7 Best Aquarium Plants That Grow On Wood And Rock

Last Updated on 2023-08-30

Almost all breathing animals need oxygen to live, that includes fishes, too, even those that are in your aquarium. And one way to increase oxygen production in your aquarium is to introduce aquatic plants in it. And not only that, aquarium plants atop wood or rock can provide a natural look in your aquarium. Plants attached to wood can also be used as a focal point in your aquarium while acting as a natural filter, soaking up the fish’s carbon dioxide and ammonia. In this short article, we will take a glance at a few aquarium plants that can be grown on wood or stone that your aquarium inhabitants will surely enjoy.

What Plants Can Grow On Wood?

Aquarium plant decor should be on every aquarist’s to-do list. Luckily, there are plants that can thrive on wood that you can use to spruce up your driftwood. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven plants that can grow best on wood.

1. Anubias Barteri

The broad, thick, dark leaves of the Anubias Barteri are the plant’s most distinctive feature. Many aquarists love it because it quickly attaches itself to driftwood and grows quickly. It has leaves up to 3 inches long, and it grows just as well in terrariums as it does in aquariums, either submerged or emersed.

2. Hemianthus

Hemianthus, which is also known as Dwarf Baby Tears, is the best carpet plant you can find. It is one of the tiniest aquatic plants you can buy, and it’s perfect for making the sort of lush foreground that you find in so many beautiful aquascapes. This plant’s small size and delicate roots make it tricky to establish it on unforgiving surfaces like wood or rock.

3. African Water Fern

The African Water Fern is a type of Bolbitis that is well-known for its slow growth and long, slightly see-through leaves. In just 2 months, this fern can expand to be 6-8 inches across and 16 inches tall. For proper growth, the rhizome should be attached to a rock or piece of wood rather than buried in the substrate.

4. Christmas Moss

In the world of aquariums, Christmas moss is an absolute must-have. The vibrant green color of this moss can easily be attached to wood which makes it a popular addition to many well-known aquascapes. This aquarium moss can be used to re-create a number of different aesthetics and serve a number of different functions in a planted aquarium.

5. Riccia Fluitans

Riccia fluitans, which is also called Crystalwort, is a free-floating plant that forms dense mats on the water’s surface. This plant can also be itself directly to aquarium decors like wood and rocks. Just make sure to prune it regularly, or it will eventually be taller and float.

6. Bucephalandra

Bucephalandra is easily recognizable due to its striking bright spots on its leaves. Moreover, the leaves are iridescent, reflecting a rainbow of colors depending on the angle of observation. This plant requires very little oxygen and light, and it can be mounted on wood for easy maintenance.

7. Magenta Water Hedge

This plant is low maintenance and adds visual interest to the aquarium, but it needs a lot of light, slightly acidic water, and a steady supply of carbon dioxide to develop its beautiful reddish-purple leaves to their full potential. You can attach this plant to a piece of wood to act as the background of your aquascape; the purple hue will stand out against the green leaves of your aquarium plants. It is recommended that this plant is regularly clipped to develop more side shoots and become bushier.

A green beautiful planted tropical freshwater aquarium with fishes

What Plants Can Grow On Rocks?

In addition to the plants that can be planted on driftwood, there are also plants that can be planted on a rock for your aquarium. When placed on rocks, aquatic plants can sometimes mimic the look of a reef. Take a look at this list of seven typical plants that can be found on top of rocks in aquatic environments.

1. Hygrophila Pinnatifida

The aquarium hobby is seeing a rise in the popularity of Hygrophila Pinnatifida. For its striking red color and unusual leaf shape, this plant is frequently used in aquascaping. This plant does well in bright indirect light and can survive even when planted in stone or rocks.

2. Cryptocoryne Petchii

Cryptocoryne Petchii is a tough plant that can grow and adapt, whether the water is soft or hard. It is easy to stick to rocks and stones, where it can grow into thick bushes. Although it does better in bright light, it is ultimately not crucial for its growth.

3. Java Fern

Other plants can be beautiful but expensive, but the Java Fern is a beautiful aquatic plant that doesn’t cost much. Java fern is a type of freshwater plant that can be used in aquariums as a midground plant. This plant is known for its green leaves that feel like leather and its ability to stick to anything, like rocks and stones.

4. Java Moss

If you ask for suggestions for aquatic plants you can use for aquascaping, you will probably come across the plant “Java moss” a lot.  Java moss is a common sight in aquariums because it can grow in a variety of places, doesn’t need much care, and looks great. This plant is also easy to take care of and can grow well on rocks and stones.

