Java Fern Growth Rate And How To Speed It Up

Java Fern is one of the most popular aquarium plants due to its stunning color and elegant appearance.

If you want to grow this plant, start by learning everything about it, which includes the Java Fern growth rate.

So how fast can the plant grow? How long does it need to reach its full height?

Let’s follow us to find the answers!

What Is Java Fern Growth Rate?

It may take your Java Fern up to one year to achieve its full height of 6 to 13 inches, during which time it will expand an inch or so every month.

One new leaf should grow per week on the existing leaf clump. The thickness of these leaves will increase until they are eight inches broad.

You can accelerate the plant’s growing process by introducing CO2 fertilizers. Try increasing the light intensity by more than two watts per gallon too.

java fern

The plant is slow-growing

How Big Can Java Fern Grow?

There are four different types of Java Fern, each with a different growth rate.

Moreover, they vary in size. So if you want your aquarium to reach a certain height, spend time choosing the species that can do it.

Narrow-Leaf Java Fern

This species is the most prevalent. The plant itself can reach a height of 13 inches. Its sword-shaped leaves can go as thick as eight inches.

Needle Leaf Java Fern

This Java Fern is miniature. Only reaching a height of six inches, the plant’s slender leaves can develop up to three inches thick.

Trident Java Fern

This Java Fern can have up to five branching leaves on a single stem. It is approximately the same height as the narrow-leaf species but has less robust leaves.

Windelov Java Fern

You will be impressed with Windelov Java Fern’s eclectic appearance. Its thick, branching leaves can reach eight inches in height.

How To Make Fava Fern Grow Faster?

You don’t have to wait up to one year for your plant to achieve its full height. Take care of the Java Fern following these tips, and it will soon transform your fish tank.


The ability of the Java Fern to thrive in low light is one of its unique characteristics. You should try for two to three watts per gallon for the fastest growth rate.

You can divide the volume of water in your aquarium by the watts per gallon of illumination to discover the optimum bulb. A 15-gallon container, for instance, requires a five-watt bulb to work at three watts per gallon.

The light also affects the color of your plant. The leaves will turn a bright green hue in low light but darken in strong light conditions.

Your plant needs at least six hours of exposure to light per day, regardless of the amount of light you employ.

java fern with light

The plant can thrive with little light

Water change

A frequent water changes will accelerate Java Fern’s growth because this species prefers oxygenated water. Changing about 25% of the tank’s water every two weeks or less would be best.


Your plant uses the CO2 it takes out of the water and the light it absorbs through its leaves to generate energy in sugar molecules.

The energy provided by these sugar molecules can promote growth, reproduction, roots, and damage repair.

If there is space in your tank, increasing the number of oxygen-breathing animals will raise the amount of CO2 emitted.


By adding fertilizers twice a week, your Java Fern will begin to flourish. Phosphates are a favorite of Java Fern, so think about that.

Tank mates

The Java Fern can coexist with many types of fish, including species that are susceptible to damaging delicate plants.

Set your fern tightly on driftwood if you want to keep it in your aquarium with aggressive species. This tip can help prevent accidental tipping.

Java Ferns make good tank mates for:

  • Tetras
  • Oscar fish
  • Cichlids
  • Freshwater snails
  • Freshwater shrimp

java fern with tetras

Choosing the right tank mates is important

Disease prevention

Do not plant your java fern in substrates like rocks or gravel. Otherwise, the rhizome will rot. The symptom of this disease of your plant’s leaves turning brown.

Another common issue that Java Ferns encounter is melt. Large brown stains that cause it to become mushy are indications of melting. Usually, too much algae or light in the aquarium may cause melt.

To solve this problem, remove the affected leaves. Then, adjust the lighting and eliminate algae from your plant. Fertilizers can also help.

To give your plant the best conditions to grow, learn more tips right here:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does my Java Fern take to attach?

The attachment process for Java Fern takes three to six months. It may vary depending on the plant’s growth rate and where you attach it.

2. Is Java Fern a slow-growing plant?

Yes. It can also grow one inch every month and needs one year to reach its full height.

3. Do Java Ferns multiply?

Yes. Java Fern reproduces through apomixis. Instead of producing seeds, the plant clones itself.

4. Should I trim Java Fern?

Yes. This plant can take over your fish tank if it grows too large. Its expansion can soon restrict the light and interfere with the other plants and animals in the same tank.

5. Will Java Fern grow in gravel?

The hardy Java Fern may live on gravel or soil for several weeks. However, the plant should attach to wood or rock for long-term and robust development.


Java Fern is a slow-growing plant. It needs up to a year to achieve full height.

If you want it to grow faster, provide it with proper lighting, fertilizer, water conditions, CO2, and tank mates.

Hopefully, you have learned everything you need about Java Fern. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!