White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)

Laguncularia racemosa, commonly known as White Mangrove, is a low-growing pond plant that helps form boundary areas between saline and freshwater ecosystems.

This plant is an exceptional choice for adding greenery to vivariums, both with and without animals.

White Mangrove is a great beginner-level plant to manage, making it a good choice for someone just starting to learn how to care for a vivarium.

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Laguncularia racemosa
Common Name White Mangrove, Buttonwood Tree
Family Name Combretaceae
Habitat Coastal Regions
Temperature 54°F to 94°F
Height Up to 20 ft
pH 4.5 to 8.0
Lighting Bright

What Is White Mangrove?

White Mangrove is a perennial, evergreen, salt-tolerant species of plant that is native to coastal and estuarine regions of the tropical and subtropical Americas.

This plant has a woody base, thick aerial roots, and bark with a white wax-like texture.

White Mangrove helps provide structure and shade to areas and prevent coastline erosion If given enough light.

Laguncularia racemosa "White Mangrove" Plant Care Guide

White Mangrove Facts

White Mangrove is a good choice for vivariums since they are hardy, fast-growing, require little care, and are pest and disease free.

As a special feature, this plant produces “propagules” which are long green seed-like fruits, that eventually fall off the tree and are able to take root and replace the original plant.


White Mangroves are shrubs and small trees with an average height of 5 to 20 feet tall.

Its leaves are thick and leathery with a grayish-green tone to them and the shape is oval or lanceolate.

White Mangrove’s bark is structural, with dark gray shading over time to a light gray-brown tone, and has aerial roots for support and stabilization.


White Mangroves are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas from Mexico to Northern Argentina.

By the coastlines, you can spot these trees and other species near the water where there is plenty of sunlight.

The ideal temperature ranges from 54°F to 94°F.

pH Preference

White Mangrove prefers to be at a slightly acidic level but can survive in pH levels anywhere between 4.5 and 8.0.

However, it is best to check the soil and water pH levels before placing this species within the vivarium, as it favors growth in pH levels below 7.

Vivarium Type

White Mangrove is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this foliage plant with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant.

Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosures with some terrain features present.
  • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

White Mangrove is best placed in the midground or background of the vivarium and can provide a good balance to a setup with animals.

Its aerial roots can provide structural support in a planted vivarium.

They can also provide a nice hiding spot for animals like geckos and snakes.


White Mangrove adapts well to most substrates as long as it is moist and there is adequate drainage.

Opt for a nutrient-rich substrate like coco fiber or peat moss with pieces of stones or gravel to maximize drainage.

Avoid using any kind of substrate with loose particles like sand as it may cause damage to the plant’s roots over time.


White Mangrove does best in a bright light environment.

These plants require a significant amount of light but should be careful not to damage them with too much direct sunlight.

Fluorescent lights work the best and aquatic light fixtures that replicate fluorescent or LED bulbs are also recommended.

Buy White Mangrove

When buying White Mangrove, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium or pond.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to learn more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

White Mangrove Care & Propagation

Propagate White Mangrove by simply cutting off a small branch and placing it in nutrient-rich soil or generous amounts of Sphagnum moss or even directly into the vivarium substrate.

As a result, it will start to build aerial roots and its branches will begin to develop thick woody bark.

How To Grow

White mangroves are a hardy, fast-growing species and can easily adapt to a variety of habitats.

Like with all vivariums, check the substrate to make sure that water is draining correctly and the soil is moist.

During warmer weather, the plant will need more water, and in colder weather, less.

Mist the top of the soil during your regular misting process to ensure adequate levels of humidity around the plant so it can absorb the extra moisture it needs.

Water Requirements

White Mangrove prefers to be moist soil and can usually be easily kept at the proper level of moisture with regular misting.

If it starts to look limp and droopy, it may need more water.

Plants Similar To White Mangrove

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find White Mangrove hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are other pond plants you might find will do well with or in place of Laguncularia racemosa:

Acorus calamus "Sweet Flag" Plant Care Guide
Alternanthera ficoidea "Party Time Plant" | The Care Guide
Coleus scutellarioides "Painted Nettle" Plant Care Guide


White Mangrove is an excellent choice for vivariums with its silvery bark, thick leathery leaves, and aerial roots.

It will provide greenery, structure, and protection for animals in the enclosure.

If given ample light and well-drained soil, this plant is relatively easy to care for and grows fairly quickly.

It’s also a great species to propagate with its unique seed-like “propagules.”

I would highly recommend this plant to anyone whose vivarium or pond needs a bright, hardy, low-maintenance species.

Frequently Asked Questions

The white mangrove gets its name from the white coloration on its leaves. The white color is caused by tiny bumps on the leaves called salt glands, which help draw salt from the environment and store it on the leaves. Some people think that the name comes from its white flowers instead.

Yes, the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) is a true mangrove species, belonging to the Avicenniaceae family of tropical trees and shrubs. It is native to the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the southeastern United States. White mangrove trees are characterized by their white bark and beanshaped fruits, which contain seeds for dispersal.

White mangroves are a species of mangrove tree that provide coastal protection through their root systems and sediment traps. They also act as a buffer to reduce wave action and improve water quality. Additionally, they provide a habitat for many species of animals, including crabs and fish.

White mangroves are found in coastal areas along the southeastern United States, from southeastern Virginia south to the Florida Keys and Mexico, as well as along portions of Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

Yes, white mangroves are a protected species in Florida. The state has laws in place to protect them from overharvesting, habitat destruction, and other threats.

White mangrove trees have pneumatophores, or breathing roots, which extend up from the mud or sand and work to oxygenate the roots of the tree. Some of these roots are also known asknees as they have a knobby appearance.

White mangroves get rid of salt by excreting salt through their leaves, along with excess water, which is then evaporated. Additionally, the trunks of white mangroves have a thick branched vascular development which helps them to filter out salt from the seawater they take in.

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