Echinodorus grisebachii – The Amazon Sword Plant

Amazon sword plant - Echinodorus grisebachii

Last updated on September 7th, 2022 at 05:52 pm

The Amazon sword plant, also known as Echinodorus grisebachii or Echinodorus bleheri, belongs to the family of Alismataceae and can be found in South America and Africa. This beautiful plant gets its name from the shape of its leaves, which somewhat resemble the shape of swords.

Aside from its exotic looks, Echinodorus grisebachii has plenty of other qualities that make it a great decorative plant to have at home.

Echinodorus grisebachii is an interesting and colorful aquatic plant native to South America. It’s one of the most popular species of aquatic plants for beginners to grow, though it can be easy to kill if you’re not careful about its needs or how you take care of it.

The Amazon sword plant is a beautiful and useful aquarium plant species that makes an excellent addition to any well-planted tank. It’s also one of the easiest plants to grow in an aquarium and it’s often sold as easy or beginner plant by pet stores and online sellers, despite its reputation for being a hardy plant.

If you’re thinking about buying one and want to learn more about it before getting it, read this short article on echinodorus grisebachii!

What is Echinodorus?

Amazon sword plant - Echinodorus grisebachii

Echinodorus (commonly known as an Amazon sword plant) is a genus of aquatic plants native to South America. These plants are popular among aquarists for their striking leaves, interesting growth patterns, and ease of care. They are one of few aquarium plants that can survive without an attachment to something such as driftwood or rocks and have been found growing in natural bodies of water throughout much of northern South America.

There are now more than 50 species in what was once just a single species within the Genus. In addition to being very adaptable with respect to habitat and temperature requirements, these plants also tolerate extended periods of low light levels with little adverse effect on their appearance.

Where does Echinodorus bleheri grow?

Echinodorus grisebachii is commonly referred to as an amazon sword plant. It’s a popular aquarium plant for hobbyists who need beautiful and fast-growing submerged foliage. As its name suggests, it’s native to South America, particularly Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. There are several varieties of Echinodorus grisebachii including Echinodorus grisebachii variegatus which is often called snake grass or an underwater palm tree.

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Echinodorus grisebachii, or as it is commonly known, Amazon sword plant, is a popular freshwater aquarium plant that hails from Central and South America. Native to Brazil and Peru, it can be found in other tropical regions around the world where its common name is used. The species was named after Eduard August von Grsebeck (1794-1871), an amateur naturalist who originally discovered it in 1837 when he first journeyed to Brazil.

He sent specimens of plants back to Berlin; one specimen consisted of leaves and flowers collected from south-central Brazil. This particular specimen eventually made its way into cultivation with subsequent taxonomists believing it belonged to another species, however, more detailed analysis revealed that it was indeed Echinodorus grisebachii.


Amazon sword plant - Echinodorus grisebachii

Propagating this plant is simple, and a great way to keep an extra specimen around without going through all of the work of growing it from seed. There are three primary methods for propagating an Echinodorus grisebachii: by division, cutting, or by tissue culture. Each of these methods can be accomplished successfully, however, some may be easier than others based on your experience and resources. Here’s a step-by-step guide for each method:


Using a sharp knife or pruning shears, remove (or divide) one of the pups away from its parent plant. If you find that you enjoy propagating plants like this, you can start collecting various cuttings throughout your house; once they develop roots they make wonderful houseplants!


Echinodorus grisebachii grow in small bunches on top of large root systems, so it’s easy to simply snip off as much as you need with a pair of scissors. Be sure to leave at least one leaf on each cutting so that it has something to hold onto until it develops enough roots to grab onto something else for support.

Tissue Culture

Using either air-layering or rhizome dipping is another technique often used to propagate aquatic plants. For both techniques, rooting hormone is applied directly to rhizomes and/or leaves and then wrapped tightly into place with plastic wrap and tape. It’s important not to overdo it with the fertilizer, though: when propagating via tissue culture, don’t add any fertilizer at all—simply be patient while waiting for roots to form and continue growing from there.

Echinodorus Cordifolius (Radican Sword)

Echinodorus bleheri care

Amazon sword plant - Echinodorus grisebachii

More commonly known as an Amazon sword plant, Echinodorus amazonicus is a freshwater aquarium plant that can grow to lengths of over two feet. It’s a perennial species and grows from rhizomes (horizontal stems), which you can trim to keep it under control. Once established, they are hardy plants and don’t require too much maintenance—you just need to keep their growth in check. There are several different types of echinodorus amazonicus but all follow similar care requirements. Below are some care requirements that must be met in order to have a healthy plant.

Light requirements

Echinodorus grisebachii or Amazona swords need moderate to bright light. If they don’t get enough light, their leaves will grow long and thin with a pale green tinge. They can also develop white powdery spots on them which is a sign of too much light as well. About 2 – 3 hours of direct sunlight per day should be fine for most plants with about an equal amount of indirect lighting for balance.

