What Aquarium Plants Grow On Wood? (Complete Guide)

As an aquarium hobbyist, I’m always looking for interesting ways to decorate my tank. One of my favorite methods is using driftwood and attaching plants that will grow right on the wood. It creates a very natural look, like an underwater forest.

In this article, I’ll discuss what types of aquarium plants can thrive when attached to wood pieces. I’ll go over which plants work best, how to prepare and attach them, and what kinds of driftwood to use. With just a few key plants and a nice piece of wood, you can easily create a stunning aquascape showpiece in your own tank.

Popular Aquarium Plants That Grow on Wood

Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri is a top pick for aquarium plants that grow on wood. This plant gets high marks for its big green leaves. It looks great in fish tanks! Anubias Barteri can take a lot and keeps growing.

This makes it perfect for new plant owners. Being a rhizome means it loves to wrap around wood or rocks in the tank. You often see this type of plant when you look at aquascaping designs.

Many stores sell Anubias Barteri already attached to driftwood or rocks, ready for your aquarium!

Java Fern

Java Fern is a great pick if you want to make your aquarium look nice. Many people like to use this plant in their tanks. It has slow growth, which makes it easy for beginners to care for it.

You can let Java Fern latch onto driftwood or other surfaces in your tank.

This plant also works hard to keep your fish and tiny water bugs safe. With its unique leaf structure, Java Fern creates cool hiding spots and shelters for them. This way, the little ones can play tag without worrying about anything! If you’re starting out in setting up an amazing aquarium, going with Java Fern might be worth considering!

Moss (Java Moss, Christmas Moss, Riccia Fluitans)

Java Moss, Christmas Moss, and Riccia Fluitans are top pick wood based pants for our fish tanks. These Asian mosses are easy to care for which is perfect if you’re new to this hobby.

Java Moss comes all the way from Southeast Asia. We see it a lot because it grows easily in many places. Christmas Moss also hails from Asia but is found in different areas like India and Japan.

It gives your tank an awesome look with its unique shape! Lastly, Riccia Fluitans has bright green leaves when there’s a lot of light around it. This floating moss can be tied down to rocks or sticks inside your tank so they won’t cover up the surface water too much!

Hemianthus (Dwarf Baby Tears)

Hemianthus (Dwarf Baby Tears) is a popular aquarium plant that grows on wood. It has small, bright green leaves and a slow growth rate. In its natural habitat, it grows on submerged pieces of wood and rocks.

One variety called Dwarf Baby Tears ‘Cuba’ is especially loved for creating lush foregrounds in aquariums. The best part is that you can grow Dwarf Baby Tears in your aquarium without adding CO2!

Bolbitis Heudelotii (African Water Fern)

Bolbitis Heudelotii, also known as African Water Fern, is a popular freshwater plant that can be grown in aquariums. It can be attached to rocks or pieces of wood and thrives in moderate lighting conditions.

This plant requires a nutrient-rich environment for optimal growth and can multiply by growing new leaves every 1 to 2 months. With its unique appearance and ability to grow on wood, Bolbitis Heudelotii adds a touch of natural beauty to any aquarium setting.

Hygrophila Pinnatifida

Hygrophila pinnatifida is a popular aquarium plant that can grow on wood and rocks. It comes from India and has a unique burgundy color underneath its brown, patched leaves. This plant doesn’t need to be planted in substrate as it is an epiphyte.

That means it can grow well without soil or gravel. Aquascapers like Hygrophila pinnatifida because of its unusual leaf shape and appearance. It goes great with mosses and wood, making it versatile for aquascaping projects.

How to Attach Plants to Wood

Using superglue

To attach aquarium plants to wood, one effective method is using superglue. Superglue acts as an adhesive that bonds the plants securely to the wood, ensuring they stay in place. Choosing a gel-based superglue is important as it provides better control and doesn’t spread too much.

When applying the glue, make sure to use just a small amount on the plant’s roots or rhizome and press it firmly onto the wood. Superglue is great because it cures quickly when cooled down, making it safe for plants and fish.

So don’t worry, your plants will be well attached with the help of superglue!

Using fishing line

Attaching aquarium plants to rock or driftwood can be done using fishing line. It is a common method recommended by aquarists. Fishing line is particularly useful for attaching moss, such as Java Moss, to driftwood.

