Elodea densa

Elodea densa

Generality

The elodea densa is a perennial stoloniferous aquatic plant native to Central and South America. The first species were discovered in Argentina. The plant is characterized by thin and fleshy, flexible stems, up to 4-5 meters long, which stretch from the bottom to the surface. When grown in an aquarium, the elodea it can reach a maximum of one meter in length. Its development will depend on the amount of light the plant has available. Numerous sessile leaves grow along the stems, slightly rolled up, elongated and dark green in color. Between June and July it produces small white flowers, followed by small fleshy capsules containing the seeds. It is good to underline that if grown in an aquarium, the plant rarely blooms while if grown in outdoor environments such as ponds, flowering will be more vigorous and will come from July to September.


Cultivation

In order to develop at its best, this plant needs to be sunk on the bottom of quiet ponds placed in rather bright places; it does not like excessive shade which can lead to the weakening of the plant and in the most serious cases even to its death. If left floating on the surface of the water without being buried, excessive insolation could cause the leaves to burn and the consequent death of the entire plant. It is a species that does not fear the cold and can bear temperatures close to zero for short periods.

As for the soil, the stolons must be sunk in a substratum rich in organic material and sand; the elodea dense they develop without problems in slightly alkaline water and definitely rich in limestone, while they die in acidic pH waters.


Multiplication

It is very easy to propagate these plants by dividing the tufts of stolons, the new plants thus produced must be immediately planted on the bottom of a small lake or pond; these plants are often used as flora for aquariums, in this case they should often be pruned (even if they are kept of medium size) to ensure simple circulation for the fish and to prevent the plant from taking over the entire container.

In the summer period, that is the months of the year in which the plant tends to multiply excessively, the plant can be considered a "dangerous" species for the small boats that circulate in the lakes that are not too deep. In fact, the dense elodea, developing rather long ramifications, is considered a weed. In this case, regular pruning is foreseen to avoid the problem and allow the normal circulation of the boats.

During the growing season of the plant it is possible to use specific liquid fertilizer for green plants to ensure a good development of the dense elodea.


Elodea densa: Parasites and diseases

Usually these plants are not attacked by parasites. Being aquatic plants they are not particularly prone to the development of diseases and are quite resistant. To allow them a healthy growth and in any case avoid the possible attack of parasites and diseases, it is necessary to guarantee them the optimal conditions of brightness and humidity. It is also important not to completely submerge the foliage. The health of the plant could be compromised.


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