Cryptocoryne Wendtii: From Care to Variants

Cryptocoryne wendtii, also known as water trumpet, is one of the most popular aquarium plants among hobbyists. With its wide diversity of color variations and undemanding growth requirements, crypt wendtii offers versatility for aquascapes of all experience levels. This comprehensive care guide covers everything you need to know about keeping this aquatic plant, from ideal conditions to propagation and aquascaping tips.

Overview of Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne wendtii is a species of aquatic plant belonging to the Araceae family. It is native to the island of Sri Lanka, where it grows abundantly in streams, rivers and wetlands.

In the wild, crypt wendtii exhibits olive green to brownish leaves. However, through selective breeding, aquarium strains have been developed in various colors – from green, bronze and brown to deep red.

This plant grows steadily but slowly, reaching a height between 5-15 inches depending on variety. Growth occurs from rhizomes that spread horizontally, forming dense bushes. The oval-shaped leaves emerge directly from the surface of the substrate.

Cryptocoryne wendtii is highly popular among aquarists because of its diversity, undemanding requirements and hardiness. It can tolerate various water parameters and thrives in low to moderate lighting conditions.

Fun Fact: Cryptocoryne wendtii is named after German aquarist Alfred Wendt, who first imported the species to Europe in the 1950s.

Types and Variants

Through selective breeding, crypt wendtii has diversified into many different color forms. Here are some of the most popular varieties found in the aquarium hobby:

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green

  • This is the wild-type variant with olive green leaves. It has a lush, bright green appearance.
  • One of the most common and hardy varieties, crypt wendtii green is suitable for beginners.
  • Grows more compact than other varieties, reaching 4-8 inches in height. Excellent for midground placement.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze

  • Displays dark reddish-bronze leaves with green veins.
  • Grows up to 12 inches tall. Provides beautiful contrast and color in aquascape designs.
  • Less common than green crypt but still relatively easy to find.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown

  • Exhibits coppery brown foliage.
  • Grows larger than green crypt, reaching 8-15 inches tall.
  • The brownish hue creates a natural look, especially when combined with driftwood.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red

  • Deep burgundy red leaves make this variety truly stand out.
  • Usually stays under 12 inches tall but leaves can reach up to 5 inches long.
  • More difficult to find than other crypts but provides vibrant color and visual interest.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Mi Oya

  • Ruffled leaves with reddish-brown wavy margins and green centers.
  • It grows slowly and stays compact. Excellent for foreground placement.
  • One of the more rare and unique crypt varieties.

Care Guide

While crypt wendtii is relatively undemanding, providing ideal growing conditions encourages lush growth. Here are its key care requirements:


Cryptocoryne wendtii thrives in low to moderate light conditions. For green varieties, 0.5 – 2 watts per gallon works well. Red plants may need slight higher light near 2 watts per gallon.

Submersed growth requires 6-8 hours of light per day. Use broad spectrum fluorescent or LED aquarium lights. Avoid intense light, which can cause leaf burn.

Substrate and Fertilization

Crypts form extensive root systems and feed primarily from the substrate. Use a nutrient-rich planted tank substrate or supplement with root tabs.

Adding liquid ferts to the water column offers additional minerals. But crypts mainly gain nutrients through their roots.

CO2 injection benefits crypt wendtii growth but is not essential. The plant grows slower without CO2 supplementation.

Water Conditions

  • Temperature: 73°F – 82°F
  • pH: 6.0 – 7.5
  • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard

Cryptocoryne wendtii adapts to a wide range of water parameters, including both acidic and alkaline conditions. But consistency is more important than specific values.

The key is to acclimate crypts slowly to new tank conditions. Drastic changes in environment can shock the plant and cause melt.


  • Prune old leaves at the base to encourage new growth.
  • Divide overgrown clumps during re-planting to avoid crowding.
  • Remove dead leaves before they decompose to prevent algae growth.
  • Wipe broad-leaf varieties to remove dust accumulation.

Overall, cryptocoryne wendtii requires minimal trimming and maintenance once established. The plant propagates readily on its own too.


Cryptocoryne wendtii propagates through runners and daughter plants. You can also propagate by dividing established clumps.

Runners – Long stems called stolons extend horizontally from the main rhizome. Daughter plants form at nodes along these runners. Allow the runners to extend and new plants will begin emerging.

Rhizome division – Carefully uproot the plant and separate rooted sections from the main clump. Replant each division. This kickstarts growth as the plant works to regrow its root structure.

Adventitious plantlets – Small plantlets occasionally form on old leaves. Carefully remove the plantlet and attach to substrate or a small rock to grow a new plant.

Propagation is a simple and effective way to gain new crypt wendtii plants for free!

Aquascaping With Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Thanks to its diversity of size, texture and color, cryptocoryne wendtii offers aquascapers plenty of design options:

  • Use green crypts to create a lush midground or foreground. The compact growth provides scale and depth.
  • Plant red varieties as focal points to draw attention, especially when paired with green plants as contrast.
  • Mix colors and leaf shapes for an eclectic, wild look.
  • Fill gaps between hardscape with crypts or use them to soften the edges of rocks and driftwood.
  • Let runners spread to create a dense carpet or jungle effect.
  • Group multiple crypts together to create a colorful mixed cluster.

Cryptocoryne wendtii combines beautifully with various aquascaping styles:

  • Dutch style – The colorful varieties work nicely in the neatly grouped sections of a Dutch layout.
  • Iwagumi – Crypts help soften the hard lines of rock in Iwagumi aquascapes. Plant around stones to frame them.
  • Jungle style – The fast-spreading growth of crypts complements the feral look of jungle scapes.

Common Questions

Does Cryptocoryne Wendtii need CO2 injection?

While CO2 speeds up growth, it is not required to keep crypt wendtii healthy. The plant grows slower without CO2 supplementation but still propagated readily. Crypts mainly utilize nutrients from the substrate.

Does Cryptocoryne Wendtii need special substrate?

Crypts feed heavily through their roots so nutrient-rich substrate encourages the best growth. However, they can also adapt to plain gravel substrates, especially with liquid ferts and root tabs.

Is Cryptocoryne Wendtii suitable for beginners?

The green and brown varieties are beginner-friendly plants. Their tolerance for various conditions makes keeping crypt wendtii easy even for aquascaping newcomers. Start with these hardier varieties before trying the more sensitive red crypts.


Few aquarium plants offer the versatility and hardiness of cryptocoryne wendtii. This classic aquatic plant remains a staple in planted tanks thanks to its diversity, undemanding nature and aquascaping potential. For seasoned enthusiasts and beginners alike, crypt wendtii provides an easy yet visually striking way to add life to freshwater aquariums.