Aquarium Plants Profile: Myriophyllum elatinoides
 (Water milfoil, Christmas Tree Plant)

 To ask a question about this aquarium plant email: Don Matakis

 Grows to a height of 20 inches and up (BACKGROUND)
 The width of each stem is about 2 to 3 inches, based on leaf growth
 Medium to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal)
 Optimum growth temperature is 72 to 84 degrees

The fine foliage of Myriophyllum elatinoides makes it a beautiful aquarium plant. It only thrives in good light. A nutritious bottom and CO2 addition promote growth significantly. M. elatinoides grows well in hard water, but this is not necessary for optimum growth. It is most beautiful when planted in groups, but do not plant shoots too close because this will prevent light reaching the lower leaves. (Partial Excerpt From Tropica) (NOTE: Tropica actually describes this plant as Aquaticum, but the description and photo fits elatinoides, aquaticum being a pond plant that likes emersed growth)

Myriophyllum elatinoides is an easy to grow stem plant that will thrive in all aquariums with at least medium lighting. The plant typically grows to a height of 20 inches and up, The width of each stem is about 2 to 3 inches, based on leaf growth.The leaf is delicate whorls of rich, green color.

This plant does well in all water hardness conditions and medium to high lighting situations. Optimum growth temperature is 72 to 84 degrees, although it can grow in temps from 50 to 86 degrees.

Myriophyllum elatinoides requires medium to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks growth is slower and whorl spacing is increased and density decreased. Plant either in the substrate or as a floating plant.

Don's Notes:

My experience with this aquarium plant is that Myriophyllum elatinoides is an easy to grow aquarium plant  and is certainly at the top of the list as one of my favorite aquarium plants. This is a very tropical looking plant with a beautiful, rich shade of green. Myriophyllum elatinoides does better the higher the light. Aquarists with a medium hard water (8-12DH) might  find that this plant grows very fast. For those with very soft water growth is not as rapid, although fine specimens can still be grown. I have this plant growing in my son's aquarium with no CO2 (Seachem's Excel only, a liquid Carbon substitute) and medium lighting and it looks great! Wait until the growth reaches 8 inches and then cut just above the node. The plant remaining in the substrate will then start growing side shoots which can be detached and used as new plants. In almost all instances of descriptions on other sites this aquarium plant is said to do well only in lower temperatures as well as extremely high light. I have it growing beautifully in consistent, 82 degree temps with medium lighting. I have found this aquarium plant to be very adaptable to a large range of conditions.

Myriophyllum elatinoides is found in South America, Mexico, the Falkland Islands, Tasmanie, and New Zealand.


Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for

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