

  3. Anubias coffeefolia: This species has unique leaves with a slightly crinkled appearance, resembling the shape of coffee beans. It adds an interesting texture to any aquarium or pond.

When selecting Anubias, it is important to check for signs of healthy growth. Look for plants with vibrant green leaves and no signs of disease or pest infestation. Avoid plants with yellowing or wilted leaves, as this could indicate poor health.

Additionally, be mindful of the size and growth habits of the Anubias you choose. Some species can grow quite large and may not be suitable for smaller aquariums or ponds. Consider the space you have available and choose accordingly.

Planting Anubias can add a touch of natural beauty to your aquarium or water garden. By understanding the proper care requirements, such as watering, light, temperature, and choosing the right Anubias species, you can create an environment that promotes the healthy growth of these stunning plants.

Remember to provide appropriate lighting, plant the Anubias at the right depth, and avoid overwatering. Monitor the temperature and humidity levels to ensure a stable and optimal environment. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty of Anubias for years to come.

Propagation Of Anubias

Anubias is a popular aquatic plant that is commonly used in aquariums and terrariums. It is known for its beautiful green leaves and ease of care, making it a favorite among both beginner and experienced plant enthusiasts.

Anubias can be propagated in various ways, including division, rhizome cuttings, and tissue culture. Let’s take a closer look at each method:


Division is the most common method used to propagate Anubias. It involves separating the plant into smaller sections, each with its own rhizome and roots. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Carefully remove the Anubias plant from its pot or aquarium. Gently shake off excess substrate or remove any rocks or decorations that may be attached to the plant.

  2. Inspect the plant’s rhizome, which is the thick horizontal stem from which the leaves and roots grow. Look for natural divisions or sections where the rhizome can be separated.

  3. Using a sharp and sterilized knife or scissors, make clean cuts between these sections. Ensure that each division has at least 3-5 leaves and a portion of the rhizome.

  4. Plant the divided sections into separate pots or areas in your aquarium or terrarium. Ensure that the rhizome is placed above the substrate and not buried.

  5. Provide adequate lighting and nutrient-rich water to encourage healthy growth. Maintain a temperature of around 72-82°F (22-28°C) for optimal growth.

Rhizome Cuttings

Rhizome cuttings are another effective method of propagating Anubias. This method involves cutting and replanting a portion of the rhizome with attached leaves and roots. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Similar to the division method, carefully remove the Anubias plant from its pot or aquarium and clean it of any excess substrate or attachments.

  2. Examine the rhizome and identify a healthy section that can be cut off. Ensure that the section has at least 2-3 leaves and a portion of the rhizome.

  3. Cut the selected section from the main plant using a sterilized knife or scissors. Make sure to make a clean cut, and avoid damaging the remaining plant.

  4. Plant the rhizome cutting into the substrate or attach it to a rock or decoration in your aquarium. Ensure that the rhizome is placed above the substrate to prevent rotting.

  5. Provide appropriate lighting and water conditions to support the growth of the cutting. Maintain a temperature suitable for Anubias growth.

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Tissue Culture

Tissue culture is a more advanced method of propagating Anubias, often used by professional growers and nurseries. It involves growing Anubias in a laboratory using tissue samples. While this method is beyond the scope of most hobbyists, it is worth mentioning for those interested in exploring more sophisticated propagation techniques.

Maintenance And Care For Anubias

Anubias is a relatively low-maintenance plant, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. Here are some essential care tips to ensure the healthy growth of your Anubias:


Anubias prefers moderate lighting conditions. It thrives in low to moderate light intensity, making it an ideal plant for aquariums and terrariums with limited or indirect lighting. Avoid exposing Anubias to intense, direct light, as it may cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

Water Parameters

Anubias is adaptable to a wide range of water parameters, which contributes to its popularity among aquarists. However, to ensure optimum growth and health, it is essential to maintain certain water parameters:

  • Temperature: Anubias prefers a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C). Avoid drastic temperature fluctuations, as they can stress the plant.

  • pH Level: Anubias thrives in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.5.

  • Hardness: The plant can tolerate a wide range of water hardness, but a hardness level of 2-15 dKH (36-270 ppm) is ideal.

  • Water Flow: Anubias prefers moderate water flow. Avoid placing the plant in areas with strong water currents, as it can damage the delicate leaves.

Substrate And Anchoring

Anubias can be planted in various substrates, but it is best to use a fine-grained substrate that allows the roots to anchor securely. Avoid using coarse gravel or sharp substrates that can damage the delicate roots.

To anchor Anubias to a substrate, gently push the rhizome into the substrate, ensuring that it is exposed and not buried. You can also attach the plant to rocks, driftwood, or other decorations using fishing line or plant glue. This method is particularly useful for creating natural-looking aquascapes.

Nutrient Requirements

Anubias is a slow-growing plant that requires minimal supplementation. It obtains most of its nutrients from the water and substrate. However, providing some additional nutrients can promote healthier growth. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Liquid Fertilizers: Anubias benefits from regular dosing of liquid fertilizers that contain essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the proper dosage.

