Samolus parviflorus red is relatively new to the aquarium hobby. It is not yet propagated in scale by larger commercial farms but can be found amongst hobbyist collectors and aquarium shops. This plant was originally collected in the limestone Karst region of Guangxi, China. The Chinese name for the plant is "小叶珍珠菜". Heiko Muth comments that the plant is more probably Lysimachia cf. parvifolia, and is certain that it belongs to the Lysimachia family rather than Samolus parviflorus as Samolus parviflorus is a North American species.
It is a relative easy to grow plant, best suited to the midground of the tank. It is a stem plant that that remains short and red under high light conditions, producing red leaves in a tight bunch that almost seem to sprout from a center rosette. However, it produces taller shoots when overcrowded or under insufficient lighting. Stronger lighting also induces redder coloration in this species, while growing it in more moderate lighting produces orange hues. Richer dosing, or having a rich substrate produces rounder, fuller leaves. Poorer lighting and nutrient lean conditions produce greener and thinner leaves. The plant can look completely green if neglected and in shade.
The plant is quite hardy and can grow in non CO2 injected tanks and also in harder, more alkaline water. However, it grows with fuller leaves with better coloration with CO2 injection. It has moderate growth rates compared to other aquarium plants and thus is easily managed as less frequent pruning is required.
These plants are grown under around 200 umols of PAR, 7 hours of lighting.
Key success factors
Adequate light. 100 umols of PAR to bring out good reddish coloration. Longer hours can also be used to give a 'sun tanning effect' to redden colors.
CO2 injection helps boost growth rates and also coloration. Tolerant of low CO2 levels. (10+ppm+ recommended).
Can be grown in both hard or soft water. Tolerant of a wide range of GH/KH. Grows well in hardwater.
Stable conditions allow the slow growing plant to adapt.
Pruning and propagation
The plant naturally form side shoots over time. These can be uprooted and planted in open spaces. If the plant has grown taller so that there are visible internodes on the vertical stem, the top portion can be cut and replanted similar to any other stem plant.