Saving an Aponogeton


Junior Poster
Jan 24, 2005
Okay, Can one be attached to a plant beyond reason??
I’ve had this Aponogeton Crispus in the corner of one my tanks diligently hiding up-take tubes and heater cables for approx. 4 years. When it was new to me the tuber was the size of a small marble. For the first year or so…the leaves remained small (5-6 inches tall). About three years ago I discovered the wonders of adding PO4 (I had had a PO4 limited tank) the plant took off and put out and maintained leaves in the 20 inch range. Each week I was yanking out 2-3 flowering stalks. The equipment was completely out of sight. Things were good with the universe. Unfortunately, the new sprouting leaves begin to shrink about two months ago. This past Saturday I had had it! I yanked out the tuber (which was now the size of a small apple, and discovered that 25-30 percent of the tuber was rotten. I cut off all the small leaves along with the rotten portion of the tuber and stuck it in a plastic bag. So… question is: Can this thing be brought back to life? Is a “rest period required, and if so how? I know I could buy a replacement (cheap), but this plant has been a favorite of mine. Anything that can survive my care and feeding for better than four years deserves some consideration.

Gill Man

Prolific Poster
Feb 10, 2005
San Francisco
Re: Saving an Aponogeton

If you have Christel Kasselmann's book, Aquarium Plants, you might read up about Aponogetons in general. A. crispus are typically found in stagnant, temporary pools. For some reason, now, your plant needs a resting period. Her recommendation is to remove the bulb and store it dry in a small pot with potting soil, and sprinkle it with a little water occasionally during the resting period. She says it can be stored for many weeks, which could mean months, given that dry seasons last about six months in the tropics. It should be kept warm, not cold, to about 30 degrees C. The rotting part removed from your tuber, should be fine, just allow it to dry out mostly, so that it doesn't continue to rot.

Maybe you can start another one now, then alternate them every six months or so. I know, tearing out a perfectly good plant just to simulate their environmental cues is just plain rotten. but you're the one that's attached to your plant and I don't blame you in the least! :)