  • Root Tabs: Adding root tabs near the plant’s roots can provide additional nutrients directly to the root system. These tabs slowly release nutrients over time, keeping the plant well-nourished.

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Anubias can survive and grow without carbon dioxide supplementation. However, adding CO2 can enhance its growth and result in more vibrant leaves. It is optional but can be beneficial, especially in high-tech planted tanks.


Anubias is a slow-growing plant, and pruning requirements are minimal. However, it is essential to trim any yellowing or damaged leaves regularly. Use sterilized scissors or pruning tools to cut off these leaves at the base. This practice promotes new growth and keeps the plant looking clean and healthy.

Algae Control

Anubias is relatively resistant to algae due to its tough, thick leaves. However, it can still be susceptible to algae growth, especially if lighting and nutrient conditions are not properly balanced. To prevent and control algae growth:

  • Monitor Lighting: Avoid exposing Anubias to excessive lighting, as it can lead to increased algae growth. Adjust the lighting duration and intensity based on the needs of your specific aquarium or terrarium setup.

  • Water Changes: Regular water changes can help reduce excess nutrients and control algae growth. Aim for weekly or bi-weekly water changes, depending on the size of your tank.

  • Algae Removal: If you notice any algae growth on the leaves, gently wipe or brush it off using a soft toothbrush or algae scraper. Be careful not to damage the leaves in the process.

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Coexistence With Fish And Invertebrates

Anubias is a great plant choice for aquariums and terrariums that house fish and invertebrates. It provides shelter and resting spots for small fish and fry while adding aesthetic value to the environment. Anubias is also generally safe for most aquatic invertebrates, such as shrimp and snails, as they do not feed on its leaves. However, some larger fish species may nibble on the plant, causing damage. Monitor the behavior of your tank inhabitants to ensure compatibility.

Common Pests And Diseases Of Anubias

While Anubias is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, it is not entirely immune. Here are some common issues you may encounter and how to address them:

Algae Infestation

Although Anubias itself is relatively resistant to algae, prolonged exposure to excessive lighting or nutrient imbalance can lead to algae infestations. Control algae growth by monitoring lighting intensity and duration, adjusting nutrient levels, increasing water changes, and maintaining a clean aquarium or terrarium environment.

Snail Infestation

Snails are known to feed on plant leaves, including Anubias. If you notice snail damage, manual removal is often the best approach. You can handpick the snails or use snail traps to reduce the population. Be cautious when using chemical treatments, as they can harm both the snails and Anubias if not used properly.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Anubias is generally resilient and can thrive without extensive nutrient supplementation. However, nutrient deficiencies can occur, leading to stunted growth and unhealthy leaves. Some common deficiencies to watch out for include:

  • Iron Deficiency: Signs of iron deficiency include yellowing of the leaves, with the veins remaining green. Iron supplements in the form of liquid fertilizers or root tabs can help alleviate this issue.

  • Nitrogen Deficiency: Nitrogen deficiency is characterized by pale, yellowish leaves. Dose the aquarium water with an appropriate nitrogen-rich fertilizer to address this deficiency.

  • Potassium Deficiency: Potassium deficiency can cause small holes or yellowing at the leaf edges. Use potassium-rich fertilizers to rectify this deficiency.

Rotting Rhizome

If the Anubias rhizome is buried too deep or covered with substrate, it can lead to rotting. This can happen when planting the Anubias or due to organic debris accumulating around the rhizome. To prevent rotting, ensure that the rhizome is exposed and not buried. Regularly inspect and clean the plant to remove any debris that may accumulate.

Harvesting Anubias

Anubias is not typically harvested for consumption like other cultivated crops. However, if you wish to harvest Anubias for propagation or aesthetic purposes, you can follow the same division or rhizome cutting methods described earlier in this article. Take care to ensure that the remaining plant is undisturbed and provided with suitable conditions for continued growth.


Anubias is a versatile and popular plant that adds beauty and vitality to aquariums and terrariums. With its broad leaves, low maintenance requirements, and adaptability to various water conditions, it is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. By following the steps outlined in this article for planting, propagating, and maintaining Anubias, you can enjoy the lush greenery of this stunning aquatic plant for years to come.


What Type Of Substrate Should Be Used For Planting Anubias?

Anubias can easily grow in a variety of substrates, but it is recommended to use a nutrient-rich substrate such as aquarium soil or clay to promote healthy growth and root development.

Does Anubias Require A Lot Of Light?

Anubias can thrive in low to moderate light levels, making it a great option for beginner aquarium owners. However, for optimal growth and leaf coloration, it is recommended to provide medium to high light intensity.

How Should Anubias Be Planted In An Aquarium?

Anubias should be planted by gently pressing the roots into the substrate, leaving the rhizome (thick stem-like structure) above the substrate. The rhizome should not be buried as this can cause rotting.

Can Anubias Be Grown Emersed?

Yes, anubias can grow both submerged and emersed. When growing emersed, it is important to keep the leaves moist at all times and provide high humidity levels.

How Often Should Anubias Be Fertilized?

Anubias are slow-growing plants that do not require frequent fertilization. It is recommended to use a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for aquatic plants once a week or every other week. Over-fertilization can lead to algae growth and should always be avoided.