Dwarf Sagittaria Plant (Sagittaria Subulata) Care

dwarf sagittaria plants

Last updated on July 10th, 2022 at 04:17 am

Sagittaria subulata, also known as dwarf sagittaria plant, dwarf sag, or arrowhead plant, is an attractive aquatic plant that grows in ponds and slow-moving streams. Although this species can grow a little tall, it often stays much smaller, with leaves only 6 inches long. If you want to grow dwarf sagittaria in your own backyard pond, follow the simple steps in this article.

The dwarf sagittaria plant is one of the most adaptable and versatile plants available to home gardeners. Whether you have limited space or plenty of room, this plant will do well under your care and produce spectacular results in any setting.

A dwarf or miniature sagittaria plant is probably the best choice if you’re looking to add some colorful aquatic vegetation to your pond, but you don’t have much space. Dwarf sagittaria plants are not just small versions of regular-sized sagittaria – they actually belong to the same genus but in a different species than their larger cousins.

Possibly the best part about this aquatic plant is that it’s very easy to care for. If you’re looking to try your hand at gardening, or even if you just want to add something beautiful and unique to your home or office, then the dwarf sagittaria plant may be the right choice for you!

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that just because this plant is fairly low-maintenance doesn’t mean that it will do well in just any environment!

Here are some of the most important things you need to know about this aquatic plant and how to care for them in your own pond. before bringing it home with you.

Origin and descriptions

dwarf sagittaria plants

The dwarf sagittaria plant is native to parts of South America, where it inhabits still or slow-moving water with muddy bottoms. The dwarf sag grows in water that may be several feet deep. It can grow submerged, or it can grow at water’s edge with most of its leaves above water; as such, these plants are found in small pockets throughout marshes and swamps. Their appearance varies depending on how much light they receive.

They produce white flowers from July through September but do not survive freezing weather. In cultivation, dwarf sags have been known to survive temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius when planted beneath a floating row cover or other protective layers; however, it may be best for these plants to be grown in pots so that they can simply be brought indoors during winter months—when they won’t get enough sunlight anyway.

Species profile

dwarf sagittaria plants

Dwarf sagittaria plant, or sagittaria subulata, is a small aquatic perennial, which grows between 4 and 6 inches (10-15 cm) tall. If you want an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance water plant that’s relatively hardy and can tolerate poor water conditions or total neglect without dying off completely, consider dwarf sagittaria.

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They are from the family of arrowhead plants (Alismataceae) and are commonly referred to as awl-leaf arrowhead, narrow-leaved arrowhead, or dwarf sag.

However, don’t let their small size fool you, they also make a great companion plant for other types of aquatic plants that need more light in your garden pond or aquarium!

This species makes an excellent addition to fish tanks if your tank already has other fast-growing plants such as Cabombas or Amazon swords in it; since they grow so quickly, they tend to outcompete most other aquatic plants. They also work well in aquaponics systems because they require no fertilizers—and will help remove ammonia from water through photosynthesis if there are sufficient nutrients present.

This complete species profile contains everything you need to know about Sagittaria subulata.

Dwarf sagittaria height

A dwarf sagittaria plant, technically classified as sagittaria subulata, is a plant that grows in warm climates. The plants have a short height of only 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) and reach maturity in just six weeks. They grow best in a full sun location and need little care when planting.

Dwarf sagittaria fish tank size

Due to their short size, the dwardf sag can be grown in a nano tank of around 5 gallons.

Dwarf sagittaria propagation

dwarf sagittaria plants

There are a few different methods of dwarf sagittaria plant propagation, including dividing and germinating new seeds. Each method of propagation has its own sets of pros and cons, so you’ll want to consider them carefully before deciding which method you want to use. The most straightforward method is propagating your plants by dividing them. This involves taking two parts of an older plant, cutting them up into smaller pieces, and replanting those pieces into fresh soil.

You can start dividing your dwarf sagittaria as soon as it is large enough to support more than one shoot per piece; check back regularly throughout spring for signs that it’s time to divide.

Seed germination is another common means of growing new dwarf sagittaria plants: all you need to do is sow some seeds in clean soil once they’ve ripened.

Be careful to avoid disturbing any roots or shoots while working with seedlings; keep them free from pests, disease, and moisture stress while they’re still young. Be sure not to overwater seedlings either! Dwarf sagittaria don’t like soggy roots. Soak waterlogged pots until water drains out of holes or cracks at the bottom of pots. Overwatering may result in rotten roots or stems, brown leaves on lower portions of stems and failure for plants to flower.

Sagittaria subulata care

dwarf sagittaria plants

Dwarf sag plant care is straightforward. If your plant is healthy, it should tolerate direct sunlight for a few hours and high humidity. The dwarf sag does not need much fertilizer if you’re growing it in a well-draining potting soil, but you can use houseplant fertilizer when watering your plant to keep it nice and green all year long.

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While dwarf sagittaria plant care is quite simple, it’s important to remember a few things when growing these interesting aquatic plants.

First and foremost, they will need proper lighting in order to thrive. While most aquariums come with lights installed, many people find that they need supplemental lighting in order for their aquatic vegetation to grow properly. Without enough light, water plants like dwarf sagittaria plants struggle.

Light requirements

The dwarf sagittaria plant prefers a lot of light. Find a bright, sunny spot for your plant. A south-facing window with lots of sunlight is ideal, but it will also do well with more indirect light if you can’t fit it near a window. These plants are okay in lower light conditions, as long as they get at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.

