Water Sprite: Growing, Careing, Floating & More

There’s nothing like having a beautiful flower water bed with a water sprite plant in it. Such a gracious floating aquarium plant adds more value to your environment. Therefore, the water sprite is a plant you did want to consider growing.

It is even more exciting that the water sprite plant is easy to grow. There is no need to worry about the aquarium floating plant. And that’s what stands it out from all other aquarium plants.

There are certain factors to consider to do a great job at growing an aquarium plant. Now, let’s get talking!

What is a Water Sprite Plant?

Water sprite is one of the earth’s most common amphibious plants! The excellent news is that it can live on both water and land.

Water sprite grows with ease and has a low cost of maintenance all year round. The scientific name for the plant is ‘Ceratopteris Thalictroides‘ or ‘Ceratopteris Siliquosa.’

It is a pan-tropical aquatic plant that belongs to the family of Pteridaceae. Some of the plant’s names include; water fern, Indian fern, and Indian water fern. Others are the oriental water fern, water horn fern, and more.

Indian fern is an aquatic plant that grows on freshwater (moving or static) and the land.

What does the Water Sprite Plant Look Like?

Water sprite is a light green plant that has slightly darker green stems. The leaves sprout from the main stem. They spread out like a feather, a spider’s web, or in a finger-like manner.

It’s a floating plant that has an appealing appearance and looks a lot like a lattice.

When in good condition, its leaves appear pale and bright in color. An adequate supply of all the nutrients will result in a healthy tangle of stems. It can also grow as a mid-ground plant with an exceptional beautification of your environment.

Benefits of the Floating Aquarium Plant


Filtration involves the removal of impurities and contamination in a water body. Therefore, the water sprite plant provides filtration for your water garden and pond. Now, isn’t that incredible!

That gives you one less reason to worry about filtration filters. Though you still need to have water filters as safety measures.

When floating, this aquatic plant draws all its nutrients from the water. And by doing so, it absorbs and removes nitrate from the water. It makes the work of a filter easier.

Remember, the water still needs filtering twice a week for more outstanding results.

Provides shade

Do you own a water garden or pond? Then, you need this live aquarium plant because it protects other water plants in your garden. While in your pond, it covers your fish from direct sunlight and tank lights.

So, you get two benefits for the presence of one. You get beautiful scenery and the preservation of your plants. The fish in the pond also gets a good hiding place from the elements.


Are you afraid that your fish will die due to low oxygen? No worries, as the live water sprite plant will produce tons of oxygen for your fish. Now, isn’t that amazing?

Water sprite helps regulate the oxygen in your water. That’s one of the blessings of the floating aquatic fern.

Waste eradication

Water sprite serves as a waste removal agent. It filters away all the fish waste in the aquarium. The plant also absorbs all harmful chemicals that can hurt the fish.

What about Algae growth?

The water sprite filtration process is so incredible that it terminates algae presence in your water. Algae require particular conditions in the water to survive. Fortunately, the aquarium plant has properties that disallow such growth.

Serves as a delicious meal for your fish.

Aside from other benefits, it is an excellent source of meals for your fish. Your fish can feast on the water sprite plant. It provides tons of nutrients and benefits for the fish when they feast on the plant.

I understand your fear about fish contamination but no worries. Instead of contamination, the plant strengthens and makes the fish healthier.


Water sprite helps to beautify your water garden and pond. It has a very rapid growth when in water and can spice up your living space. When there are many plants in the water, imagine how lovely the environment looks.

So, the next question is, ‘How do I grow a water sprite plant’?

How to Grow Water Plants: Different Methods

Remember, water sprite is an amphibious plant. So, it can grow on land or water.

How to Grow Water Sprite Plant on Water


Get the stem and leaves:

Before you can grow a water plant, you need to get the stem and leaves.

 Step 2

Transfer the stem and leaves to the water bed you intend to plant. You could have a pond or a water garden.

 Step 3

Gently drop the stem and leaves in the water: Don’t worry, it won’t sink; it will float. It’s natural!

 Step 4

Observe the water sprite for a couple of days. While in the water, the plant should start developing roots after some days. Since it is a floating plant, it will naturally grow loosed hanging roots. But the root stays attached firmly to the stem.

The water sprite plant roots absorb nutrients from the water. That’s what it needs to grow faster.

You might need to fertilize your water with iron-rich fertilizer. Of course, the plant already takes up many nutrients from the water. So, it is necessary to help replenish the water.

That’s the best way to keep nutrients available for the live aquarium plant. You don’t want a poor quality of water for your plant, or do you?

Repeat the process every time you intend to plant another water sprite plant.

How to Grow Water Sprite Plant on Land

Of course, growing plants on land comes naturally for all plants. So, let’s see how to grow the water sprite plant.

Step 1

Secure a suitable piece of land for planting. It should be a rich soil with the essential nutrient for plant growth.

Step 2

With the aid of a trowel or knife, you can dig a small hole in the ground. A gap of about 2-3 inches wide and 4-6 inches deep should do just fine. The water sprite doesn’t have big roots, so no need for too wide or deep holes.

Step 3

Now, it is time to drop the seed into the hole to die and then germinate.

Step 4

It’s time to fill up the hole and bury the water sprite seeds underneath.

Step 5

Please cover the surface adequately with sand. Also, place some gravel around the roots to create support for the plant to thrive. The above process is known as substrate.

A substrate is anything a plant grows on. Therefore, it provides a steady root system for a water sprite.

Step 6

Pour adequate water on the plant, nurture it, and watch it grow. Remember it grows in water, so you shouldn’t have problems with watering.

