Hygrophila Araguaia (Hygrophila lancea ‘Araguaia’): Care Guide

Hygrophila Araguaia is an uncommon plant that may be unfamiliar to many hobbyists. Identified as ‘Araguaia’ in the trade after a river in Brazil, it originates in Asia. Compact, tightly arranged leaves combined with low growth height makes it ideal for foreground placement in aquarium aquascaping. While not naturally an epiphyte, this species can be coaxed to grow while attached to wood instead of being rooted in substrate. For those planning on adding this unusual species to their aquariums, we’ve put together this guide with everything needed for years of success!

Hygrophila Araguaia Care

Hygrophila Araguaia can be grown with minimal help in most aquariums. For best growth it will need bright light, CO2 injection, and fertilization. This plant’s care needs increase when grown as an epiphyte. Not a natural epiphyte, Hygrophila Araguaia can grow attached to wood without substrate provided its nutritional needs are met.

Are Hygrophila Araguaia easy to care for in an aquarium?

Hygrophila Araguaia needs some extra support for best growth. This can include high intensity lighting, CO2 injection, and liquid fertilizers. While these aren’t absolutely required they can help this plant grow faster. Beginning hobbyists can raise this plant in low tech tanks, but should understand that it will take longer to grow and spread.

Hygrophila Araguaia (Hygrophila lancea 'Araguaia')
Hygrophila Araguaia (Hygrophila lancea ‘Araguaia’)

How do you plant Hygrophila Araguaia?

Hygrophila Araguaia is best planted in nutrient rich substrates, but can also be attached to wood and grown as an epiphyte with enough nutritional support. Many commercially produced plants are grown emersed. When these new plants transition to submerged growth in an aquarium they have a tendency to melt. Melting is seen as browning and loss of older leaves before new growth forms. Foliage on Hygrophila Araguaia grown emersed is different than foliage when submerged. New plants may not look like you expect until the melting and regrowth process is complete.

Whiel Hygrophila Araguaia isn’t an epiphyte by nature it can attach to wood and grow without substrate. Growing this way is more difficult and will require added liquid fertilizers to replace nutrients it would normally draw while growing in substrate.

Lighting Requirement for Hygrophila Araguaia

Hygrophila Araguaia needs medium to bright lighting. While it will grow in medium light, providing high intensity lighting can increase growth rate and encourage reddish brown coloration.


Hygrophila Araguaia is capable of living in a wide band of temperatures from 64° F to 86° F.

Water pH

Hygrophila Araguaia prefers acidic to neutral water between 4 and 7 pH.

Growth Rate

Hygrophila Araguaia grows at a moderate rate even with bright lighting, CO2 injection, and fertilizers. While this plant will need regular trimming it grows slowly enough that it’s easy to manage in most aquariums.

Growth Height

Hygrophila Araguaia usually grows between 2 and 5 inches when submerged. This plant is a good choice for foreground covering.

CO2 Requirement

Hygrophila Araguaia doesn’t require CO2 injection, but it is recommended. Added CO2 will increase growth rate and can be necessary when attempting to grow this plant as an epiphyte. While Hygrophila Araguaia isn’t a natural epiphyte it can grow on wood where it can absorb some nutrients. When attempting to grow this plant without soil CO2 injection and added fertilizers will be necessary.

Hygrophila Araguaia Propagation

Hygrophila Araguaia propagates by sending out side shoots which develop into separate plants. Once these daughter plants develop their own root systems they can be removed and replanted to new locations. When trimming for propagation or regular maintenance it’s important to use sharp scissors which can make a clean cut. Dull cutting instruments can bruise runners which can lead to rot. Often this plant can recover from slight damage, but sharp tools will help to prevent this.

Can you grow Hygrophila Araguaia emersed?

Hygrophila Araguaia can grow emersed but foliage will be completely different than when grown submerged. Many commercial growers use emersed growing to quickly produce new plants for the aquarium hobbyist market. While this a great way to raise new plants they can take a while to acclimatize to submerged growth. Emersed plants which are submerged will undergo melting: this is a process where old leaves brown and die which allows new growth to form. It can be disconcerting to watch, but is a normal process for many aquarium plants transitioning from emersed to submerged growth.

Can you grow Hygrophila Araguaia on wood?

Hygrophila Araguaia isn’t naturally an epiphyte, but can be grown without soil in the right environment. It’s easiest to grow this plant on wood where its roots can absorb some nutrients. When attempting to grow this plant as an epiphyte it’s important to include liquid fertilizers in your tank’s water column along with CO2 injection.

Where can I find Hygrophila Araguaia for sale?

Hygrophila Araguaia is an uncommon aquarium plant which may be hard to find in local fish stores, but can be easier to obtain from online sources. Expect to pay around $6 USD to $10 USD depending on bunch size. This plant is also available as tissue cultures. Tissue culture plants are guaranteed to be disease and pest free and are a good choice when introducing many plants into an aquarium at once. Tissue cultures are slower to get started, but have fewer problems with melting.

Hygrophila Araguaia vs Hygrophila Pinnatifida

Hygrophila Araguaia and Hygrophila Pinnatifida have similar care needs, but H. Pinnatifida is easier to grow without substrate. H. Pinnatifida has differently shaped foliage which is green to brown-green on top and burgundy on the bottom. H. Araguaia is shorter and more suited to foreground placement. If you are looking for a plant which grows without soil then H. Pinnatifida may be the better choice.

Hygrophila Araguaia vs Hygrophila Corymbosa

Hygrophila Araguaia and Hygrophila Corymbosa are both stem plant varieties, but the latter is easier to buy and can be more hardy in low tech tank setups. H. Araguaia needs fertilizers and CO2 injection for best growth and health. H. Corymbosa’s foliage is green while H. Araguaia can develop reddish brown coloration with high intensity lighting.