However, they won’t flower under these conditions. Dwarf sagittaria plants that receive more than six hours of daily sun exposure may require additional watering, because higher temperatures and increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight causes them to lose water faster than usual. They should always have plenty of soil moisture, though.

Substrate/soil requirements

The dwarf sagittaria plant does best in water with neutral pH levels and a light, porous substrate that allows for good aeration. A common blend of materials used by gardeners is 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. Since sagittarias grow well in both full sun and partial shade, they can thrive in most ponds or water features with appropriate filtration.

Gardeners also report success growing dwarf sagittarias in small aquariums, making them ideal as desktop plants and houseplants as well. Do not use soil from your backyard or anywhere else on your property—disease spreads rapidly between land-based plants through soil pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi; though aquatic plants are less susceptible to disease than their land-based relatives, it’s still safer to stay away from potentially infected soils when planting new aquatic specimens.


For successful growing, you must ensure your dwarf sagittaria plant is properly fed. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are three essential nutrients needed for healthy growth. As an aquatic plant, it will absorb these substances best in a water-soluble form. You can purchase fertilizer specifically made for aquatic plants at many garden supply stores.

Look for a fertilizer that has 25 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium in a ratio of 1:1:1. Apply one teaspoon of solution around each plant every week. The amount you use depends on how much foliage there is; larger plants may need more than smaller ones.

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With regular feeding and proper care, your dwarf sagittaria should grow up to 2 feet tall and wide over a few months’ time.


This dwarf sagittaria plant does not like very hot weather and will burn if exposed to water for too long in hot weather. On warm summer days, keep it in partial shade and water it sparingly. After two or three weeks of cooler temperatures, move it back outside into the full sun.

Alternatively, you can grow your plant in a planter near an indoor source of cool air, such as a patio door or open window. As with other tropical plants that don’t tolerate freezing temperatures, remove your dwarf sagittaria during fall and winter.

The normal temperature range should be from 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 50 will cause your plant to go dormant and lose its leaves until warmer weather returns. If above 80 degrees F, it may begin to stretch and grow tall in search of light, eventually producing small yellow flowers.

If you live in a hot climate and plan on growing your dwarf sagittaria outside, make sure you choose a site that gets partial shade during afternoon hours when temperatures are highest.


dwarf sagittaria plants

One of dwarf sagittaria plant’s biggest requirements is adequate humidity. If they are exposed to too much dry air, they can wither and die quickly. On average, these plants need a 50/50 combination of air with water particles. For example, you could use a humidifier in your house if you live in an arid area where there is low humidity. You may also use a spray bottle filled with water and spritz it on your plant from time to time as needed.

Another option would be to pot your sagittaria subulata indoors and place it near a sunny window or by a heater vent that blows out steamy air. This will supply extra moisture for your plant in addition to allowing more natural light into your home. Be careful not to overdo it; although having enough humidity for your plant is good, having too much will make them droop over.

The normal humidity range is anywhere from 50-70%, but there are occasions where a plant may have lower or higher requirements. One way to check your environment’s humidity level is by purchasing a hygrometer, which can be found at garden stores or home improvement centers. It’s also possible that your local greenhouse will know what your dwarf sagittaria plant needs when it comes to watering, so feel free to stop in and ask for some advice if you need help.

Sagittaria subulata trimming

Dwarf sagittaria can be a bit touchy. When cutting back, always remove any dead or brown leaves from your plant; do not remove healthy green leaves unless you are looking to make space for new growth. It may be helpful to cut off too much plant material, let it rot on your soil surface, and then use that organic fertilizer with your watering after a few weeks.

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This will help encourage healthy new growth. It is also advised to wait until at least one month after pruning your dwarf sagittaria before repotting it in order to give its roots time to recover.

Growth rate

The dwarf sagittaria plant tends to grow rather slowly, though it can reach heights of roughly 1.5-2.5 ft. when it’s healthy and well-established in its environment. This plant is primarily recommended for beginners or those who are still learning how to care for aquatic plants since it doesn’t have very high demands and can survive with a great deal of negligence on your part, as long as you keep water levels stable and ensure that nutrients stay sufficiently high throughout all seasons.

USDA hardiness zones

In general, they can be grown in USDA Zones 6-9 and 16-17.

Zone 6b is ideal for dwarf sagittaria in containers, which can be moved inside during the winter. Zone 16 is only necessary if you’re growing it in a bog garden—that’s how cold it can get.


Dwarf sagittaria plant is not toxic. However, there are some cautions that must be taken into account when dealing with any plants. Any part of a plant can cause an allergic reaction in some people and pets, so care should be taken if you have allergies. The sap of a dwarf sagittaria plant contains oxalic acid and is capable of causing skin irritation. Be careful not to allow your skin to come into contact with it or use gloves when working with it.

Pests and diseases

If you are lucky enough to have an established, thriving dwarf sagittaria plant in your garden, there’s a good chance that it will last for years. However, all plants are subject to pests and diseases. The sap of small leaves or stems can be damaged by herbivores and slugs or snails.

The most common diseases of dwarf sagittaria plants are root rot and leaf spot, but they can also be affected by viruses, fungal infections, aphids, and mites.

To protect your plant against these problems, it’s important to take steps such as adding organic material around your plant’s roots and using fungicides and insecticides.