Growing Water Sprite in a Home Aquarium

Now you know how to grow a water sprite plant. How about planting it in a home aquarium?

First, here are points to consider before commencing the planting process:

  • It would help if you had a tank of at least 10 gallons for your home aquarium.
  • Also, do not let the tank exceed 14 inches.
  • Check the water temperature before planting. It would be best if you had a temperature range of 68 – 82 Fahrenheit.
  • Water PH (acidic and alkaline level) should be around 5.5 – 8.0. Any water PH level less than 7 means it has high acidity while 7 means neutral. pH levels above 7 mean the water has much alkalinity.
  • Dgh/Dkh refers to the water hardness, and it should be within 3 -10.

Should My Water Plant be Floating or Planted?

What should be the most suitable or preferred means of growing the water sprite? Remember, the aquarium thrives well on land and water. So, it all depends on your purpose and available space.

However, here are some questions to answer about the attributes of the two methods:

Are their Leaves the Same?

The leaves of a water sprite plant grown on the water are usually broader. So they look fresher compared to the ones cultivated on land.

Do their Leaves Spread?

Yes, they spread. But most times, the one on land has all bottom leaves cut off. And it is a necessary process because of the lack of sunlight on the bottom leaves.

Which one Grows Faster?

The water sprite grown on water grows faster than the land plant. Therefore, they look more robust, healthy, and beautiful compared to the ground plant.

In a nutshell, both the water sprite growing on the land and water can do well with proper maintenance. The water plant does better than the land due to available water. Available fertilizer and sunlight also add to make growing the water sprite in water better. But you can improve the land planting of the plant with fertilizer and regular watering.

Water Sprite Trimming

Every plant needs regular care always to look appealing. The water sprite tends to outgrow your tank because it grows fast. That means you may need to trim the plant properly. But you must tread with care to avoid damaging the plant.

Trimming is simply a process where you cut or remove the overgrown leaves. So, in this case, you remove excess water sprite plants. Watch out for the dying and brown leaves to gently cut off.

How to Trim your Water Sprite

A simple step in removing the outgrown leaves or plants:

  1. Avoid pulling out the plant or leaves.
  2. Get shears or aqua-scaping scissors to do the cutting.
  3. Focus more on dying and brown leaves. You can also cut off overgrown leaves to make everything look neat.
  4. Avoid cutting the main stems. If you cut the main stem, you can damage the whole plant. And that may likely result in starting the cultivation process again.

If you don’t cut from the main stem, then what should you do?

  1. Cut the secondary or outer stems off. While expanding, the water sprite creates extra stems called outer stems. It helps to simplify the work of the main stem.

They are closer to the main stems, but they are not the main stems. When

trimming, you can cut them off from the outer limbs.

To keep your water sprite looking neat and healthy, always trim the plant twice a week.

What is Water Sprite Browning?

Water sprite browning is a period of decline in the life of the plant. As the plant matures, the leaves and all start turning brown.

Once the water sprite starts becoming brown, it loses its beauty. In most cases, the solution would be to begin the planting session afresh.

What are the Possible Causes of Water Browning?

High phosphate levels:

When the phosphate level in the water is on the high side, the oxygen becomes lower or higher than usual. Now, that’s dangerous for plants and fish.

These high phosphate levels result in an abnormal supply of dissolved oxygen. The outcome becomes the browning of the water sprite plant.

Excess ammonia/ nitrate levels:

Ammonia is a composition of nitrogen and hydrogen. A certain level of ammonia is excellent for the water.

But there’s a level of ammonia that becomes toxic. If the ammonia content of the water becomes too high, it will eat up the leaves. And it will eventually make the leaves brown.

Ammonia is more poisonous to water above pH level 7 (alkaline) and below pH 7 (acidic). Nitrate levels are lower in toxicity compared to ammonia. But they are both products of organic waste in your aquarium.

A high level of nitrate can burst into more dangerous ammonia. So, it can also make your water sprite leaves go brown. Please speak with a professional to help assess your plant and water if you require further assistance.

Iron deficiency:

Iron is essential to water as it helps in the production of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green substance that gives plants the ability to make food with carbon dioxide and water.

So, an iron deficiency can result in brownish or yellowish leaves and stems. Iron deficiency also affects the stem; it makes it shorter and slender.

What is the Remedy for Water Sprite Browning?

Frequency of Changing water:

Initially, I recommended changing the water twice a week. But in this case, please change the water three times a month. The plant also plays a role in cleaning the water.

Trim and Remove the Affected Parts:

Use aqua-scaping scissors or shears to remove affected leaves.

Improve Water Conditions:

Use the recommendations I gave in growing water sprite in a home aquarium. Set your ph levels, tank size, temperature, and dkh right. Also, use a better filter system like reverse osmosis.

Apply iron-rich Fertilizers:

Iron-rich fertilizers in the water can help reduce the nitrate levels of the water.

Caring for your Water Sprite Plant

See these few tips for caring for the water sprite plant:

  • Water sprite plants absorb nutrients from the water to remain healthy.
  • Therefore, you need a regular supply of supplements and fertilizer. It helps restore the nutrients in the water for the plant’s consumption.
  • Trim the leaves and change the water twice a week as they tend to grow fast. Only in the case of infectious browning do you need to change your routine.
  • Carry out period checkup, remove melting and brownish leaves. It gives room for new ones to grow.
  • Now, you can see that growing and care for the water sprite plant is easy. It is not as demanding and costly to maintain as some other plants. So, enjoy this gift of nature!

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