12 Best Aquarium Plants That Grow Tall

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Aquarium plants are a great way to add more life and color to your fish tank. Live plants can also add a natural feel to aquariums.

Large aquarium plants create an attractive backdrop for short carpeting plants while providing oxygen for the fish. If you have a large tank, you should consider growing tall live aquarium plants that can reach at least 15 inches in height.

tall aquarium plants
Source: @simple_scaper

This will give a unique look and feel to your aquarium. Moreover, tall aquarium plants can also create a natural environment for your fish to thrive.

These can be used in both freshwater and saltwater tanks, but they require special care and attention to thrive. With the right maintenance, tall aquarium plants can be an attractive addition to any tank.

Read on to discover the best tall aquarium plants!

Top 13 Aquarium Plants That Grow Tall

1. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Grisebachii)

Amazon Sword
Source: @yorozuna

This aquarium plant is suitable for beginners because it doesn’t need CO2 injection and special care. However, Amazon Sword requires a nutrient-rich substrate for optimal growth and health.

It can reach 20 inches when grown under favorable conditions. The plants provide a great hiding place for fish when getting tall enough.

Through the root system, plants absorb a lot of nutrients from the substrate. For that reason, Amazon Swords shouldn’t be planted near other aquarium plants.

It is an excellent oxygenator. You can propagate plants from either rhizomes or runners. Remember that they don’t like brackish water.

  • Maximum Height: 20 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate
  • Nutrition Needs: Low to moderate
  • Temperature: 68-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy

2. Creeping Primrose-Willow (Ludwigia Repens)

Creeping Primrose-Willow (Ludwigia Repens)
Source: @laksa17

Ludwigia repens is usually grown as a background aquarium plant. This mid-sized plant can survive and thrive without CO2 supplementation.

Still, it has pretty high nutrition requirements. In order to encourage your plants to grow tall, add fertilizers regularly.

Combine iron-rich fertilizers and trace elements for the best results. Besides, make sure there is a good light source.

Creeping Primrose-Willow can tolerate an extensive range of temperatures and other water parameters. That makes it ideal for beginners.

  • Maximum Height: 20 inches
  • Light Requirements: Medium to High
  • Nutrition Needs: High (CO2 additions, iron-rich fertilizers, and trace elements)
  • Temperature: 69-80°F
  • Care Level: Moderate

3. Asian Ambulia / Dwarf Ambulia (Limnophila Sessiliflora)

Asian Ambulia Dwarf Ambulia (Limnophila Sessiliflora)
Source: @aquariohobby85

Also known as Asian Marsh Weed or Dwarf Ambulia, this aquatic plant is native to the Philippines, China, Japan, and India. It can also be found in many aquariums as a background plant.

Asian Ambulia can grow up to 15 inches (about 38 centimeters) under good conditions. It involves providing a nutrient-rich substrate and intense lighting among other things.

This tall plant turned out to grow quickly on iron-rich substrates. By out-competing algae, it can reduce the need for extra maintenance.

For full appearance and fast growth, you should add carbon dioxide now and then. It’s not absolutely necessary, though.

  • Maximum Height: 15 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high
  • Nutrition Needs: High
  • Temperature: 63-82° F
  • Care Level: Moderate

4. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)

Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)
Source: @aquariumwarenhuis

What makes this slow-growing plant popular? Water Wisteria is easy to maintain and it’s very hardy. Plus, no extra CO2 is required.

On the downside, this tall-growing plant can consume nutrients required by other aquarium plants, and it often roots in unwanted spots. Choose areas with an abundance of light to help your plants thrive well.

It can be propagated from cuttings with ease. Sandy nutrient-rich substrate and good light are essential for tall growth.

Nevertheless, water wisteria can withstand a wide range of setups and temperatures. As for the pH level of the water, it should be from 6.5 to 7.5 for optimal growth.

  • Maximum Height: 20 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high
  • Nutrition Needs: Low (environmental CO2 is sufficient)
  • Temperature: 70-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy

5. Roundleaf Toothcup (Rotala Rotundifolia)

Roundleaf Toothcup (Rotala Rotundifolia)
Source: @aquagrass_ochi

Roundleaf Toothcup (also known as Rotala Indica or Dwarf Rotala) is our next choice. This tall plant has long stems with small round leaves. When receiving plenty of light, the leaves produce a reddish tinge.

