Cryptocoryne wendtii, commonly known as Wendt’s water trumpet, is an aquatic plant species belonging to the Araceae family. It has two different varieties, cryptocoryne wendtii var. wendtii and cryptocoryne wendtii var. alba, that exhibit subtle morphological differences between them in addition to the different coloration.
Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the most popular aquatic plants among hobbyists due to its ability to thrive in both acidic and alkaline water. What’s more? This hardy plant works with nearly any lighting set-up, making it an easy addition to anyone’s tank, no matter their skill level or time constraints. Here are what you should know about Wendt’s water trumpet, and some tips that will help you keep your own specimen thriving in your aquarium!
Wendt’s water trumpet is one of the most popular aquarium plants among aquarists, even though this freshwater plant isn’t originally from the wild, but rather from nurseries in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Origin and distributions
Cryptocoryne wendtii was first described in 1888 by Adolf Engler. Its native distribution ranges from India to Indochina. It is found growing wild throughout Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and parts of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In 2007 it was also reported to be discovered growing in Costa Rica as an invasive species.
Cryptocoryne wendtii is a very popular aquarium plant as well as an ornamental plant that can be used in both fresh- and saltwater tanks.
The cryptocoryne wendtii is a submersed freshwater plant that belongs to the Araceae family. It is popularly known as Wendt’s water trumpet or simply Gertrude’s Trumpet. This plant was first found in the eponymous lake, in Assam, and India.
it grows along with various other species of aquatic plants at an altitude of 3700 ft. It was described after its botanical name Cryptocoryne wendtii based on its impressions of it while people were admiring its shape.
Cryptocoryne are much more sensitive to chemicals and heavy metals than other plants, so it is advisable not to use treated municipal water when cultivating cryptocorynes. Water used for mixing must therefore be distilled or rainwater.
Even purer than distilled water, however, is rainwater that has been collected over a period of several days and allowed to settle in a clean container. You can use tap water only if you let it stand in an open container overnight so that any chlorine present can evaporate out of it.
Cryptocoryne wendtii size
The average size of this plant is around 15-18 cm (6-7 inches) in length. Although some have been seen to grow up to 25 cm (10 inches).
How to grow Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne wendtii is a popular aquarium plant that can be propagated by division. It can also be reproduced via tissue culture. Tissue culture is especially good for propagating plants that tend to grow slowly, such as Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptocoryne griffithiana (Banded Crypt).
To propagate either plant by tissue culture, simply scrape off a stem tip from any healthy plant with a razor blade or sharp scalpel and place it in a sterile tissue-culture medium. After several weeks of growth under proper lighting and CO2 conditions, you should have several genetically identical offspring ready to be potted up. This process is often referred to as cloning; you’re essentially making an identical copy of your original plant.
Depending on how easy they are to root, Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptocoryne griffithiana usually take around two months to become mature enough for propagation. The easiest way to propagate these plants is through leaf cuttings—simply cut off a healthy leaf underwater and allow it to float for about 30 seconds before placing it in clean water with vigorous aeration and bright light exposure. In about four weeks, you should see roots and new leaves emerging from the cutting.
Cryptocoryne wendtii care
With regular care, a Wendt’s water trumpet can thrive for years. It prefers lots of light and its leaves should be rinsed clean with a regular change of tank water. When choosing where to place your plant in your home, make sure you choose an area with plenty of light. Many people also place their crypts near windows as well so they can get ample amounts of natural sunlight each day.
If you don’t have direct sunlight coming into your living space, try placing it somewhere else in your home that gets a decent amount of indirect sun throughout most parts of the day. If possible, give your plant some access to natural light; if there isn’t any available, look into getting special bulbs that simulate both UVA and UVB rays to help promote growth while your plant adjusts to its new environment.
Crypts need medium-light to low light and can adapt to almost any condition, however, they won’t do well in direct sunlight. If you want to place your plant on a windowsill where it will get some sun, make sure there are curtains or a shade cloth of some sort that can be pulled over it if necessary. Otherwise, keep it under low light near fluorescent lighting.
