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How to grow Cryptocoryne "Flamingo"

September 15, 2020 3 min read

How to grow Cryptocoryne "Flamingo"

​Cryptocoryne wendtii 'flamingo' is a cultivar of Cryptocoryne wendtii. Full sized adult plant leaves are around 10cm long, which makes it great for mid/foreground placement. The leaves are distinctively pink which makes it hard to match in many aquascapes. It does stand out a lot in most aquascapes and works well as tonal contrast to clusters of red plants.

Dennis Wong cryptocoryne flamingo

It is a slow growing plant that is relatively undemanding. However, the tissue culture form that it often comes in is delicate and many hobbyists fail to adapt it in that form, hence its reputation for being difficult. It can take as long as 3 to 5 months for a baby plantlet to grow to full size. As a slow grower, the main factor for success with this plant is stable conditions over the long run. It grows faster, more stable with moderate and above GH levels (4-5dGH and above) even though it can be grown in very softwater as well.

The leaves take on better coloration with stronger light and good all round fertilization (and yes, carbon dioxide injection). More red/blue spectrum helps pigmentation. With less intense lighting, or less than optimal growth conditions, some of the leaves may be olive colored rather than pink.

Key success factors

  • Sufficient light (medium onwards) to get good coloration
  • Avoid extreme water parameters
  • Slightly higher GH values work better (4-5dGH and above). The easy way to reach this by adding APT SKY.
  • Long term stability (probably the hardest aspect)
  • Fertilization/CO2 levels need not be high, but needs to be consistent. We grow ours using APT 3 / Complete, with APT Jazz added to the root-zone. 

how to get it redder

  • Stronger light (higher PAR values)
  • Better red/blue spectrum in light used
  • Consistent growth parameters over long term

Trimming and propagation

As the plant ages old leaves can be trimmed at the base of the plant. Adult plants send out runners in the surrounding areas and plantlets will begin to develop. These plantlets grow faster if they are left attached to the mother plant. Once they reach medium size (leaf size of 5 to 6cm), the runners can be cut and they can be transplanted elsewhere.

dennis wong cryptocoryne flamingo new growth


Tissue culture versions of this plant give tremendous bang for your buck (if you can get them to convert smoothly) as you can get more than 10 plants out of a single cup. However, as with most TC plants they are more delicate than adult plants.

To transition these small plants - only plant them in matured, fully cycled tanks. Avoid planting in fresh substrates (especially ammonia rich aquasoil which melts TC easily). Tank cleanliness is important - water changes and light vacuuming of substrate surface is important to remove organic detritus and prevent algae. 

We would also avoid herbivores/fish/aggressive shrimp that pick on tender plants. Avoid fish/livestock that stir up the substrate.

It takes the plantlets quite a few months to reach adult size, so being able to keep localized conditions stable for a long period is necessary for success.

cryptocoryne flamingo tissue culture TC


Head here to find out more about how to measure CO2 levels in planted tank.

Head here to find out how to read PAR values.

Head here to find out how to tune light spectrum in planted tank.