Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides (Lawn Pennywort): Care Guide

Common Name(s)Lawn Pennywort, Lawn Marsh Pennywort, Dwarf Pennywort
Scientific NameHydrocótyle sibthorpioídes
Ease of GrowingEasy to Medium
Temperature50 – 86 °F(10 – 30°C)
Growth RateModerate to Fast 
PropagationCut stem and replant
Light RequirementMedium
CO2 RequirementRequired 
Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides (Lawn Pennywort)
Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides (Lawn Pennywort)

A small plant native to the Southeastern region of Asia, the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides grows quite well under the right conditions.  Over the past few years, the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides have found themselves spreading to the United States as well as other parts of the world.  It is very popular among aquarium hobbyists and have also been known to have various medicinal purposes.  The hydrocotyle sibthorpioides has clover-like leaves which create these lovely bushels of green, yellow, and white.  The leaves of the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides have shoots that grow above the ground and are kidney-shaped to round. More commonly known as lawn marsh pennywort, the plant is versatile and can withstand many different types of aquariums.  Built for the foreground and/or mid-ground, this plant will grow quite fast under the right conditions and must be trimmed often to keep them from taking over the whole tank.  Caring for the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides is quite easy if you follow the correct parameters for the plant. 

Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides Care

The hydrocotyle sibthorpioides can have its complications, but if you follow the correct guides on caring for it, then it does become quite easy to care for.  Make sure to plan out your tanks before putting anything in them.  This key step will help you avoid any potential problems with creatures or plants that you might end up putting inside.  Since this plant operates a wide range of temperatures, there are many fish that would enjoy having this plant alongside them.  Keeping your hydrocotyle sibthorpioides healthy will be a key aspect that will need to be watched throughout the tank’s life. 

Lighting Requirement

The hydrocotyle sibthorpioides needs quite a bit of light in order to flourish.  Since it comes from tropical regions of Southeast Asia, it is used to having a lot of light shined on it, so make sure you have a steady source of light shining on the plant for at least eight hours a day.


The temperature-range that the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides can survive in is quite wide with the lowest amount being around 50°F (10°C) and the highest being around 86 °F(30°C).  This is why the plant has done so well in other parts of the world.  However, if you are looking for the ideal temperature for making your hydrocotyle sibthorpioides flourish, then you will want to keep the temperature between 68- 84°F (20- 28°C).

Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides
Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides

Water pH

As for the pH level, you want to try to keep it between 5-7.  This can be flexible to a certain degree, but too much deviation from this pH range will result in problems for your hydrocotyle sibthorpioides.

Growth Rate

The hydrocotyle sibthorpioides will grow very quickly under the right conditions.  This happens when the temperature is within its perfect range and the water conditions are just right.  There will need to be a fair amount of trimming every now and then to make sure that the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides does not get out of control.  The hydrocotyle sibthorpioides also produces small flowers that are a faint yellow with a small hint of purple to them. 

In terms of height, the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides will grow between 5-10 inches long.  The leaf width ranges from .5-2 cm.  Again, these sizes depend greatly on how well the plant is taken care of in the tank.

Co2 Requirement

For the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, a CO2 injection is necessary, as well as a regular supply of nitrate, phosphate, iron, and micronutrients.  Without the CO2 supplement, the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides would almost certainly decay and die over time.  This plant is a demanding plant that needs good light and a solid amount of CO2 between 20-30 mg/l.  Anything outside of that will make the plant die.

Propagating Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides

To propagate the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, there is an easy, but careful process that must be done. First, start off by trimming the stems with a clean cut using a pair of good scissors.  Pull apart the dense clumps and split the roots, which then make the plant ready for replanting.  Any new shoots can be trimmed anywhere along the stem, which will allow the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides to grow thicker and more compact.  New growth should happen fairly quickly after the process is complete. 

Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides for Sale

If you are looking to brighten your tank with the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, there are a number of different online sites in which you can purchase the plant from.  Such online shops like EBay, Etsy, or more local shops like Sandy Plants Inc. or Buceplant will sell the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides usually for under $20.  You may also be able to find this plant in local aquarium shops if they have a wide selection of aquarium plants.

Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides Variegata

There is a variety of the hydrocotyle sibthorpioide called the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides variegate.  While the regular hydrocotyle sibthorpioides tend to have more green coloring, the variegate type is distinctly variegated, with an attractive yellow/white edging.  Some experts believe that this coloring might have been brought on sue to the spreading of the plant throughout the world.

Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides vs Hydrocotyle Tripartita

A similar pennywort to the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides is the hydrocotyle tripartite.  The hydrocotyle tripartite shares many of the same features, however, the tripartite has different kinds of leaves that are deeply indented three-to-five-lobed leaves.  The leaf tends to look a little more like a clover and the plant, as a whole, is less demanding than the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides.  The tripartite also is a faster grower and has more of an overhanging growth habit.  Furthermore, the exact origins of the hydrocotyle tripartite is not exactly clear as it is not as common as the hydrocotyle sibthorpioides.