Category Archives: foreground plant

Pogostemon helferi – a stunning foreground plant.

Each week we run deals on plants for £1.99. They might be big, they might be small but one thing for sure, they’re always a great deal. Today we’ve got a deal on the lovely foreground plant called Pogostemon helferi. We’ve bought over 200 of them and by Monday they’ll probably be sold.

This lovely plant needs brighter light to flourish and grows up to 10cm so great therefore ideal for nano tanks or smaller aquariums. You can, of course, grow it in larger tanks – you just need more of them 😉 Although it appreciates the addition of pressurised CO2 in the aquarium, it’s not a must – without it, growth is just a bit slower.

If you’d like to be the first in the line for these types of deals, maybe subscribe to my newsletters here http://eepurl.com/Aw_Nb.

pogostemon helferi

You can find a link to the foreground plant Pogostemon heferi by clicking the above picture OR clicking this link here. So if you wanted to take advantage of this super offer, click the links and be quick. Normally on sale for only 4-5 days.

If you’re outside the UK and mainland Europe, we can’t get the plants to you fast enough.

If you’d like lots of detail on this plant, have a look at this link from the Tropica website

By: Ole Pedersen

Pogostemon helferi is a different but beautiful foreground plant which under good growth conditions forms a dense carpet of dark green leaves. The curly leaves and different leaf form make it stand out from the crowd of other foreground plants and thereby, it creates an attractive variation and regeneration of the planted aquarium.

The full scientific name is Pogostemon helferi (Hook. f.) Press and from this it follows that it is closely related to another popular aquarium plant, Pogostemon stellatus. The meaning of the genus name is “bearded stamens” from “pogo” (bearded) and “stemon” (stamen) but as yet there is no English common name for Pogostemon helferi. Two Thai aquarist, Nonn Panitvong and Arthit Prasartkul, recovered the plant on the boarder between Thailand and Myanmar and in Thailand the plant is called “dao noi” which means little star. Here, the plant is found in between the other amphibious vegetation along creeks and small rivers where it is found submerged during the wet season and emerged during the dry. The soil in this part of Thailand is often iron rich clay with a reasonable amount of calcium carbonate and this makes it ideal as an aquarium plant.

Pogostemon helferi is not easily confused with other aquarium plants because of the curly leaves. Under good light conditions, short internodes are formed which result in a compact and bushy look. The inflorescence is simple, 15-30 mm long and the individual flowers are lavender. Usually, it forms flowers only when emerged.
 
At Tropica, we cultivate Pogostemon helferi in emergent cultures which bring along advantages not only for Tropica but also for the aquarist. The emergent plants are always free from algae but in addition, they also acclimate much easier to the water in the individual tanks found among different aquarists. The reason is likely that in nature, these plants experience large natural fluctuations in water quality upon the start of the wet season when ions in different amounts are washed out from the catchment area. This phenomenon probably makes the plant more adaptive to submergence in different types of waters also in our tanks. When planting Pogostemon helferi into the aquarium, the cluster of plantlets should be divided into 4-5 blocks which are then planted into the substrate with a distance of 3-5 cm. In this way, a homogenous carpet is rapidly formed. Remember to remove loose leaves or leaves which are already senescent together with big lumps of roots. This tissue will soon die anyway and start to decay, and this will slow down the establishment of the new plants. Pogostemon helferi looks best if it is planted in small groups or even in larger groups in the foreground.

Pogostemon helferi is not particularly light demanding, but the more light we provide, the more compact the growth form, and the compact form is what most people find attractive. Under less light, the plant grows taller (up to 15 cm) whereas intense light results in compact shoots not longer than 5-8 cm. Pogostemon helferi is relatively fast growing and thus, it needs additional nutrients. Iron deficiency sometimes occurs and is recognized by the new leaves being yellowish but this is easily treated by using liquid Premium Fertiliser in the recommended doses. At luxurious growth, it becomes necessary to trim the plants and this should be done by removing entire shoots allowing light and nutrient to penetrate all the way down to the remaining shoots. CO2 enrichment always stimulates growth, but it is not really required to grow Pogostemon helferi successfully; the plant simply grows a bit slower. Pogostemon helferi thrives in a broad temperature interval from 23 to 30°C.

Pogostemon helferi is among the easiest foreground plant we have because it is not as light demanding as most other foreground plants; at low light, the individual stems simply grow a bit longer and the plant appears less compact. Try Pogostemon helferi together with other foreground plants such as Glossostigma or Hemianthus to create new and exciting color contrast in the aquarium.

Pogostemon helferi is relatively new in our hobby and thus, there is not much information available as yet. However, we recommend consulting the articles listed below if you want to learn more about this exiting plant.

Struggling with foreground plants?

You won’t be the first and certainly not the last. Foreground plants are the trickiest – not because they are harder than other plants, but just that they need a little more attention than others. The main factor to consider is their location – right at the bottom of the tank where there is the least amount of light, water movement and CO2.

If your foreground plants are struggling, think about their location and then ask yourself this question:

are you giving them what they want?

 

They want decent light, good fertilisers and CO2. If you don’t give them this, growth will be slow and odds are the plants will die off and algae grows. Point your circulation pump at them – they need to sway in the current and make sure CO2 is physically being pushed over them and getting trapped in the leaves.

Make sure you’re providing good ferts like Neutro+ because when the CO2 is being pushed over them, the ferts will be too (double whammy :))

Are you struggling with foreground plants? Let me know and reply to this post and I can help

What’s your favourite one – mine if HC 🙂