03 Apr POGOSTEMON technical description and management (all verieties Erectus Stellatus Helferi)
Nome: Pogostemon Erectus, Pogostemon Stellatus , Pogostemon Helferi.
Provenance and habitat: These three varieties derive from the South-West of India and from the tropics of Asia, they are stem plants recently present on the aquarium market but are spreading rapidly because they have a very beautiful shape and volumes that enrich the aesthetics of the tank. Before analyze the differences in the specific, we can say that their growth rate is medium / high and will tend to fill the volumes of the aquarium, even if in general, they are quite difficult to manage and maintain. It is also advisable to combine them with non-phytophagous fishes or large cichlids, as they may be very succulent and eaten.
POGOSTEMON ERECTUS: This variety of Pogostemon, for many years confused with the “Rotala Verticillaris”, is characterized by a long stem surrounded by spiked leaves 3 cm long, light green and intense and depending on the light, yellow or gold. It forms compact groups and reaches a height of about 15/30 cm and then exits also from the surface of the water, for this reason it is considered a second or background plan plant. It is classifiable as a fast-growing plant if fertilization and supply of CO2 are sufficient, and needs to be trimmed and replanted directly by the stem. The Pogostemon is a sturdy plant but requires good filtration and standard water values, to ensure an excellent development it must have an illumination ranging from 0.5W / L to 0.8 W / L otherwise it could grow thin and look aesthetically ugly and undress.
POGOSTEMON STELLATUS: The Pogostemon Stellatus, called for many years also “Eusteralis Stellata“, is characterized by a fairly fleshy stem with punctate leaves that have a slight and thinning indentation on the perimeter margin, the color is bright green, with red and violet pink hues as we approach the top. Form of compact groups of a height that reaches 20 cm, this can be used as a second plan or background, depending on the proportions of the tank. It is classifiable as a plant at a medium growth rate, is demanding both for the presence of C02, both for the quantity of light that must be high, and the appropriate fertilization, rich in iron and potassium. The Pogostemon Stellatus, can be used as an “indicator” of the presence / absence in the aquarium of the micronutrients necessary for the growth of the plants; we can see it from the color of the leaves that if they turn pale, going from a pale green to a yellowish color, means that it is necessary to increment fertilization. Even this plant needs to be pruned along the stem and replanted in small groups, it is advisable to always prune any side jets that could subtract energy and nourishment from the mother plant.
POGOSTEMON HELFERI: This variety is distinguished by the other two (Erectus and Stellatus) belonging to the Lamiaceae family, for its very particular shape: it has a compact and solid appearance, the leaves are star-shaped and curled on the edges, the color is light green lit and differs from all other low plants. Because of its shape and development it is used as a front plan plant because it reaches a maximum height of 5/12 cm max. It is classifiable as a medium-growth plant and depends a lot on the light supplied and the presence of CO2, so it needs a lot of light and adequate fertilization if you want to obtain the “ground” effect, only in that case lateral shoots will form with small roots that will occupy more space on the ground. In nature, only in emerged form produces purple flowers, but it is very difficult to see them in the aquarium. We recommend planting in small groups of 4/5 bushes planted at a distance of about 5 cm from each other, after removing the old leaves, to promote their proper development and a good extension on the ground.
Reproduction and multiplication: The Pogostemon variety reproduces by lateral jets and cuttings, so it will be sufficient to cut the stalks with sharp scissors and replant them in small groups and at a distance of about 5 cm from the mother plant. In nature or in the pond it can reproduce by flowering and fructification but it is difficult to occur in aquariums.
Fertilization and recommended substrate: This plants can be defined as difficult to cultivate and not suitable for newbies because they need an excellent fertilization and strong lighting, therefore we recommend funds fertilized with powders or fertile soils rich in nutrients and trace elements, also must be provided constant supply of potassium and iron by means of liquid fertilizers and daily administration of Co2.
Price: 5 / 7 € each vase.
Ideal temperature range: 22°- 28 ° Celsius
Light: Medium / High
Growth speed: Medium / High
PH range: 6°- 7.5°
GH range: 6° – 12 °dgh
Difficulty of cultivation: Medium / Expert