How to Propagate Anubias in Aquarium?

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Anubias refers to a family of aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants. They are native to tropical central and western Africa and predominantly grow in rivers, streams, and marshes.

Their broad, thick, and dark leaves come in different forms. The plant prefers to grow in shady places. Anubias gets its name after the Egyptian god Anubias, the god of the afterlife.

It is one of the best plants for your aquarium. They are easy to care for and brighten up any fish tank with their deep green coloring.

Anubias is one of the hardiest plants to have for your tank, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

Can You Propagate Anubias?

It is easy to propagate Anubias. Most aquarium hobbyists choose to propagate the plant in artificial environments by stolon division or from side shoots.

Taking Anubias Cuttings

Take some sharp scissors and cut the rhizome/creeping rootstalk of your fully grown Anubias.

Make sure you do not make too many cuttings on the parent plant, or it may struggle to survive once you place it back into the tank.

Also, perform a cutting with at least three leaves, as the leaves can help in photosynthesis and allow the plant to develop new roots.

Plant the Cuttings

Place the stolon above the substrate to prevent rot and help the cutting survive. Do not plant the cutting directly into the soil and attach the stolon to a piece of rock or driftwood.

The Anubias cuttings are more likely to grow when the rhizome and roots remain exposed. Alternatively, you may propagate Anubias by seed.

You should see new leaves sprouting within 4 – 6 weeks of placing the stolon in the tank. It’s among the easiest aquatic plants to propagate among aquarium hobbyists.

Nutrients and Light Requirements

All species in the Araceae family have a slow growth rate, and they produce a new leaf once every three weeks or slower than that.

It was one of the few aquatic plants that were unresponsive to CO2 addition.

However, hobbyists now see significant results and improved growth with CO2 addition and high-intensity lighting.

Water Parameters

Ensuring ideal water parameters can help your plant thrive in the long run. Ensure that the water temperature is between 71 F and 82 F with a pH of 6.0 – 7.0.

Position them in the middle or at the back of the aquarium for the best growing results.

How Long Does It Take for Anubias to Grow?

While these are hardy plants, they are one of the slower-growing aquarium plants. It will take anywhere from 3 – 6 weeks or more for a new leaf to form, and the leaves can be as large as 5 inches or as small as half an inch.

Nevertheless, they are worth the wait. Their bright-colored leaves lighten up any aquarium setup and offer the most spectacular view.

Can You Propagate Anubias from Leaf?

The most common way of propagating an Anubias is through rhizome or seed. You may not find much success propagating through the leaf.

However, if you were to cut and place a rhizome with 2 to 3 leaves attached to it, you may have a new plant within 4 to 6 weeks.

Can You Grow Anubias Emerged from Water?

Anubias can grow emerged. However, you have to provide a moist environment for the plant to grow and thrive.

Many aquarium hobbyists vouch that an emerged Anubias grows faster than the rest.

However, keeping the plant emerged can cause the newly grown leaves to wither and promote new growth under water.

How To Care for Anubias?

Anubias are hardy plants that don’t need much caring. They do not demand the best water or lighting conditions and survive well in most water parameters and light settings.

Providing your Anubias with a high light setting can cause the leaves to grow more compact.

The plant prefers low to medium lighting. Leaving them under high lighting can cause the leaves to become covered with algae.

Their broad bright green-colored leaves make them one of the most popular aquarium plants.

So long as you have the patience to wait for a minimum of 4-6 weeks to watch a new leaf appear, Anubias may be the perfect plant for your tank.

Advantages of Anubias

Anubias is one of the hardiest aquatic plants you will ever find.

These plants are an excellent option for beginners, as they are not too sensitive to fluctuating parameters and thrive well in most water conditions.

Here are some of the advantages of Anubias:

1. Easy To Care

You do not have to worry about providing extra care to an Anubias plant.

They survive well in most water parameters, temperatures, and lighting conditions.

2. Low Maintenance

Anubias requires very little maintenance. It is a low-light plant and survives well in low-tech tanks and shady spots of a high-tech tank.

Unlike a few other plants, you do not have to prune or trim them frequently. They grow slowly but guarantee steady growth without much interference on your part.

3. A Pretty Sight 

The thick deep green leaves of the Anubias plant can liven up your aquarium and add a beautiful dash of green to your tank.

The plant’s benefits naturally go beyond the visual. Anubias is also effective at keeping the water clean of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites; chemicals that have the potential to kill the fish.

Popular Anubias Types

1. Anubias Nana Petite

The Nana Petite is one of the classic plants from the Anubias family with leaves that are less than an inch in size.

These make an excellent choice for nano tanks due to their small size. However, these plants can also complement larger aquascapes quite well.

Their distinct dark green shade makes them stand out from other plants, creating a beautiful contrast, especially if your tank is populated by brightly-colored fish.

2. Anubias Nana Golden

Nana Golden is the larger version of the popular Nana Petite with much lighter yellow-colored and larger leaves, capable of growing up to 5 inches.

These are perfect plants for mid and background placement in large fish tanks.

3. Anubias Barteri Round 

Anubias Golden Coin has longer stems than the Nana species, and the leaves look round and peculiar. These work great for mid or background placement in an aquarium.

4. Anubias Nana Pinto

Anubias Nana Pinto is one of the rare species of the Anubias family. Each leaf in a plant contains a unique white-green pattern.

The nana pinto variety requires high-intensity lighting to maintain its healthy white variegation. Not to mention, these can take their own sweet time to grow.

5. Anubias Nana Snow White

The nana snow white is a newer species that can be rather hard to find. The leaves have a pale greenish tint, causing them to demand high-intensity lighting.

The high light environment is crucial for these plants to maintain their whitish tint.

Naturally, you need to devise a strategy to keep the algae under control, since the excess lighting creates the perfect environment for them.


Anubias is a versatile plant that can make a splendid addition to your home aquarium. They come in several varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors.

Adding this staple plant to your tank can add new character and definition to your aquascape.

Now that you know everything about one of the hardiest aquatic plants there are, it’s time to get an Anubias for your tank. Happy Aquascaping.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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