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3 Reasons Why Is My Water Wisteria Turning Brown

3 Reasons Why Is My Water Wisteria Turning Brown

Is your water wisteria turning brown? Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to toss it out the moment you’ve seen this.

Water wisterias are easy-going plants most of us can keep in our tanks. It doesn’t require any special care and can survive in most water conditions. However, it isn’t immortal, and some things can affect its growth and appearance.

So, if you’ve noticed your water wisteria turning brown, whether it’s on leaves, stems, or both, here’s what might be happening:

1. Conversion

Most of the time, the water wisterias you see from the shops have been grown emersed, or out of the water. This gives them the strawberry-like appearance you might have noticed.

However, when you put the wisteria into the water, it cannot keep its old leaves. Emersed leaves are grown to pick oxygen directly from the air, something the plant can no longer do.

This conversion process, during which the plant turns from emersed to submersed, can last from several weeks up to a few months. While most plants take well to conversion, not all do. 

Wisteria has to drop her old leaves in order to grow new ones. Old leaves might turn brown before they fall off, and this commonly worries first-time keepers.

Also, sometimes new leaves won’t grow from the old stem, and this stem will turn brown. 

As such, if you’ve just introduced water wisteria into your tank and have noticed it’s turning brown, don’t panic. This is likely a sign your plant is accommodating to the new environment.

2. Not Enough Light

All plants need light, even aquatic ones. Without a proper amount of light, their growth will be stunned. They might even die.

Water wisteria doesn’t need as much light as some other plants. However, it cannot survive in darkness. Without moderate light, its growth will be stunned. This can also cause its leaves to turn brown.

Is the bottom of the plant the only part that’s turned brown? Maybe your plant has grown too much, and the top parts are blocking the light from reaching the bottom ones. 

Make sure there’s enough light in your tank – but never put your tank in direct sunlight. Keeping floating plants might also not be a good idea, as they can block the light entirely. 

3. Nutrient Deficiency

Finally, and likely the most common reason why is water wisteria turning brown, is due to nutrient deficiency. 

Water wisteria is a fast-growing plant. It needs all the nutrients it can get. 

Fortunately for you, most of the time water wisteria can get all the nutrients it needs from the tank itself, without your intervention. 

However, if there are other plants in the tank or if you have hard water, you’ll need to provide it with mineral supplements. 

Most important micronutrients for your water wisteria, and all other freshwater aquatic plants, include nickel, iron, boron, chlorine, copper, manganese, and molybdenum

When your plant doesn’t get these nutrients, its leaves can turn brown or even yellow.

If you’ve noticed your wisteria is experiencing color changes and you’re certain its light needs have been met, try supplementing it for a while. This should help it grow strong and healthy!

Can You Save A Water Wisteria That Has Become Brown?

water wisteria aquarium plant
Photo: badfishdaddy

No one likes seeing their plant brown. Even if the wisteria remains alive, its brown leaves and stem will make it appear neglected and sick.

Unfortunately, you cannot make brown parts of the plant green again. You can only make sure the brown stops spreading, and this is achieved by fixing its living conditions.

If the leaves are brown, cut them or let them be. Wilted leaves can be a good meal for scavenger animals, such as blue dream shrimp or cardinal sulawesi shrimp. New green leaves should appear in no time.

Even if they don’t or if the stem has turned brown, you can always propagate the water wisteria and make it look as good as new!

Cut the top, green part of the wisteria, and remove the brown bottom part. Then put the top green part into the substrate. This is how you’ll get a whole new plant!

Unfortunately, these methods only work if there are green parts on your plant, and if you’ve fixed the plant’s living conditions. 

If your plant is brown from the bottom to the top, then there’s probably nothing you can do.

Fortunately, wisteria is fairly inexpensive, so hopefully you’ll be able to start from the scratch as soon as possible.