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Nymphoides (Banana Plant)


  1. Propogation of Banana Plants
    by (Dennis Heltzel) (17 Apr 1995)
  2. Nymphoides aquatica
    by (Len Trigg) (Tue, 19 Sep 95)
  3. Nymphaea, Nymphoides and Nuphar
    by krandall/ (Wed, 03 Mar 1999)
  4. Nymphoides hydrophylla
    by "Jouni Jaakkola" <Jouni.Jaakkola/> (Mon, 7 Feb 2000)
  5. banana plants
    by BeetleMaster/ (Sun, 27 Feb 2000)
  6. Banana Plants
    by Chuck Gadd <cgadd/> (Fri, 22 Sep 2000)

Nymphoides indica flower

Nymphoides indica flower

Propogation of Banana Plants

by (Dennis Heltzel)
Date: 17 Apr 1995
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

Ken Chan ( wrote:
: I've read they can reproduce from seed from the flowers as well.  The 
: botanical drawings I have show the flowers and the plantlet growth.  I 
: guess what you said indicates this happens outdoors.  

: If you could find out how your aquaintance propogated them in an 
: aquarium, I and several people would like to know.  (email indicates 
: interest on this subject.

They didn't produce seeds for me, rather the new set of "bananas" were 
actually roots formed by an adventitious shoot that emerged at the point 
where the flowers had previously arisen. A similar thing happens with 
sword plants on emerse flower stalks. The banana plant (N. aquatica) 
looks a lot like a water lily when it is growing, it has 3 inch floating 
"lily pads" as leaves, and I was surprised that the flowers formed from 
the leaf stalk rather than emerging fromthe crown of the plant as proper 
water lilies.

My friend no doubt kept them in a 55 with a "shop light" style fixture 
hung close to the water surface. I'm sure the key to flowering is intense 
light. If you get one started in a pot inside, I'd suggest you move it to 
a small tub outside for the summer. It will do really well there.


Nymphoides aquatica

by (Len Trigg)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 95

I was just having a browse around the Krib, read the brief info
about propagating banana plants, and thought I'd share a recent

Around here banana plants aren't all that common.  I've seen them
for sale at a pet shop in Auckland for NZ$9.95 (~US$6) for
basically a (floating) leaf which has a few roots developing
a couple of inches beneath it.  A friend who isn't (currently)
successful with plants bought one, which did nothing except have
the leaf melt and grow a single pitiful submersed leaf.  At this
point he gave it to me.

We put it into my wife's tank and it started growing the
submersed form of leaf, and after half a dozen of these it
sent up its first floating leaf.  Not very large as floating
leaves go, it was only about 1.5in diameter.  Then during a
a waterchange/pruning my wife accidentally snipped the floating
leaf off.  Just to see what would happen, we left the floating
leaf with it's ~10in of trailing stem floating.  It started
to grow roots from the snipped end, and then began growing
submersed leaves from two points by the roots.  When big enough
we snipped these plants off and started them growing on their

The moral of the story is, if a relatively small floating leaf
can produce two new plants, perhaps larger leaves could
repeatedly have developing plantlets separated, making for pretty
fast banana plant propagation.


Nymphaea, Nymphoides and Nuphar

by krandall/
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999

tsuh yang chen wrote:

>does your method of pinching floating leaves of nymphaea also work with
>Nymphoides and Nuphar?

I haven't kept Nymphoides spp. in a tank in many years, as I really think
they are prettier pond plants.  But, yes, I seem to remember that I did the
same with them.  I can't say that I've ever had much luck with Nuphar spp.
They tend to rot on me very quickly.  Maybe we can have some people post
who have done well with these pretty plants.  


