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How to grow Cabomba furcata

June 08, 2021 2 min read

How to grow Cabomba furcata

Cabomba furcata, also known by the name Cabomba piauhyensis, is a red stem plant with finely divided leaves. It is much more difficult to grow compared to green Cabomba species such as Cabomba caroliniana. Cabomba furcata can be found in nature in Central and South America. It has attractive reddish foliage when grown well, but isn't a popular plant due to its high demands. In sub-optimal conditions the plant is greenish rather than red, with more elongated internodes. 

The plant needs an aggressive amount of light to show good coloration and shorter internodes. Greening of the top leaves coupled with elongated internodes are a sure sign lighting is insufficient. Adequate nutrient access also gives better overall form - under fed plants have thinner stems and smaller crowns. Feeding the plants can be done through using a rich substrate or by direct water column nutrient dosing or a combination of both. 

Though this plant is known to originate from soft-water, it seems to tolerate some hardness and can grow well as long as your KH is not terribly high. 

The most troublesome aspect of growing cabomba furcata is its long term maintenance. It is a fast growing stem plant that requires frequent pruning. To maintain the best form of the plant, cutting and replanting the top portion, while discarding the older bottom portion of the plant gives the best results. However, this means up-rooting the plant very regularly. 

Key success factors

  • Aggressively high light levels (100 umols of PAR and above)
  • Regular, all round fertilization
  • CO2 injection brings out coloration
  • Cooler temperatures, higher light levels give shorter internodes


The plant naturally branches and sprouts side shoots with time. These can be cut off and replanting as separate plants. You can also cut off the top few inches and replant it, while letting the bottom rooted portion sprout new shoots.

These specimens are grown under T5; with around 200 umols of PAR on the substrate level. Fertilized with APT complete.

Its distinctive leaf pattern easily differentiates it from Myriophyllum or Limnophilas.