There are numerous side shoots on the steams, which makes this plant appear bushy. Therefore, to let the light get to the lower parts, occasional running is necessary. That’s not all.

You should also provide ample light – at least 8h of lighting daily – for the fullest growth of your plants (4-5 watts/gallon is preferred). Regular water changes are needed, too.

Last but not least, you need to make sure there are enough nutrients for the proper growth of your plants. Consider supplementing them with carbon dioxide as well as potassium- and iron-rich fertilizers. They would appreciate it!

  • Maximum Height: 15 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high
  • Nutrition Needs: Low to moderate
  • Temperature: 72-82° F
  • Care Level: Moderate

6. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)
Source: @hakaakua

Hornwort is an exceptional oxygenator for fish tanks that is known for its fast growth. Many aquarists grow Hornwort in their tanks because of its ability to absorb nitrate.

If left untrimmed, the plants can reach 10 feet in ideal conditions. It involves providing a lot of light and planting in the substrate.

This hardy plant requires favorable water parameters for quick and lush growth. But it can also survive floating in colder water while tolerating a broad range of conditions.

Let the plants float in the tank without anchoring them into the substrate and they will likely survive. Give them a try!

  • Maximum Height: 10 feet
  • Light Requirements: Medium
  • Nutrition Needs: High
  • Temperature: 58-85°F
  • Care Level: Easy to moderate

Also Read: Best Floating Aquarium Plants

7. Green Myrio Foxtail (Myriophyllum Pinnatum)

Green Myrio Foxtail (Myriophyllum Pinnatum)
Source: @naturalenvironmentaquatix

This fast-growing plant can get very tall under optimal conditions. Typically, it grows up to 24 inches in height, but some biotypes can reach 4 ft under ideal conditions.

Green Foxtail is a hardy plant that can thrive without much care, floating in aquariums. However, if you want your plants to grow tall, provide them with an optimal environment.

This involves planting in a nutrient-rich substrate and offering high-intensity light in the first place. While fertilizers aren’t necessary, they can make a difference in growth.

Green Foxtail has a hardness tolerance from 3.3 to 8KH. The optimal pH range goes between 6.6 and 7.4.

  • Maximum Height: 24 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to High
  • Nutrition Needs: Moderate
  • Temperature: 72-82° F
  • Care Level: Easy

8. Java Fern (Leptochilus Pteropus)

Java Fern (Leptochilus Pteropus)
Source: @homefishaquarium

This aquatic plant is native to tropical regions of Asia. Java Fern is also a popular aquarium plant that has been used in fish tanks for decades.

It’s great for adding texture and beauty to freshwater aquariums. Moreover, Java Fern can provide a hiding spot for fish. These hardy plants can survive in a variety of conditions.

They are also known to help reduce algae growth and provide oxygenation for the water. Aside from its lush green foliage, Java Fern is known for its ability to help filter water.

That makes it an ideal addition to any aquarium. With its low maintenance requirements and hardiness, Java Fern would be a great addition to any tank!

  • Maximum Height: 15 inches
  • Light Requirements: Low
  • Nutrition Needs: Low
  • Temperature: 69-82° F
  • Care Level: Easy

9. Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle Leucocephala)

Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle Leucocephala)
Source: @aqua_garden_creations

Brazilian Pennywort can be found in many freshwater aquariums across the world. This easy-to-care-for plant is available in many different varieties.

The unique shape and texture of these plants add visual interest to any tank. That makes Brazilian Pennywort an attractive choice for aquarists looking to add a touch of nature to their aquariums.

With proper care, this tall plant can thrive in your tank, reaching up to 24 inches in height. It does not require any special care or maintenance.

On top of that, this incredibly hardy plant can survive in a wide range of conditions. This makes it perfect for beginner aquarists and those who want to enjoy their aquarium without the hassle of caring for delicate plants.

