Slow Growing Aquarium Plants – Best Options For Aquarists

Aquatic plants can bring about a ton of benefits for your home tanks. Not only do they filter the water, but they can also provide your fish with plenty of hiding spots and a playground. That said, not all aquarists can invest in a large enough tank to house tall plants.

This is when the best slow growing aquarium plants come in handy. While they are still capable of the aforementioned benefits, these plants do not take up too much space and require little care from the owners. Keep reading to find out more!

Best Slow-Growing Aquarium Plants



Bolbitis has a full height of roughly 18 inches. However, they could only achieve this potential by receiving extra care from aquarists. And even when they do, Bolbitis will grow rather slowly, expanding throughout no more than a few months.

If you wish to have Bolbitis inside your tank, remember to keep the light conditions at a medium. As for the water conditions, Bolbitis will be fine as long as your tank’s parameters remain stable.

Bolbitis heudelotii

Java moss

Java moss is considered among the most common choices for beginners due to its hardiness and low maintenance. In the best conditions available, it will still take java moss at least a few months to cover the entire area of the tank’s bottom.

Similar to bolbitis, java moss does not call for much attention. Once the water conditions have stabilized, rest assured that your plants will grow healthily enough.

java moss


Anubias are best known for their relatively tiny size and ability to adapt. Without fertilizers and little lighting, anubias can still stay alive and offer a nutritious source of food for your fish. Hence, it makes for a great addition to your tank.

Furthermore, anubias do not grow quickly. If left on their own, anubias will take months to finally spread their stems around. Hence, it is best for small tanks or aquarists who do not care much about feeding plants.



The special thing about bucephalandra is that they still retain their original size regardless of how much you feed them with fertilizer. Thus, make sure to buy a plant with an acceptable size in the first place.

When left in dimly lit environments, these plants will surely be as small as possible, which makes them the ideal choice for those interested in slow growing aquarium plants.



Another slow growing aquatic plant that you might want to consider is the cryptocoryne. Normally, they will grow rather stably if the conditions are tailored to their original habitat. However, once planted inside the fish tanks, cryptocoryne tend to slow down in their growth rate.

This is attributable to the lack of fertilizers, carbon dioxide, and light. Hence, if you want to prevent your trees from forming a jungle, you might as well leave them on their own inside the tank.


Phoenix moss

Similar to java mass, phoenix moss is a prime example of a plant that requires little care and will grow rather slowly. Once placed inside an aquarium, these plants can attach themselves to rocks and other surfaces.

Given its small size, it is no surprise why aquarists barely need to trim the plant. All you have to do is to leave phoenix moss to grow by itself.

Phoenix moss


How can I keep my aquarium plants short?

There are three main ways to keep aquarium plants short.

Firstly, you should pick anything with a slow growth rate in the first place. Check out their size and see how tall they could grow eventually. Then, leave out options that may call for too much maintenance regarding trimming.

If you get yourself a suitable plant from the beginning, chances are they will stay short for a long time.

Secondly, you should give them a good trimming occasionally. Some plants can be controlled when it comes to their height. Getting rid of unwanted leaves and stems can be a good way to reduce their spread.

Finally, plants only thrive when the conditions are optimal. If you mess up a bit with the water parameters and lighting, your plants surely will be affected. As a result, they cannot grow as high.

Which aquarium plants produce the most oxygen?

Several plants produce oxygen. Some are even so effective that they could replace your oxygen bubbler. These include water wisteria, eelgrass, hornwort, arrowhead, fanwort, and red rotala.

If you want to plant these inside your tank, rest assured that they will provide enough oxygen for all aquatic animals involved. However, taking care of them is no easy task, so make sure you learn about their needs and requirements.

What is the fastest-growing aquarium plant?

Many experienced aquarists agree that hornwort is the fastest-growing aquarium plant. As the plant has well adapted to a wide range of circumstances, hornwort could easily overcome all differences and changes as far as the environment is concerned.

Furthermore, these plants do not require much care. After being attached to the substrate, hornwort will experience a growth spurt that makes them reach their potential height within weeks.

Apart from being among the fastest-growing aquatic plants, hornwort is also known for its capacity as a hiding place. If you wish to breed fry, planting hornwort would offer them the perfect refuge.


Now that you have learned about the most common slow growing aquarium plants, make sure to buy one for your tank! If you are still unsure about what to get, consult your local seller and pick a plant tailored to your needs.