AQUA ART Lobelia cardinalis

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Lobelia cardinalis, commonly known as Cardinal Flower, is a vibrant aquatic plant featuring striking red or purple foliage. Perfect for midground or background planting, it adds a splash of colour and dynamic height to any aquarium setup.

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Lobelia cardinalis, commonly known as Cardinal Plant, is a versatile and attractive aquatic plant known for its vibrant green and sometimes reddish foliage. This plant, belonging to the Campanulaceae family, is highly favoured by aquarists for its aesthetic appeal and moderate care requirements. It is suitable for various aquascaping styles and provides a striking contrast when planted among other greenery.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Leaf Structure: The leaves of Lobelia cardinalis are lance-shaped, smooth-edged, and typically bright green. In higher light conditions, the leaves may exhibit shades of red or bronze, adding a dynamic visual effect. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.

  2. Growth Form:  Lobelia cardinalis has an upright growth habit with sturdy stems that can reach different heights depending on the growth conditions. This plant forms dense clusters, creating a bushy and lush appearance in the aquarium.

  3. Flowering: In its emersed form, Lobelia cardinalis can produce small, tubular, and vibrant red flowers, which are not commonly seen in submerged aquarium settings.

Aquarium Requirements:

  1. Lighting: This plant thrives in moderate to high lighting conditions. Sufficient light promotes healthy growth, vibrant colouration, and a compact form. Under lower lighting, Lobelia cardinalis may grow taller and more leggy as it reaches for light.

  2. Substrate: While Lobelia cardinalis can adapt to various substrates, it performs best in nutrient-rich substrates that provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth. A combination of fine-grain substrate or aquasoil is ideal.

  3. CO2 and Fertilization: Although not strictly necessary, the addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) and regular fertilisation can significantly enhance the growth rate and overall health of Lobelia cardinalis. This is especially true in high-light setups.

  4. Water Parameters: Maintain water conditions within a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and a water hardness level of soft to moderately hard. The temperature should ideally be between 22 to 28°C.

Propagation: Lobelia cardinalis can be propagated through stem cuttings. To propagate, trim healthy stems and replant them in the substrate. Each cutting should have several leaves to ensure successful rooting and growth.

Maintenance: Routine maintenance for Lobelia cardinalis involves regular pruning to control height and encourage bushier growth. Trimming helps maintain its compact form and removes older or damaged leaves, promoting the development of new, healthy foliage.

Aquascaping Use: Lobelia cardinalis is a versatile plant suitable for various aquascaping styles. It can be used as a midground plant to create a transition between foreground and background plants, or as a focal point in larger tanks. Its vibrant green and potential reddish hues provide excellent contrast against other plants and hardscape elements.

Challenges: While Lobelia cardinalis is generally hardy, it may face challenges such as leggy growth under insufficient lighting or nutrient deficiencies. Ensuring adequate light and nutrients will help maintain its compact and vibrant appearance.

Lobelia cardinalis is a beautiful and adaptable aquarium plant that enhances the visual appeal of freshwater aquariums. Its vibrant foliage, ease of propagation, and moderate care requirements make it a popular choice among aquarists. By providing appropriate lighting, substrate, and regular maintenance, aquarists can enjoy the lush and dynamic presence of Lobelia cardinalis in their aquascaping projects.


How to plant

Plants with great success!

Tissue Cultures are very young plants cultivated and delivered directly from the laboratory. The plants are guaranteed to be free from snails, algae and pesticides and, therefore, are harmless for sensitive shrimp and fish.

Success with your aquarium depends largely on the proper plant choice. In a Tissue Culture cup, you are getting many plants that can be divided into small portions and cover a larger area. Plants are compact from the start, so you will experience dense and beautiful growth if you give them the right fertiliser and CO2!

  • Carefully take the plant out of the cup and rinse off the growing media.
  • To prevent mildew and algae, rinse with chlorine-free water.
  • Split the plant into 6-8 portions using your fingers or scissors (for small foreground plants).
  • Plant portions into the substrate using tweezers.
Then watch them grow!

Plant Info

Country or continent where a plant is the most common. Cultivars arise or are bred in cultivation.

Growth Rate
Growth rate of the plant compared to other aquatic plants.

Average height (cm) of the plant after two months in the tank.

Light Demand
The average or medium light demand of an aquarium plant is 0.5 W/L.

CO2 Demand
A medium need in CO2 is 6-14 mg/L. A high demand in CO2 is approx. 15-25 mg/L.