  • Maximum Height: 24 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate
  • Nutrition Needs: Moderate to high
  • Temperature: 68-82° F
  • Care Level: Easy

10. Corkscrew Vallisneria (Vallisneria Torta)

Corkscrew Vallisneria (Vallisneria Torta)
Source: @jimmyztropicalfish

Corkscrew Vallisneria is the next tall aquatic plant on our list. Mature plants grow up to 20 inches tall. They grow remarkably fast in ideal aquarium conditions.

This seagrass-like plant is suitable for medium to large aquariums, especially with background placement. It can make your tank appear more natural.

What’s more, it can provide many benefits to your planted tank. For example, these tall plants offer shade and shelter for fish while oxygenating the water and reducing nitrate levels.

Beginners like Corkscrew Vallisneria because it is easy to care for and it’s not demanding. Yet, nutrient-rich substrates are required for full growth. You should also add fertilizers from time to time to help your plants thrive.

  • Maximum Height: 20 inches
  • Light Requirements: Low
  • Nutrition Needs: Moderate to high
  • Temperature: 68-83° F
  • Care Level: Easy

11. Jungle Vallisneria (Vallisneria Americana)

Jungle Vallisneria (Vallisneria Americana)
Source: @cichlid.bros

If you are looking for live aquatic plants that grow tall, be sure to consider Jungle Vallisneria. It can grow very tall, reaching 6 feet in length.

Yes, this means you will need to trim it every now and then. But this should not discourage you from introducing this tall-growing plant into your tank.

Jungle Vallisneria is not difficult to care for and can withstand different water parameters. That makes this hardy tall plant a good choice for beginners.

Provide your plants with at least 3.5 W of light/gall and they will be satisfied. Additionally, plant them in a nutrient-rich and add iron-rich fertilizers for better nourishment.

  • Maximum Height: 72 inches (6 feet or about 1.8 meters)
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high
  • Nutrition Needs: Moderate
  • Temperature: 65-85°F
  • Care Level: Easy

12. Blue Water Hyssop (Bacopa Caroliniana)

Blue Water Hyssop (Bacopa Caroliniana)
Source: @caticadeflorida

Water hyssop is a perennial creeping plant with long stems that carry succulent small leaves. Blue bell-shaped flowers make this plant an attractive addition to aquariums.

Bluewater hyssop tolerates almost any brackish water. Furthermore, it can thrive well when submerged in water.

However, it prefers moist soil for better growth. Soil conditions in your aquarium should be acidic to neutral if possible.

Make sure your plants receive a lot of light and moisture for fuller growth. With perfect growing conditions and proper care, they can grow up to 20 inches tall.

  • Maximum Height: 18 inches
  • Light Requirements: Medium
  • Nutrition Needs: Low (soil conditions should be acidic to neutral )
  • Temperature: 70-81°F
  • Care Level: Moderate

13. Madagascar Laceleaf (Aponogeton Madagascariensis)

Madagascar Laceleaf (Aponogeton Madagascariensis)
Source: @yoshiko.nagas

As the name implies, Madagascar is the natural home of this plant. Madagascar laceleaf (also known as lace plant) is a monocotyledonous plant with oblong-shaped leaves. Leaf blades measure up to 20 inches in length.

Since the plant has no leaf tissue, the leaf veins are visible. The skeleton-like constitution makes this perennial plant a popular choice among aquascapers and fishkeepers.

It’s not suitable for beginners, as extra care is required. Madagascar laceleaf is a demanding plant that needs plenty of light and nutrients to thrive. You should maintain a pH of 6.5-7.0 to help your plants thrive better.

Once a year, a dormancy period is needed. During this period, you need to keep your plants moist all the time. Any flower stem that is too long should be cut off and removed.

  • Maximum Height: 20 inches
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high
  • Nutrition Needs: High
  • Temperature: 60-81°F
  • Care Level: Moderate



Whether you are new to planted aquariums or a seasoned hobbyist with a lot of experience in growing aquatic plants, be sure to consider these tall plants. They can add life and coloring to your fish tank while bringing enrichment to the entire home.

With background placement, these tall plans are a great addition to large aquariums in particular. Don’t miss any plant on our list!

They are all worth considering. Choose ones that will best suit the aesthetic of your aquarium and your home as well.

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