Flowering aquatic plants

Most of associate flowering plants with gardens, pots and pond ecosystems. Everybody knows water lilies but have you ever thought about having some flowering aquarium plants? Yes, you are not mistaken. There is a wide range of flowering plants that you can keep in your tank. In fact, the water environment will be the only one suitable for them. These beautiful ornaments will be a great and natural addition to your aquascape.

two planted aquariums

Classification of flowering plants

First of all, we need to know that we divide aquarium plants into overwater and underwater flowering plants.

The first type of aquatic flowering plants means that they don't bloom underwater. Instead of that, they spread their leaves, shoots and flowers to the surface of the water in your tank. In some cases you will be able to see them bloom above the water line. Some flowers can even float on the surface of the water.

The second type of aquarium plants that produce flowers are underwater ones. They produce underwater blooms and suit best for tanks that have a cover.

a planted aquarium

Overwater flowering plants

Those are examples of the best flowering aquarium plants that flowers grow above the water level:

Banana plant

Banana plant also known as the banana lily is kind of an aquarium plant that is perfect for beginners. To introduce this aquatic plant to our tank it is required to have at least two inches of substrate, such as gravel or sand. You may also leave it floating in your tank and it will send roots down into the substrate. Banana plant is a hardy plant that is easy to care for. It can survive in temperatures that range from 68°F to 82°F. Special light conditions are not needed too. Its name comes from tuber stalks that form at base of leaves, that look like tiny bananas. And the second name exists because they produce flowers that float on the surface of you aquarium- white and tiny flowers, resembling water lilies.

Amazon sword plant

Amazon sword plants are one of the most popular flowering aquarium plants that fits ideally the background of your aquarium. The sword plant dense, dark green foliage will stand out from its surroundings.

And also amazon sword plants killer feature is that they can easily hide a filter tube or an aquarium heater if those devices ruin your concept of a fish tank.

The other reason why they are often chosen by aquascapers is the fact that they are one of the easiest plants to grow. Moreover, these aquatic plants have short stems and long leaves that can easily reach 16 inches in height and their insets produce flowers if you let them grow above the water line.

a planted nano tank

Madagascar Lace Plant

This proposition is for somebody that is experienced with flowering aquatic plants and wants to try his abilities with some truly unique and beautiful flowers. This lace plant should be placed in the level of difficulty in moderate to high. Madagascar lace plant needs a rich substrate and its tuber to be only partially covered. They prefer cooler temperatures from 65°F to 74°F and warmer summer resting period from 76°F to 82°F. If you increase the water temperature in the right moment and keep applying fertilizer and CO2 injection, your rhizome will sprout thin green leaves and produce small purple flowers above the water's surface. If you consider purchasing a CO2 regulator kit, visit our site and check the offer.

a CO2 regulator with gas cylinder

Red tiger lotus

Lotus plants have charming broad leaves and white flowers. They are tolerant of a wide range of water temperatures and other water parameters. Red tiger lotus will also provide shelter and hiding spots for shy fish and shrimp. Another gripping aspect of the red tiger lotus is that it can grow flowers at the surface. If a lotus has lots of lily pads, their colors may range from white to pink. Be careful because this plant can easily overtake your aquarium if you let it grow unchecked.

Underwater flowering plants

Those are examples of flowering aquatic plants that grow completely underwater:

Anubias plant

The Anubias plants family have range in color from dark green to blackish or even pinkish. They are the most popular flowering aquarium plants and can be found in every local fish store. It is one of the few aquarium plants that can release a flower under water. It resembles a flower of anthurium. Unfortunately, it is not so colorful and only comes in a white or greenish version but still those delicate white flowers look amazingly under water!

The only thing that you should remember while having anubias plants, is to remove yellowish or rotting leaves though they may damage the entire plant or the ecosystem if the level of toxic compounds rises.


This slow growing plant is native to Indonesia where it thrives under low to moderate lighting conditions and infrequent feeding. This is the exact reason why they are rather easy to care for. It reaches 8 inches when fully mature and they are very similar in appearance and care to Anubias plants. This is another example of a plant that is capable of producing flowers regularly inside the water. These flowers are non-functional and deteriorate quickly underwater. However, for a few days they can look extremely decorative. Adding some extra CO2 brings out more vivid growth and colors. Fertilization is optional for the Bucephalandra, because it belongs to a slow growing plants.

a plant


Next of our flowering aquarium plants is the Hornwort which is popular among aquatic plants due to having fluffy stems and being a fast growing plant that quickly cleans and oxygenates the water. It belongs to aquarium plants that obligatorily needs heavytrimming and pruning to keep their growth under control. It isn’t the most impressive flowering plant, but it has small brown flowers that can be completely submerged. This plant is also really flexible, it can be placed at the top as a floating plant or grounded in the substrate.

the hornwort with a snail on it

What should I know more?

There is a wide variety of beautiful flowering aquarium plants. When purchasing flowering aquarium plants, look for healthy green leaves, stems, tubers and roots. A healthy freshwater plants will usually have solid green leaves without holes, cracks or other damage around the edges. Leaf color should range from lighter green for younger leaves to darker green for older ones.

Damaged leaves cannot repair themselves, so if they have holes or are cracked, they may need to be cut off. If a plant has a damaged leaf or two, it still may be alright to buy. Just make sure there will be enough healthy leaves remaining once the bad leaves are trimmed off.

a fish tank with many plants


If you are thinking now about adding some plants to a freshwater aquarium, there are endless choices and flowering plants may be a great ornament to your tank, even for a short time when the flowers blossom. In fact, we only have flowers on our balconies in the spring and in the summer so do not expect aquatic plants to flower the entire year.

You should consider color and shape as some important things when trying to achieve the most matching look.

a planted tank