“Versatile” is the best word to describe this small unassuming plant. Yet of all the aquatic plants this is the only plant that can transition very well into a nice carpeting plant, a background plant and it can even be trimmed to form a hedge or a bush for midground purposes. It can even be grown for accent or as a focal point.
The technique in growing pearlweed lies in the amount of light used in growing it. It can grow with almost any amount of lighting but will best display its full potential when grown in mid lighting. Grow it under lesser light and it will start to display a somewhat lanky and weak growth. Grow it in too much light and it will soon demand for more CO2 like any other plant. In a high light, high CO2 environment though pearlweed will start to spread and crawl sideways instead of growing up. It spreads fast. Under these conditions the planted tank will then have a nice, thick carpet or a big round bush in just a couple of months’ time.
Any CO2 supplementation is always welcomed by any aquatic plants, especially by the ones grown under high light conditions. Pearlweed is no exception. It will almost double its growth rate with CO2 and if provided a medium lit tank and no CO2 supplementation pearlweed is perfectly content growing at a much slower pace.
Pearlweed can thrive under a broad range of conditions. Like other aquatic plants though, keep the water hardness from soft to medium hard. A TDS of 120-180 is still tolerable for pearlweed. There is no doubt that pearlweed will be able to grow in slightly harder water but it would require CO2 supplementation then.
Planting and position in the aquarium
As mentioned, pearlweed is a versatile plant. You can grow it as a carpeting plant. You can grow it as a regular stem plant for background or you can shape it as a bush or shrub for midground. It can also be incorporated with other lush green carpeting plants to have that very natural meadow effect on the planted tank.
Trimming and maintenance
Pearlweed is a prolific grower. It has the ability to quickly recover from a heavy trimming. Should pearlweed be grown into a carpet, an interval of 3 weeks between trimmings is recommended given the plant is already growing fast.
As you can see, pearlweed can be used for various arrangement purposes. Everything depends on the aquascaper! Share your beautiful scapes with pearlweed by posting it in Social Media with #topdowntuesday! The Aquascaping Audience will surely appreciate its indisputable beauty!