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Echinodoro is a rhizomatous aquatic plant native to South America. The plant develops and forms dense rosettes of leaves, some of which remain always submerged, elliptical, with wavy edges; others instead grow up to 50-60 cm and therefore emerge from the water, on long erect petioles, they have an elongated oval shape, pointed, of a brilliant light green color, sometimes speckled with purple or colored on the edge of the lower page.
In summer they produce emerged inflorescences, constituted by large roundish buds that grow at the apex of erect fleshy stems, from them flowers with yellow center and candid white petals, with three petals, which resemble poppies. These plants are often used as flora for aquariums and this use is the main one for this plant.
The plants of echinodorus they need abundant light throughout the year; moreover they are species that fear the cold, therefore they can be placed outside in spring and summer, but they must be kept in containers in greenhouses or at home in the cold months of the year; if you wish you can also cultivate as an annual plant. The rhizomes are planted in spring, on the bottom of slow waterways or ponds, completely submerged by water. In its natural state, plant growth occurs underwater to then develop more resistant leaves once the stem peeks out of the water. On the same forms a thin layer similar to wax which allows the leaves not to be burned by the intense sun of the summer season.
In nature they are species that love soils rich in organic matter, very soft and deep, muddy and sandy, to allow the vigorous roots to widen at will, fear too calcareous soils. These plants should be planted in aquariums or on the banks of small ponds, where the water does not exceed 30-40 cm, so that the basal leaf rosette can always remain submerged, while the outer leaves can emerge. One of the characteristics of the plant is that of producing abundantly stolons, which allows the plant to develop a real green lawn.
In nature the plants of echinodorus they produce fertile flowers, this hardly happens at our latitudes, therefore they propagate dividing the clumps of leaves; it is advisable to leave a vigorous root for each portion practiced, and to place it directly. As we have said previously, the plant continuously produces stolons or lateral branches that sprout from the base of the plant and crawling make space between the soil emitting roots and allowing the plant to reproduce. Once you reach a height of at least 2 cm, you can separate the new branches born from the mother stem and cultivate the new plants in another place. Echinodorus is considered a ground cover plant when its rapid development allows it to cover large areas in a short time.
Echinodorus: Pests and diseases
Pay attention to aphids; soil or water with too high pH values can cause stunted growth of the plant. Despite being an aquatic species, ecinodorus is not particularly subject to the development of diseases and parasites.