Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent a lot of time recently musing about tiger lotuses and how attractive they are as an aquatic plant species, but probably not the most suitable for starting up a Walstad tank (the pads take up precious air surface and block out light with little to no nitrogen uptake.)

This led me to wonder about my other splashy purchase of the summer, a spray of umbrella papyrus palms:
20210618_160833-jpg.73629 (4032×3024) (aquaticplantcentral.com)

They've nearly doubled in size over the space of 4 months:
20211010_073747-jpg.74031 (3024×4032) (aquaticplantcentral.com)

Wonder shells, and occasional root tabs certainly had a contributing effect, but I think the real key was providing sufficient room for their roots to grow, not an easy task in a bowl with only a small bottom to work with. I got around it by stacking two of these filter containers on top of each other with soil inside:
20210618_154110-jpg.73632 (4032×3024) (aquaticplantcentral.com)

So, their roots have had a good 4-5 inches of dirt to penetrate over time and they did. My question is, are they any better than the tiger lotuses at nitrogen removal? I'm guessing their air advantage is superlative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
That's so interesting. So much of the online info at the time I acquired the umbrella palms was on the plant as a terrestrial (a lot of advice about root balls, how to prevent your plant from becoming root bound, etc.-) albeit one with a lot of adaptability for use in ponds and aquariums. It turns out they have much more in common with lucky bamboo, am I right?

In any event, I've followed your advice and drafted an old dishwasher drainer as both a platform and a way for the roots to grow into the water:
Plant Leaf Botany Organism Terrestrial plant
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,917 Posts
Good chance that the bamboo and umbrella plant will work just as many houseplants that people use in this manner. Some commercial hydroponic setups have the plant roots of their crops suspended in water, which is fertilized via fish waste. The only potential problems I would watch out for is not having enough light or enough iron.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The palm stems seem to have a shelf life of several months before they begin to tip over due to one of two scenarios; 1) either they grow so tall that their center of gravity shifts to the bottom of the plant or, 2) they develop a rot at just about the point where the center of gravity is about to shift. So far, for every stem on its way out, there is a new one growing to replace it. But lately, because I can't stand letting anything go to waste, I have begun to clip the healthy part of the dying plant and use them to root new offspring. The collection is beginning to grow :
Tableware Wheel Drinkware Liquid Automotive lighting
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top