Fluorescent lighting works great for these plants and does not have to be changed every 6 months as incandescent bulbs do. They prefer less intense lights so if you have any fluorescent lights in your kitchen that are in overhead fixtures, you can use those as well. More intense forms of artificial light (including metal halide) will damage their delicate leaves quickly and should never be used.

Soil/potting mix

A soil/potting mix is ideal for Echinodorus grisebachii plants. They will do best when transplanted into an already established substrate. Although they are able to survive in somewhat brackish water, they should be maintained at freshwater levels (0-30 ppm).

When growing Echinodorus amazonicus plants, one should use a nutrient solution of 30ppm or below with all grow media and during propagation. After six months, increase your feeding schedule to every two weeks. As your plants mature, increase feeding as necessary but maintain concentrations between 20-30ppm while maintaining pH at 6.2-6.8 using a fertilizer specifically formulated for soft water aquariums.


A healthy Echinodorus amazonicus requires more frequent waterings than many other houseplants. Start with a thorough watering of your amazonicus plant once a week, then gradually increase to twice-weekly or even daily, depending on how much water your plant takes in each time and how fast it dries out between watering sessions.

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Echinodorus grisebachii likes rich water. It will grow quickly in alkaline water and also benefits from trace minerals which you can provide by adding fertilizer every two weeks. If you’re not sure what to add, try Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. It’s a complete liquid fertilizer that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more.


Echinodorus amazonicus is a tropical plant that comes from a wider temperature range than many other plants, with an optimum temperature range of 75 to 80 degrees. If your home has good air conditioning or heating and is consistently in this temperature range, you should be able to keep your amazonicus plant alive and healthy. Plants can even survive frosty nights outdoors with these optimal conditions, but they will likely suffer some damage if temperatures are too cold for too long.


Proper humidity is crucial to growing Echinodorus grisebachii, as it is with all plants. If you live in a tropical or humid climate, it should not be difficult to maintain adequate humidity for your plant. However, if you live in a dry or arid area, you may need to place your plant on top of pebbles that have been placed in a tray of water; as water evaporates from beneath your pot, more will be added from above. You can also use humidifiers to increase indoor air moisture levels, which can help keep your plant happy.


Potted plants need to be pruned once a year, usually in spring. When pruning an echinodorus grisebachii, it’s best to select stems that have grown thick with leaves and flowers and make a clean cut just above a node. This will ensure healthy regrowth. Place your cuts under running water to prevent any bacterial infections that could lead to disease in your plant. Proper pruning is essential for strong growth later on.

Growth rate

Echinodorus grisebachii grows extremely quickly, with some plants reaching up to 2 feet in height within their first year. There is little information regarding optimal conditions for long-term growth and reproduction. To maximize growth rates, your best bet is to have a high-energy light source (such as T5 fluorescents or metal halide lamps) and plenty of nutrients.


One of Echinodorus grisebachii’s nicknames is stonefish food alternative. This is because if you have a fish tank, your tropical fish will most likely eat these plants if they get hungry enough. Luckily, Echinodorus can usually handle a little nibble here and there, but too much chomping will kill them off. They are also toxic to cats and dogs who may decide that their green leaves make for good snacks.

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Pests and diseases

There are many pests and diseases that can afflict plants in your home, including snails, mollusks, aphids, scale insects and whiteflies. The best way to avoid these tiny monsters is to quarantine new plants for a period of time (three weeks to a month) before placing them into your main plant collection.

Soaking seeds in a mild solution of bleach or quaternary ammonium will also inhibit mold spores from growing on them. If you do come across an infestation, wash leaves with warm water, remove infected material by hand or spray with a gentle soap-and-water mixture and allow them to dry in direct sunlight for at least 24 hours.

Covering plants under row covers overnight may help as well; repeat if necessary until symptoms subside. If pesticides must be used, adhere to all precautions listed on their labels before applying them around non-edible parts of edible plants.

Facts about the Amazon sword plant

Amazon sword plant - Echinodorus grisebachii

Echinodorus grisebachii, commonly known as amazon sword plant, is an ornamental aquarium plant. These plants are popular in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums due to their hardiness and easy maintenance requirements.

There are several variations of E. Grisebachii available for sale at pet stores and online retailers including: small red, white, green sword plant (Echinodorus Grisebachii ‘Vittata’), cherry sword (Echinodorus Grisebachii ‘Variegata’) and epsilon (Echinodorus Grisebachii) variety sword plant among others. A fun fact about Echinodorus Grisebachii is that it requires a narrow range of conditions and is generally only fully grown under ideal circumstances.

Pet owners should be familiar with how each type grows and its optimal care needs in order to ensure that they can keep their Amazon sword plant alive and healthy.