Cryptocoryne Wendtii Care and Types | Ultimate Guide

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Cryptocoryne Wendtii, also known as Wendt’s water trumpet, is one of the most popular aquarium plants available today. Easy to grow and propagate, this species tolerates varying light levels and doesn’t need Co2 injection. One of the best aspects of this plant is the many color variations available: green, red, bronze, broadleaf, compact and more! Excellent and varied aquascaping options are possible with just a single species.

Native to Sri Lanka, Cryptocoryne Wendtii grows in a rosette with leaves branching out from a central hub. Useful as a foreground and midground plant, the range of varieties available offer many layout choices for the hobbyist.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Care

In order to grow Cryptocoryne Wendtii in an aquarium, proper care is required since they can be sensitive to changes in water quality. A big shock can cause its leaves to melt. Often this is scary to those new to this plant but new growth will eventually appear and thrive.

Lighting Requirement

Cryptocoryne Wendtii will grow well under both low and high light conditions. Consider using full spectrum lighting for best results. If you are using other aquarium plants with either low or high light requirements, this species will tolerate either. This makes it useful in a wide range of aquarium settings.

This species will flourish under full spectrum lighting but it isn’t a requirement. Full spectrum LED lighting has made great strides in recent years. For best results get an LED aquarium light with PAR, or Photosynthetically Active Radiation. This will include the light spectrum most useful for your plants. There can be some confusion as PAR can also mean Parabolic Aluminized Reflector. The latter type is used in stage lighting. This can be confusing during searches as both meanings of PAR are common.


Cryptocoryne Wendtii will tolerate temperatures in a range from 68-83 °F. Try and keep a temperature of 78 °F for best results. It is important to not change temperatures too rapidly. A temperature shock can cause this–and other Crypts–to melt. This is a forgiving species but the exception is its sensitivity  sudden temperature changes.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Cryptocoryne Wendtii. Edited. Ghostsword, CC BY 3.0

Water pH

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is best suited to neutral water of 6.8 to 7.2 pH. When planning your tank, make sure your substrate choice will not move your pH values out of this species’ preferred range. Substrates that include aragonite sand can move your water’s alkalinity far outside this plant’s comfort zone. Conversely, a substrate like ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia can lower water pH into the harmfully acidic. Flourite Seachem is inert and will not change your tank’s pH. However it does not provide the nutrients needed by many aquarium plants and may need added fertilizer.

Growth Rate

Cryptocoryne Wendtii are slow growing. This growth rate can be boosted by quality lighting and Co2 injection. Lighting choices should include plant spectrum grow bulbs or specialized aquarium LED lights with PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). Though known for its low light requirements and tolerance for low Co2, adding both of these to your tank setup will increase this species’ growth rate.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is a root feeder so ensure enough soil nutrients to support improved growth rate. Fertilizer, both liquid and root tabs, may be used. This plant doesn’t need large amounts of fertilizer as it is naturally a slow grower. Root tabs, placed under the substrate, should last a few months. This will vary depending on the other plant species in your tank.

One trick to growing Cryptocoryne Wendtii is potting the plants in clay pots in your tank. These potted plants are buried in substrate. This will reduce this species’ tendency to put out runners. It will also cause the plant to form a more dense, compact shape. This is helpful as this plant can sometimes put out more runners than you might want, leading to a semi-sparse “carpet” of individual plants that doesn’t fully cover the underlying substrate.

Growth Height

Cryptocoryne Wendtii will grow to around 4 to 6 inches. This is a useful species to have in the foreground and midground areas of your tank. It’s shorter growth isn’t suitable for background plantings but can provide cover to stem plants which can have sparse or brown lower leaves.

Is Aquarium Co2 Injection Necessary for Cryptocoryne Wendtii?

Cryptocoryne Wendtii will grow well without added Co2. However, like many aquarium plants it will benefit from injected Co2. This is a slow growing species and a Co2 injection system can speed growth. It will tolerate lower Co2 levels well as long as increased growth rate isn’t needed.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Propagation

Cryptocoryne Wendtii propagates via runners, creating daughter plants. These are cut from the mother plant and placed in a new location. This is a slow growing species. When propagating it is important to recognize that your new plants will take a long time to mature. This process can be accelerated with better lighting, Co2 injection and fertilizer.

Some hobbyists will uproot an entire plant to separate out daughter plants for propagation. Cryptocoryne Wendtii, like other crypts, has an extensive root system. It can be difficult to propagate without uprooting the entire plant, though it is possible.

Being cut off from mother plant will cause stress. Expect your newly planted daughter plants to die back, or “melt.” This is a common occurrence for many aquarium plants when being transplanted or otherwise shocked. This is natural and eventually you will see your plants returning with new growth.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii can also grow emersed. In fact, this is how it usually grows in nature. Growing this species emersed will improve growth rate considerably, compared to submersed growth in an aquarium. If you are serious about Cryptocoryne Wendtii propagation then emersed growing may be the best choice.

Do Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flower?

Cryptocoryne Wendtii creates flowers when growing emersed. When growing submersed in an aquarium flowers do not form. The flower, which grows from the center of the plant, has a tubular appearance resembling a horn. This is likely the source of another common name for this species: Wendt’s water trumpet.

Where can I find Cryptocoryne Wendtii for sale?

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is available from aquarium stores and online. This plant can also be bought as tissue cultures. Tissue cultures are small cuttings grown in a sterile media. An advantage to tissue cultures is sterility: most are guaranteed to be free from any insects, parasites or diseases. This is important if you are planning a heavily planted aquarium with many different species. If you are using potted aquarium plants, each may be sourced from different growers. Any one grower might have allowed a parasite or infection to grow in their stock. The more plants you include, the greater your chances of introducing unwanted “guests” to your tank. Plants grown from tissue cultures avoid this. A downside to starting with tissue cultures is that plants usually begin very small and can take a long time to mature. When working with a naturally slow-growing species Cryptocoryne Wendtii this can mean a much longer wait time until maturity.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Types

One interesting feature of Cryptocoryne Wendtii is all the different forms available. These forms will have different colors and leaf shapes. This gives you a lot of options for tank aquascaping, all with one species of plant! Let’s take a look at some of the more common forms.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green is the most common variety of this species. Leaves are mostly green and somewhat broad with occasional lighter colored mottling.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red

The Reddish brown leaves of Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red distinguish it from the more common green version. Its leaves are less broad than the green form and have more of a crinkled or hammered appearance.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Tropica

Shorter than the more common green form, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Tropica, can lay flatter when grown in open spaces. Tropica’s leaves are green, orange, bronze and crinkled in appearance. This form is ideal for foreground use due to it tendency to grow lower to the surface of tank substrates.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze’s leaf growth similar to the green form of this species: somewhat broad with a crinkled appearance. Its leaves display green and bronze coloration and do not usually lie flat as in the Tropica form.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Mi Oya

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Mi Oya is another name for Cryptocoryne Wendtii’s red form. Its leaves are generally less broad than the green form and have more of a crinkled or hammered appearance.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Compact

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Compact is a shorter, denser form of Cryptocoryne Wendtii. When grown in an aquarium the leaves range from brownish green to chocolate brown. The compact nature of this form can be accentuated by planting in a clay pot buried in your tank’s substrate.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Broadleaf

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Broadleaf has, as the name implies, slightly broader leaves than other forms. Coloration is deep green with occasional brown mottling.

Other types of Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne Wendtii has many forms but it is important to remember that these are still the same species. How a particular form will appear in your tank will often differ from the pictures shown by your plant supplier. For this reason, Cryptocoryne Wendtii forms are best thought of as “tendencies” of one species.