Ludwigia Repens: Complete Care Guide (December 2022)

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: November 24, 2021

Ludwigia Repens, also known as "Creeping Charlie," is a lush green plant that can be used in many aquariums. It helps with water quality by acting as a nitrifying bacteria and has an almost natural appearance.

The stems of Ludwigia repens are wiry and slender, allowing them to intertwine with other plants effortlessly. In larger aquariums, it may spread too quickly; therefore, in these instances, it would be wise to keep it in a smaller pot within the tank

Ludwigia repens is an excellent addition to the tank for cold-water fish because of its natural-looking appearance and ease of care. In low lighting conditions, it can get very bushy and wide, so regular pruning is necessary.

The Ludwigia repens should be kept away from aquariums with algae eaters, as they will quickly eat away at the leaves. Tiny snails may also feed on the plant, but only in large quantities due to their size.

Ludwigia also likes to travel along the substrate, so it needs regular maintenance to keep it in place. This aquarium plant looks great when planted with other bushy plants like Hygrophila Polysperma, Echinodorus Tenellus, and Cryptocoryne Wendtii.


Ludwigia repens has long, slender stems with small oval leaves. The leaves are a dark green color and approximately one to two centimeters in length. This aquarium plant will grow in a bushy fashion. It may even creep around the tank if left untrimmed. In the right conditions, Ludwigia repens can have simple or branched small pink or white blooms.

ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens is one of the most common aquarium plants, along with Hygrophila polysperma and Echinodorus Tenellus. It is native to the rainforest floors in South America, but most Ludwigia sold today are grown on farms where they are harvested and prepared for aquariums.

Growth Rate Of Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens is a relatively small, slow-growing plant. In the right conditions, it can grow up to 15 centimeters. It will expand at a rate of about 1 centimeter every two weeks.

Ways To Plant Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens can be planted in most substrates. It is recommended to plant it with the substrate at the top of the roots and then cover it up by 1/3rd of its height. This will help stabilize the plants and allow them to establish themselves.

Pruning And Re-potting

If your plant appears to be getting too large or its color is changing, then you should consider pruning it. Pruning Ludwigia repens will encourage new growth and a more lush appearance.

If the stems become damaged, they can easily be cut off with sharp scissors, where they will grow back fairly quickly. If you wish for the plant to grow in a particular direction, then simply turn its pot around, and it will start growing in that direction.

If your plant becomes too large or out of place, simply take a small portion of it and replant it. Since Ludwigia repens is a fast grower, you can easily divide and replant pieces in new locations. This makes it perfect for filling in gaps between rocks or giving it a slightly different look when needed.

Types of Fishes That can be Kept With Ludwigia Repens

Compact Fishes For ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens can be kept with any type of freshwater fish. It is best to keep it in a group, as this will help ensure that all branches and stems receive adequate light and nutrients.

Maintenance Guide

It's important to keep your Ludwigia repens healthy and happy. Without the proper care, it will quickly perish. This includes frequent pruning, proper lighting, and a nutritious substrate.

The ideal conditions for the proper growth and care of Ludwigia Repens have been described below.

Tank Size For Decent Growth Ludwigia Repens

20 gallon tank For ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens can be well-suited to any sized aquarium as long as it receives proper lighting and nutrient levels.

Light Requirement

It prefers high lighting such as T5 fluorescent tubes or metal halide bulbs, but LED lighting should also suffice. If planted in the sand, the substrate should be between 1 and 2 inches deep.

The high light conditions required for this plant to thrive will benefit from a T5 fluorescent tube or metal halide bulb. However, if using LED lighting, you should ensure that you have a broad spectrum LED or full-spectrum LED. The substrate should be between 1 and 2 inches deep, where the thicker the substrate is, the more stable it will be.

Water Conditions

Ludwigia repens prefers freshwater conditions. Ideally, this plant will thrive at a ph level of 6 to 7.5 with water hardness between 5 to 20 dGH.

If you are unable to provide these conditions, then slightly brackish water will suffice; if the plant is kept in slightly brackish water, it must be frequently monitored to ensure its health.

It is important to note that if your fish tank has a high nitrate concentration, Ludwigia repens will not do well. High nitrate levels in the water will cause the plant to appear brown and yellow, which indicates that it is dying.

If you are unable to improve your nitrate concentration, then it may be best to use another aquarium plant in its place.

Substrate For Best Growth

substrate For ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia repens thrives best in a nutrient-rich substrate. If you are planting it in the sand, the depth of the substrate should be about 1 to 2 inches.

However, if your aquarium plant is planted in soil, you can use gravel or stones to fill up space between the roots and the surface of the pot so that the plant does not rot.

Placement Area

It should be placed in an area where it can easily intertwine with other plants, but also near a power outlet.

The soil should be between 1 and 2 inches deep. The thicker the substrate is, the more stable it will be, which prevents it from being uprooted by larger fish or planted decorations.


This plant should be planted in an area where it can easily intertwine with other plants, near the top of your aquarium, so that light can easily reach all portions of the plant.

propagation of ludwigia Repens

If there are stems hanging over the edges of your fish tank, cut them off with sharp scissors to prolong the health of your aquarium plant.

Ludwigia repens is propagated vegetatively, so you don't have to worry about doing anything but ensuring its healthy growth and abundant foliage.

If it starts to appear brown and yellowish, however, then there may be a nitrate concentration problem in your fish tank, and you should immediately determine if you can do anything about it.

Availability And Price

This plant should be readily available at most aquatic stores as well as online retailers; its price varies depending on the size of your purchase, but it is usually relatively affordable.

Advantage Of Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia Repens has many benefits to the health of an aquarium. It helps with nitrifying bacteria, which removes toxic ammonia and nitrite from the water. Nitrates are also removed by Ludwigia Repens.

The plant is very hardy and can withstand most conditions, including high levels of light, poor water quality, and less than the desired substrate. Ludwigia Repens is a very natural-looking plant and can be used in many aquarium setups. It is recommended to be placed in mid-level light but will survive in low or high lighting conditions as well.


The main drawback of Ludwigia Repens would have to be its rapid growth. In a small aquarium, it may quickly take over; in larger tanks, it doesn't grow as fast but can still become a nuisance if not properly pruned back.

It is also known to have a toxic effect on some fish species when eaten, so they should be kept away from this plant.


If you want an attractive and low-maintenance aquarium plant, Ludwigia repens may be the one for you. This aquarium plant is best kept near the top of your fish tank, where it can easily intertwine with other plants.

It requires high lighting to maintain its lush green appearance, but if you are unable to provide it with these conditions, slightly brackish water will suffice.

It thrives best in the nutrient-rich substrate and propagates vegetatively, so you don't have to worry about doing anything but ensuring its healthy growth and abundant foliage.

Disclaimer does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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