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How to grow Eriocaulon quinquangulare

August 13, 2019 3 min read

How to grow Eriocaulon quinquangulare

This reddish Eriocaulon originates from India and is a recent addition to the aquatic hobby. It is farmed as an emersed grown bog/terrarium plant in some plant nurseries. The submerged forms can be relatively short with adult plants around 2.5 - 3 inches tall. It is reddish at the base of the plant with leaves fading to olive/orange towards the tips.

It grows well at steady pace in the aquarium as long as light and CO2 are at good levels. This plant should not be shaded. It grows very well in ammonia rich aquasoils. The plant is delicate and should be handled gently; it is easily squished. It is sensitive to KH and should be kept in low alkalinity water. As a short plant - it's important to direct flow/CO2 to the substrate zone.

dennis wong erio eriocaulon quinquangulare

The main difficulty in handling this plant is that the submerged forms do not take long shipping well. If shipping for longer distances (3 days +), emersed forms might ship better. Having a healthy specimen is essential for the plant to transition smoothly into the tank environment. Eriocaulon quinquangulare is often grown emersed in farms- shown in the picture below. They transport better in this form.eriocaulon quinquangulare

Nitrate limitation can increase the redness in Eriocaulon Quinquangulare; the reddish portion at the base extends further towards the tips. Plants will also grow more slowly - as with any nitrate limiting regime - do it too severely and you risk crashing growth in the tank.

Unlike other varieties of Eriocaulon, this species does not seem to flower/seed underwater. 

dennis wong eriocaulon quinquangulare

In the picture above, we can see the relative size comparison of young Eriocaulon quinquangulare to Centrolepis Drummondiana "Blood vomit" in the foreground; these are grown under nitrate limitation. Same plants about 2 months later are shown below.

dennis wong eriocaulon quinquangulare

Key Success Factors

  • Low KH (3 dKH and below)
  • Good amounts of light and CO2
  • Grows fast in ammonia rich aquasoils
  • Short transport time when buying

How to get it redder

  • Stronger lighting
  • Good growth parameters with nitrate limitation. However, N limited plants are less robust and grow more slowly.


  • Adult plants split naturally as they grow; moving/replanting the plant also seem to trigger splitting in larger plants. Replanting does not seem particularly stressful for the plant, but growth tends to speed up after the roots have some time to grow in.
  • As plantlets grow beside the mother plant, they can be separated gently by hand. The separation between plantlets should be obvious after the plant is uprooted.

This is the video's link on how to propagate this plant.

Single clumps grow pretty large if left alone. This clump was split into more than 10 separate plants.

Buying Guide

  • Healthy plants should feel stiff to the touch rather than soft. Avoid mushy plants at all cost - weaken plants will find it more difficult to transition to the new tank environment.
  • Roots should be bright white rather than brown.
  • Emersed plants take shipping/transit better than submerged forms. Submerged forms do not take shipping well and should be planted within a 3 day window

In the picture below, you can see the relative size comparison to other plants in Tom barr's tank. 

tom Barr eriocaulon quinquangulare

As with some other Eriocaulons, the root system can be longer than the leaf portion of the plant. This is a medium sized specimen. 

eriocaulon quinquangulare measurement

 Head here to find out how to grow red aquarium plants.