Willow Hygro (Hygrophila angustifolia)

Hygrophila angustifolia (Willow Hygro) is a popular aquatic stem plant that is often used in many aquariums.

It can be widely found in swamps and wetlands primarily in Southeast Asia and is a real eye-catcher when you get the chance to observe it.

With its bright vibrant color, it is a great addition to any aquatic vivarium and the relatively easy care provided gives the hobbyist great value for his money.  

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Hygrophila angustifolia

Family: Acanthaceae

Common Names: Willow Hygro, Narrow Leaf Hygro

Habitat: Freshwater

Height: 8-12 inches

pH Range: 6 – 7.5

Temperature: 78-86°F

What Is Willow Hygro?

Hygrophila angustifolia, also known as willow hygro is a popular aquatic stem plant.

It is recognizable by its long stem reaching a maximum height of up to 12 inches.

Unlike other stem plants, willow hygro keeps its leaves arching downward and the leaves are thin, narrow, and oval-shaped making it give a soft and feathery look.

It is easy to cultivate and maintain for projects such as aquascapes.

Hygrophila angustifolia "Willow Hygro" Plant Care Guide

Willow Hygro Facts

Hygrophila angustifolia has a bright yellowish-green color and holds its color throughout the day as long as it gets enough light.

It has relatively slow growth unless it is provided with the necessary amount of light and CO2 for faster growth.

It has the capability of growing to any aquarium’s height and with proper fertilization, it produces lots of lateral shoots from its stem.


Willow Hygro grows in bushy clumps, typical of stem plants. It has thin, oval-shaped leaves, with a bright yellowish-green color.

It is different in the way that it has slender leaves which makes it look feathery.

It also grows relatively fast but can be subject to pest attacks if not taken care of properly.


Hygrophila angustifolia is a native plant to Southeast Asia.

It is found predominantly in swamps, lakes, and rivers, typically preferring areas with slow-moving water.

pH Preference

Willow hygro prefers an aquatic environment that runs from slightly acidic to neutral. The pH range should be from 6 to 7.5 for it to thrive in an aquarium setup.

Vivarium Type

Hygrophila angustifolia is quite an easy-going species. With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to 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.
  • Aquariums – Fully aquatic-based enclosure with little to no dry terrain.

Vivarium Placement

Willow Hygro is a popular choice for aquarium or terrarium setups as it is a stem plant requiring high amounts of light, CO2, and nutrients.

The plant is able to reach heights up to 12 inches and holds its bright green leaf color as long it is provided with the aforementioned light, CO2, and nutrients.

For aquariums and terrariums of any size, it can be considered a great accent or centerpiece in the form of a bushy background. 


Hygrophila angustifolia is planted directly into substrate material like filter foam, gravel, sand, or soil.

The substrate should be nutrient rich for an established aquascape. Willow Hygro will benefit from the occasional addition of root tabs.

Mineral-based aquarium substrates like Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum are recommended for aquascapes.


Hygrophila angustifolia grows slowly in moderate amounts of light, but it grows more vigorously in medium-high aquarium lighting.

Keep lighting from hitting the surface of the water, as this can cause an algae bloom. Using a combination of both medium-high and low light is recommended.

Buy Willow Hygro

When buying Hygrophila angustifolia, 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.

Willow Hygro Care & Propagation

The most efficient way of propagating willow hygro is by cutting its stems.

Cut stems can be planted in the substrate and they will continue to grow, forming new shoots and branches.

Make sure to leave a couple of leaves on the cutting as they have been proven to be the best place for new roots to form as the stems uptake water and nutrients.

How to Grow

To keep Hygrophila angustifolia in top shape, it should be provided with abundant amounts of light, CO2, and fertilizers.

The ideal water temperature for fast growth is about 78 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

  pH should also be controlled between 6 and 7.5 to ensure the optimal rate of growth and the health of the plant.

Nutrient-rich substrates should also be used for easy access to nutrients that aid in growth.

Water Requirements

It is best to water willow hygro from the top by adding liquid fertilizer to the tank and misting the leaves (if grown above the waterline). Cavities in the leaves are known to get filled with water droplets and will eventually evaporate.

Due to its dense leaves, it is necessary to water regularly and keep the plant misted if the humidity is low.

Plants Similar To Willow Hygro

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 the Willow Hygrow hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this aquarium plant… Here are other stem plants you might find will do well with or in place of Hygrophila angustifolia:

Egeria densa "Anacharis" Plant Care Guide
Alternanthera reineckii "Scarlet Temple" Plant Care Guide
Hygrophila polysperma "Dwarf Hygrophila" Plant Care Guide


Hygrophila angustifolia is an aquatic stem plant perfect for an aquascape.

Its quick growth rate and bright green leaves make it a great accent or centerpiece in aquariums and terrariums alike.

It is also suitable for any water condition ranging from slightly acidic to neutral and can easily be propagated by cutting.

With its easy care and vibrant color, this plant won’t let you down!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Hygrophila Angustifolia is an easy plant to grow and can be easily maintained in most aquariums with minimal care.

Yes, Hygrophila angustifolia can grow floating in water.

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