Nymphoides hydrophylla

by "Jouni Jaakkola" <Jouni.Jaakkola/>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000

|Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 20:35:52 EST
|Subject: Re:  Nymphoides hydrophylla
|Members of this genus, with the exception of banana plants, require
|tremendous amounts of light. Even at 4 watts per gallon, you are nowhere
|what they receive outside.  Try putting it in a ten gallon tank and run a
|couple of those screw-in flourescent tubes in an old incandescent light
| The brightest oned available.  THen add a fan intothe hood to keep the

I don't necessarily disagree, but I feel N. hydrophylla is much more
forgiving than N. aquatica. I have had N. hydrophylla for a couple of years,
at the moment I have it in a plastic pot in a 30 cm (1 foot) deep tank with
only one normal output fluorescent tube. N. indica and Hydrocleys nymphoides
did very poorly under these conditions although they looked great, with
buds, when I got them. N hydrophylla keeps sending new 'miniature water lily
leaves' to the surface. I admit it doesn't bloom here and the leaves are
much flatter and thinner than, say, in Kasselmanns  book, photo taken in Sri

I did get a few flowers when I had N. hydrophylla in another tank. It grew
under a writing table lamp that has a sort of miniature double fluorescent
tube that you push in, not the screw-in type. The type number is - hang on -
Phillips PL-S 11W/827. I have no idea about the spectrum, but the light
seems fairly concentrated. And the plant was directly under the lamp.


banana plants

by BeetleMaster/
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000

> i just bought 3 banana plants (they're actually my favorite). can anyone
>  tell me their scientific name? does the "banana" root fall off in time? if
>  not, how can i keep them from falling off? any other advise on how to
>  propagate this lovely plants?...thanks in advance.

The scientific name of banana plants is Nymphoides aquatica. They grow wild 
down here in Florida. You rarely see the big banana-like root structures when 
they are growing in a pond. Whenever I have collected them they have had long 
thick root systems, but when I put them in my outdoor pond, they developed 
"bananas". The lily-pad-like leaves will (under good conditions) grow all the 
way to the surface of your tank water and bloom. As far as I know, the banana 
doesn't fall off, but since all the wild ones I've seen are banana-free, they 
may not need them once well established (i.e. when the long thick root system 
is developed).


Banana Plants

by Chuck Gadd <cgadd/>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000

Jim wrote:

> I too have an interest in reproducing Banana Plants, so I was hoping
> someone who had actually done so would answer this question. What I know

> Can anyone tell me anything about the life cycle of banana plants? 

I've had my banana plant flower in my tank.  There are pictures up on my
website (watch out, the page has way too many small images on it, so 
load time is horrible.  I'm fix that problem in the near future)

I can relate my experience with it:

Planted it, with the bananas half buried in the substrate.  The plant rooted,
and sent up runners to the surface, with floating leaves.   I was normally
leaving just one of two of the floating leaves attached, and removing the
rest so that it wouldn't block too much light.

The first way I reproduced it:  Take a floating leaf.  After it's been at
the surface for a few days, clip the stem about 4 inches below the leaf,
and let the leaf and it's attached piece of stem float.  After several
days, roots will form at the end of the stem attached to the leaf.  Let
the roots develop for a few days, then you can snip the leaf off the
stem with it's new roots, and plant the stem/roots.  It won't have a
banana bunch, but it grows just like any other banana plant.  

The second way I reproduced it, by pure luck:  After a couple months of me
clipping off the floating leaves, I noticed that one of the runners to
the surface had a "lump" a few inches below the end of the stem.  Once the
leaf reached the surface, from this lump emerged a couple small stems.  One
of these stems produced a small floating leaf.  From the same spot, a small
stem went to the surface, and a flower formed.   A week later, a banana
bunch forms from that same lump.   Once the bananas are pretty well formed,
the stem will rot just below the bananas.  Now the floating leaf, and the
new attached banana bunch can float around free.   In the wild, this leaf
could now be carried by the current to a new location.  About a week
after the stem rotted, the leaf will start to rot, eventually dropping the
banana bunch down to the substrate, where it will root, and start over!

It's a very cool process to watch, and the flower is VERY nice looking.

Unfortunately, I've got no idea what actually triggered the flowering.
It's been flowering for several months now, and seems to be slowing down,
in fact, I haven't seen a new stem in a week.  Once it started sending
up the runners with the "lumps", every single stem had a lump.  

- --
Chuck Gadd

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