Anubias, another popular aquarium plant, can also be attached to rock and driftwood using fishing line. It works well for rhizome plants like Anubias and allows them to securely attach to rocks with ease.

So, if you’re looking to add some greenery to your aquarium décor, grab some fishing line and get attached!

Importance of a Good Plant Fertilizer

A high-quality fertilizer is crucial for the health of aquarium plants attached to wood. These fertilizers give plants the essential nutrients they require to flourish.

With the right fertilizer, plants can grow strong roots, absorb minerals efficiently, and get the macronutrients and trace elements they need. This balanced nutrition prevents deficiencies and stimulates lush foliage growth.

Additionally, good fertilizers help aquarium plants outcompete algae by optimizing conditions for plant health. This further curbs algae growth. Fertilizers also stop issues like stunted plants and yellowing leaves over the long term.

For best results, carefully follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid fertilizers are usually recommended since they distribute nutrients easily into the water for plant uptake.

However, be cautious not to over-fertilize. Excess nutrients can unbalance the aquarium and even harm fish or other inhabitants. Moderation is key for a thriving ecosystem.

A quality aquarium plant fertilizer provides vital nutrients for growth, health, and beauty. Regular fertilizing in proper amounts allows your aquatic plants to flourish on wood without issue. This creates a habitat where plants and fish can live together naturally and successfully.

Other Ideal Plants to Attach to Wood


Bucephalandra is an ideal aquarium plant for attaching to wood. This slow-growing Indonesian species has vividly colored leaves that shimmer iridescently.

One great advantage of Bucephalandra is that it reproduces when adhered to wood or rock. This makes it perfect for creating natural-looking aquascapes and terrariums. The plantlets can cling directly to the hardscape.

Additionally, Bucephalandra thrives in low-light conditions. It grows well even in tanks with subdued lighting. This hardy plant is unfussy about its environment.

With its ability to reproduce on wood, tolerance for low light, and stunning shimmering foliage, Bucephalandra is a fantastic choice for aquarium setups using driftwood or rockwork. Its qualities allow it to flourish while enhancing the natural beauty of the aquascape. For wood-based designs, Bucephalandra is an ideal plant.

Java Fern Windelov

Java Fern Windelov is a popular aquarium plant that can grow well when attached to driftwood or stones. It is commonly used in aquascaping and is native to Southeast Asia. This green, leafy plant has a rhizome and leaves, creating an attractive visual effect in the aquarium.

Java Fern Windelov can also propagate by developing new plantlets on its leaves. With its accessibility and ability to thrive when attached to wood, it is a great choice for water gardens and aquascaping projects.

Java Fern Trident

Java Fern Trident is a unique and beautiful plant that can be attached to wood or other surfaces in your aquarium. It has long and thin fork-like foliage, giving it an interesting and attractive appearance.

One of the great things about Java Fern Trident is that it is compatible with a variety of fish species, making it a versatile choice for any tank. If you want to propagate this plant, you can divide the rhizome into smaller sections and attach them to different pieces of wood or surfaces.

Keep in mind that Java Fern Trident is a slow-growing plant, but over time, it will form a lush green carpet in your aquarium.

Magenta Water Hedge (Alternanthera Reineckii)

Magenta Water Hedge, also known as Alternanthera Reineckii or Telanthera Rosefolia, is a beautiful aquarium plant that can grow on wood and rocks. It has striking red-colored leaves, which make it ideal for adding a pop of color to your aquatic setup.

This slow-growing plant can reach a height of 10-20 inches with stems about 4-6 inches long. What makes this plant even more attractive is the bronze color on the top of its leaves and the deep purple color on the underside.

If you’re looking for an eye-catching addition to your aquarium, Magenta Water Hedge is definitely worth considering!

Cryptocoryne Petchii

Cryptocoryne Petchii is a popular aquarium plant that can adapt to different water conditions. It can attach itself to rocks and stones in the aquarium, making it perfect for growing on wood as well.

This plant is smaller than Cryptocoryne Beckettii and originates from Sri Lanka. Its leaves are slimmer and more delicate compared to other Cryptocoryne species. With its ability to attach to wood, Cryptocoryne Petchii adds a unique touch of greenery and natural beauty to any aquarium setup.

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