Banana Lily Nymphoides Aquatica – An Atypical Aquarium Plant for Beginners
Nymphoides Aquatica is a lovely aquatic plant that can be used in any pond or planted aquarium. It natively grows along the southeastern United States from Texas to Maryland and has been known various names such as Banana Lily due to its banana-shaped roots.
Banana Lily Factsheet
Scientific Name: Nymphoides Aquatica
Native To South/Southeastern United States
Skill Level: Easy
Placement: Foreground – Midground
Co2 Requirement: none
Warning: Banana plants do best if rested on top of the substrate or buried to about 1/4 inch so the plant can send roots down into the substrate. If buried too deeply, the plant may rot and eventually die. Also Snails and plecos are known to eat banana plants!
How To Plant Your Banana Plant
Introducing a new banana lily to your aquarium is very easy. First, make sure that you have at least two inches of substrate in the tank, such as gravel or sand, and select an area with good lighting conditions and gentle water flow.
To keep your plant in place, make sure to rest the plant’s tubers on top of the substrate gently. You can also bury them a quarter-inch into the ground if you want it firmly rooted there immediately.
Don’t worry if none of these methods work for whatever reason, and they still refuse to stay put!
They will eventually send down long roots that attach themselves with help from gravity, so this is just something temporary until then – patience is critical when dealing with these plants!
At up to 15cm tall, this species can be used for foreground plants, midground planting, or even as background plants for small tanks like 20 litre nano tanks.
How To Care For A Banana Plant
Banana plants have a moderate growth rate, and they won’t get out of control, making them perfect for beginners and those with limited space. They prefer temperatures between 20 to 28°C and can survive in low-light conditions. (The more light you give it, the faster it’ll grow.)
These easygoing fellows don’t even require CO2. They are hardy little plants! If you want your banana lily to thrive over time, though, be sure to provide an all-in-one liquid fertilizer every three or four months.
Not only will this keep their roots healthy but also stimulate cell division within shorter periods so new leaves form much quicker too.
At first, the long shoots will grow toward the surface of your tank and start shooting up heart-shaped leaves, which look like lily pads in some cases with small white five petalled flowers.
These plants are great for helping filter out excess nutrients from your water while adding an aesthetic beauty that most other aquatic plants can’t offer. Just be careful not to let these floating leaves block all of the light from reaching other plants as well – make sure you prune them if needed.
There are many ways that the banana lily may perish after planting. One of these possibilities is if its tubers melt away and disappear.
There have been a few theories as to why this happens, but no solid explanation. Perhaps the plant doesn’t need the lily anymore because it’s getting enough nutrients from the roots.
Even when plants start looking unhealthy, they can still grow strong with time.
How To Grow More Banana Plants
Have you ever wondered how to grow banana plants? It’s easy! Cut off one of the leaves and let it float around in your tank. Eventually, new roots will appear with some small leaves, which can then be planted back into the substrate.
Since banana is in the name, is the Banana Lily at all edible?
Banana lily has no known direct food value to wildlife. However, even though it can’t be consumed by animals directly, submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macroinvertebrates, which are used as food for the animal world.
Inevitably when these plants die, their decomposition provides much-needed sustenance that feeds a variety of other underwater denizens.
In the home aquarium, the Banana Lily is purely for aesthetics, water quality, and somewhere for smaller fish and shrimp to hide.