5. Weeping Moss

Weeping Moss has long, bright green leaves that grow in a trailing fashion, making it a useful accent plant for aquariums. This moss looks a bit like a weeping willow as its leaves generally grow downwards. Weeping moss doesn’t use roots to get its nutrients but instead, it uses its rhizoids for getting nutrients, which are small structures that look like roots and hold the plant to its rocky or driftwood home.

6. Moneywort

Moneywort, which is also called Water Hyssop, is a well-known aquarium plant among aquarists because it is hardy, easy to take care of, and has a lot of uses. It is a stem plant that creeps along the ground that can be attached to rocks and stones, or it can float in the water and get nutrients from the water itself. You can also use these flexible aquarium plants to carpet your aquarium, and they can grow faster than most plants that grow this way.

7. Flame Moss

The bright emerald green color of flame moss draws attention to its unique, spiraling growth pattern, which looks like a blazing fire. Moss is used by many people to make their aquascapes look different, and Flame moss could even add even more variation. Like most types of moss, flame moss grows slowly, but with enough food, light, and carbon dioxide, surely you can speed up its growth rate to some extent.

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How Do You Attach Plants To Rocks and Wood?

Now that you have the proper plant for your aquarium, you must figure out how to secure it. There are a variety of methods for securing your gorgeous aquatic plant to your wood or rock. In order to help you get your plants mounted on rocks and wood, here are seven options.

1. Cotton Thread

When tying aquarium plants to rocks or wood, cotton thread offers the advantage of allowing you to match the thread’s color to the surrounding material. So it won’t be obvious or ruin the look of your aquarium. The downside is that it dissolves after 3–4 weeks.

2. Fishing Line

Fishing line is ideal for securing aquarium plants to wood or rocks because it will not break down over time. The plant will be securely fastened to the rock indefinitely. The drawback is that the fishing line is very visible, and it can ruin the look of your aquarium but it can be cut later on.

3. Rubber Band

Rubber bands are a great time-saver when it comes to attaching aquarium plants to rocks or wood. However, the rubber band used to secure the plants to the rock will dissolve over time, which is a major drawback to this method. But usually, the plant starts to attach itself to the rock or wood when the rubber band dissolves.

4. Superglue

You can anchor aquarium plants to rock or wood with superglue. Don’t worry; using superglues in your aquarium won’t hurt your fish in any way. All you have to do is put a little bit of superglue on a spot on the rock where you want to plant your aquarium, then place the plant’s rhizome on the rock and hold it there for about a minute while the superglue gel dries.

4. Stainless Screws

Using screws is a great way to attach heavy water plants to wood or rock. To do this, just put your plant where you want it on the rock or piece of wood and drill the rhizome in with a screw. Just make sure not to push too hard, or the thing you are putting the plant in might break.

5. Epoxy Putty

This adhesive is available as a paste that can be kneaded into a putty-like consistency for securing plants to hard surfaces like rock, wood, and even glass. Once it hardens, it’s as solid as a rock and holds very firmly. However, its adhesion can be impaired by dust, so it’s best used on dust-free hardscape surfaces.

6. Silicone Adhesive

Silicone Adhesive functions similarly to super glue, but it takes a very long time to set. It is totally safe and flexible and can go for a long time without reapplication. Silicone Adhesive’s greatest strength is that it’s one of the few adhesives that sticks really well to rock, wood, and aquarium glass.

7. Aquascaping Foam

Aquascaping Foam is becoming more popular on the market these days. It comes in a spray can and produces a stream of foam that sticks really to surfaces of wood and rocks and has a stickiness similar to that of a roasted marshmallow. You’ll need to let the foam dry for a few days after rinsing it off and before using it.


What Are the Fastest Growing Aquarium Plants?

Elodea Densa, Dwarf Ambulia, Dwarf Hygro, Hornwort, and Water Wisteria are just some of the fast-growing plants. Be aware that fast-growing plants quickly use up the nutrients in your water. They grow quickly at first but then stop growing once all of the nutrients are gone.

Can You Use Superglue in A Fish Tank?

Super glue (primarily composed of Cyanoacrylate) is safe for use in fish tanks because it becomes chemically inert when wet. Water is a catalyst in the curing process of cyanoacrylate, and it is inherently safe for use in aquariums.


Putting plants on wood or rock isn’t too hard, especially if you know what you’re doing. Choosing the right perfect plant is also an important part of this. There are many plants available in the market that can be easily attached to your driftwood or rock that you can choose from. Make sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid harming the plants as you attach them. A little work can result in a stunning and one-of-a-kind work of living art.

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