There are 170 identified species in the Alternanthera genus. Alternanthera reineckii, first imported into the Netherlands in 1965 under the name Telenthera osiris, is one of the few species that will grow submersed. This plant grows along the banks of rivers which periodically flood during the rainy season. Kasselmann describes five forms of this plant, of which Alternanthera reineckii 'roseafolia' (also known as Alternanthera reineckii 'Pink') is the easiest to cultivate and the most common in the trade.
Although Alternanthera reineckii 'rosaefolia' can be grown with lower light levels and without CO2 supplementation, it will not reach its true growth potential. Moderate to high lighting (2-4 watts per gallon) and CO2 injection is more ideal. If kept in low-light tanks, the lower leaves tend to fall off. This species can grow well in both hard and soft water, although soft, slightly acidic water is best.
This plant, unlike most other red plants, prefers rich conditions with high nitrates (10 ppm or more) and high phosphate (0.5 ppm or more). If grown under lean conditions under very high light, substrate fertilization placed at the roots will greatly enhance growth and overall health.
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Region: Central/South America
Location: Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil
Size: Individual stem width: 10-15cm (4-6in)
Growth Rate: Medium
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes
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