Diving into Aquatic Elegance: A Quick Exploration of Bucephalandra Care and Aquascaping

November 30, 2023

Bucephalandra is a genus of aquatic plants that belongs to the family Araceae.  These plants are native to Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia, and are known for their unique and attractive appearance. Bucephalandra (Buce) species are popular among aquarium enthusiasts, as they make stunning additions to planted tanks.  The uncommon ‘Pink Lady’ is one of the new plant additions here at Sunshine Horticulture.

Here are some key characteristics and features of Bucephalandra:


The leaves of Bucephalandra are often thick, leathery, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Common colors include green, red, and brown, and some species may even exhibit metallic or iridescent hues.  The ‘Pink Lady’ has deep green leaves and it is the stem that provides some of the show with varying shades of pink.


In their natural habitat, Bucephalandra species are found attached to rocks and driftwood in slow-moving streams and rivers. This characteristic makes them well-suited for aquariums with similar setups.

Care Requirements:

Bucephalandra is known for being hardy and adaptable, making it suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists.  These plants thrive in low to moderate light conditions.  While they can survive in low-light environments, providing moderate light will enhance their growth and coloration.  Like many aquatic plants, Bucephalandra benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate and regular fertilization. It's essential to maintain stable water parameters, including temperature and pH, to ensure optimal growth.


Bucephalandra can be propagated through division. As the plant matures, it produces daughter plants that can be carefully separated from the parent rhizome and reattached to a substrate or hardscape.  Avoid submerging the rhizome in any substrate but rather allow your Buce to root itself to a rock, piece of wood or other hard surface.  Burying the rhizome can lead to rot and the unfortunate demise of the little plant.


Due to their unique leaf shapes and colors, Bucephalandra species are often used in aquascaping to create visually appealing underwater landscapes.  With the typical small and slow-growing nature, making them suitable for aquariums of various sizes.

Their slow growth rate makes them suitable for maintaining a well-groomed and controlled aquascape over time.


There are numerous species and varieties of Bucephalandra, each with its own distinct characteristics. Some popular varieties include Bucephalandra 'Wavy Green,' 'Kedagang,' and ‘Pink Lady’.


Some Bucephalandra species are endemic to specific regions in Borneo, and as such, conservation efforts are crucial to preserving their natural habitats. Sustainable practices in harvesting and cultivation are essential to protect these unique aquatic plants.

In summary, Bucephalandra is a fascinating genus of aquatic plants that adds beauty and diversity to aquariums. With proper care and attention to their specific requirements, these plants can thrive and contribute to the aesthetic appeal of underwater environments.