Propagation of Echinodorus

First I would like to define the difference between breeding and propagation. Breeding is a more or less advisedly changing of the characteristics or the appearance of a plant. It is without importance thereby whether the changes take place via genetic mixtures of different types or via selection of natural diversities. Results of breeding are sorts of plants, which do not occur in such a way in nature. The result of the breeding work of the last years was a lot of new sorts, which are supposed growing better in the aquarium or looking more decorative. Stopping this trend cannot be done, but the confusion of the market is considerable.

The propagation however is a numerical enlargement of existent species or sorts without purposeful selection.

I want to report here consciously of natural propagation techniques only, which can be done by an average experienced tank keeper. Completely consciously I left out the commercial technique of the tissue culture, because this needs substantial laboratory expenditure and a lot of know-how is necessary, that a hobbyist can’t offer.

In nature the Echinodorus species are able to use one or more of the following propagation techniques:


The generative propagation by seeds,

the vegetative propagation by adventitious plantlets, and

the sectioning of the rhizome.


Which technique is used by the individual depends on the natural conditions and circumstances.