Crypts are sensitive to soil pH, so it’s important to have soil with an appropriate pH for them. For example, Cryptocoryne species are most active at a pH of 5.5-6.5, so you want to make sure your soil has a similar reading before planting in it. Soil that is too acidic or alkaline can slow down their growth and even kill them over time.
You also don’t want to let the soil dry out completely or underwater as crypts like moist but not wet conditions. As far as nutrients go, they will get all they need from your water column while they grow out of their emersed state.
As a genus of aquatic plants, cryptocorynes need to be kept constantly moist but never soggy. In fact, they even like to dry out somewhat between watering sessions. But be warned: these low-maintenance plants can still do an impressive impression of an underwater bonsai tree if you let them sit in stale aquarium water for too long or forget to top up their tank every couple of days.
Crypts are not heavy feeders, but they do appreciate weekly doses of fertilizer. If your tap water is relatively pure, consider using it as a fertilizer. Otherwise, use a fertilizer formulated for aquatic plants—seaweed-based fertilizers are particularly effective because they contain many nutrients that crypts need to stay healthy. I recommend using slow-release liquid fertilizer from Seachem. Just add one teaspoon per 5 gallons to your tank every week or two.
Crypts are easy to cultivate, yet they often decline, sometimes even dying. This is usually caused by a change in temperature. Even a small variation of 5-10°C can cause noticeable changes in their growth rate. The optimum range for most species lies between 22 and 28°C (72–82°F).
This is an aquatic plant and likes high humidity, so place your pot on a pebble tray filled with some aquarium gravel. It will also appreciate very soft or slightly acidic water, pH 6.5 to 7.0, and it does best if you keep it in mid-to-high light conditions, around 2 watts per gallon or more. The ideal humidity range is 70-80%, but you can get away with less as long as it’s not too low.
Be sure to only let your water level drop by a few inches at most each week, and try to avoid letting it get below halfway full—the crown of leaves must stay above water at all times or they may rot off! A sudden temperature change can cause shock that may kill your plant within days; when moving them between warm and cold temperatures, gradually acclimate them for at least 48 hours.
Pruning Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of those plants that don’t need a lot of pruning. They can be propagated either by dividing large clumps or cutting off an arm that has rooted and replanting it. Either way, if you leave a little bit of root on it and keep it well-watered, your plant will grow back even better than before. The plants do have some growth points on them, but they should be left alone.
There are two growth tips on each leaf and when you cut them both off, more shoots will grow in their place. If you only want to trim a little bit off, just cut where there is no new shoot growing out of any leaf node; these nodes look like small bumps.
A new shoot might come out from under one of these small bumps instead of from another leaf node further up on your plant. These shoots can also be cut at any time because any piece with roots will reroot for you!
Cryptocoryne has a high growth rate. They are easy to propagate, usually by dividing them. They also root very easily in open water, where they grow like weeds. They can be grown attached to rocks or driftwood and will make a great carpet in no time at all.
Cryptocoryne wendtii toxicity
Cryptocoryne wendtii does well in freshwater aquariums and is not toxic to fish. It is a mid-ground lighting plant and requires medium light, so avoid using it in tanks that get too much or too little light. It prefers warmer temperatures than most aquarium plants but will survive colder ones as long as they are not too extreme. Do not use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content when adding cryptocoryne wendtii to your tank. Cryptocoryne wendtii can help reduce nitrate buildup by removing nutrients from your tank’s water column at a rate of 20 – 30 mg/L per week.
Pests and diseases
Cryptocoryne wendtii is susceptible to attack by a number of pests and diseases. You’ll want to keep an eye out for whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, aphids, and root rot. The best prevention is quarantine—if you bring new plants home, keep them isolated in a separate tank for at least a month.
Plants that have been growing in poor light for an extended period of time will have lighter-colored leaves all year round. Once you plant your Wendt’s trumpet in your tank, it will quickly spread outward from its original location via rhizome and produce clusters of small white flowers that sit atop 3-4 inch stems adorned with red bracts at their base.