Aquarium Plants Profile: Eusteralis stellata
 (Pogostemon stellata)

 To ask a question about this aquarium plant email: Don Matakis

 Grows to a height of 6 to 20 inches (MID to BACKGROUND)
 The width of each stem is about 4 to 8 inches, based on leaf growth
 Moderate to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal)
 Optimum growth temperature is 71.6 to 82.4 degrees

Eusteralis stellata is distinguished by its beautiful shape and colour. It is difficult to grow in aquariums. It requires intensive light and the addition of CO2 to grow well. The shortage of micro-nutrients leads to pale leaves, which may be an indication that the aquarium needs fertiliser. Even in good conditions growth sometimes stops suddenly. Plants in aquarium shops are generally low, compact plants grown in marshy conditions, and do not reveal their full glory until planted in the aquarium. (Excerpt From Tropica)

Eusteralis stellata is an medium to difficult to grow stem plant that will thrive in most aquariums with the proper lighting. The plant typically grows to a height of 6 to 10 inches, even taller (20 in.) under high light conditions. The width of each stem is about 4 to 8 inches, based on leaf growth.The leaf is narrow lanceolate to linear.

In order to achieve strong shoots the substrate should be nutrient rich and light intensity high. Three to five strong specimens can be used for the mid to background area. Eusteralis stellata can grow well in both medium hard and soft water although soft, slightly acidic water is best. Optimum growth temperature is 71.6 to 82.4 degrees, although it can grow in temps from 60.8 to 86 degrees.

Eusteralis stellata requires moderate to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks the lower leaves tend to fall off. Separate each stem and plant individually. This will result in better growth and the lower leaves will still receive some light as the this aquarium plant grows taller.

Don's Notes:

My experience with this aquarium plant is that Eusteralis stellata is actually very easy to grow  and is another beautiful aquarium plant when it has enough light. There really is no other plant that has the same appearance of this unusual looking aquarium plant. I have noticed on occasion (rare) that Eusteralis stellata will stall on growth, however if you move it  to another location it seems to rebound. Eusteralis stellata requires sufficient fertilizers (iron sees to be needed in the substrate for good strong growth) and an adequate source of the gas CO2 (carbon dioxide). The leaves turn a reddish tinge as they near the surface and new shoots will branch off of the main plant. Growth is quite rapid. You need to remove these to keep the individual stems large and strong, unless you like the effect of smaller side branches like I do! Aquarium fish seem to love to move in and out of the needle like leaves, especially Tetra's! This is fast becoming one of my favorite aquarium plants.

Eusteralis stellata is found in Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia.


Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for

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