ABC PLANTS - Althernanthera reineckii var. Lilacina
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‘Lilacina’ is a cultivar variant of the Alternanthera reineckii species. It has naturally dense, dark-red to purple foliage that is unique among aquatic plants. When allowed to, it can grow to reach a tank’s surface, surpassing 50 cm at its maximum height. However, most trimm regularly for a lush, bushier appearance and can grow below 10cm. It is well-suited to midground or background placement. If used in the background, it may need to be pruned regularly to prevent shading foreground plants. Regular trimming will encourage shrub-like growth and make the plant shorter, bushier and better suited for foreground use.
Although A. reineckii ‘Lilacina’ is a tolerant plant, it requires 8 to 10 hours of medium-to-high intensity light a day. For best results, consider CO2 supplementation and substrate fertilization to enhance foliage growth and vibrancy. A. reineckii ‘Lilacina’ deficient in Iron will begin to lose its rich purple color and result in pale, slow-growing foliage; healthy specimens will grow at a moderate to fast pace. Any clippings can be planted into the substrate to induce new, propagative clusters.
This is an extremely adaptive plant and widely considered one of the easiest red plants one one of the ONLY purple plants in the hobby. It can be used by the aquarist for a variety of purposes from short foreground clusters to tall, lush backgrounds depending on the way the plant is pruned.
Alternanthera "Lilacina" is an absolutely fantastic choice to provide stunning color contrast in the aquarium while being easier than many other red plants! Highly recommended from any aquarist from the beginner to expert!
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Size: 15 – 50cm in height; 5 – 20cm in width - can be much shorter if trimmed regularly. Highly adaptable and responds well to pruning.
Position and Usage: Midground to background
Growth rate: Moderate
Lighting: 3/5 – 5/5
Water Conditions: 20 – 25°C; pH 6.5 – 7.5
CO2: Not Required
Special Requirements: Not a whole lot but an Iron-rich substrate helps develop the best coloration.