Aquatic plants bring joy to every tank – until something goes wrong. Sometimes you will notice your water wisteria turning white, apparently without any reason!
Water plants can get sick, just like regular ones. They too require proper care, which includes the right amount of light, oxygen, and nutrients. Without this, they can experience changes in color, stunted growth, or even death.
But what does it mean when your water wisteria has turned white in color? Is this a sign that you’re doing something wrong, or is it normal for your plant?
Let’s find out!
1. Nutrient Deficiency
All plants need nutrients to live. This includes your water wisteria.
Most of the time, water wisteria is able to get all the necessary nutrients on its own. It can absorb important minerals from both water and substrate, which is why it’s essential you’ve used the proper type of soil.
However, if the soil isn’t right for your plant or if there are too many other plants competing for the nutrients, your wisteria might end up malnourished.
Many times, when you notice your water wisteria is turning white, it’s lacking magnesium. Magnesium helps plants make chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color.
Without proper levels of magnesium, your plant will look pale, almost white.
A lack of iron can also cause your wisteria to turn white. As iron is involved in chlorophyll synthesis, old leaves might lose color if they cannot get enough of this mineral.
Nutrient deficiency is common if you change the water too often or in too great amounts. When you remove the water, you’re removing necessary minerals that were created by plants, animals, and bacteria in the tank.
While regular water changes are the key to a healthy tank, you shouldn’t go overboard. This can do more harm than good.
2. Too Many Nutrients
Another reason why your water wisteria might lose its color is due to too many nutrients in the water.
As I’ve mentioned, water wisteria can get most of the nutrients on its own. Supplementation is rarely needed for these hardy plants.
If you supplement your wisteria when there’s no need for it, the plant might suffer due to too many minerals.
Most of the time, tank keepers make a mistake by adding too much CO2 into the tank. CO2 is a known growth booster for both aquatic and terrestrial plants. Many aquarists add CO2 injections in hope that their wisteria will reach its full size faster.
However, water wisterias can usually get just enough CO2 from the water. Anything above that could disrupt their growth and make them unhealthy.
Sick leaves usually turn yellow, but brown leaves are also common. On rare occasions, this might also make the leaves lose their chlorophyll and turn white.
As such, if you’ve noticed your wisteria leaves have turned pale while you’re adding supplements or CO2 injections, consider changing the water. This might help the plant’s mineral levels go back to normal.
3. It Is Upside Down
Finally, the most common reason behind a water wisteria turning white might not be something you’ve ever thought of, but it’s rather obvious once you do realize it.
Maybe your water wisteria is uprooted or it has turned upside down.
This is something that has happened to me before. I have spent hours trying to figure out why parts of my newly planted wisteria carpet suddenly white when I realized that the plant had flipped throughout the night!
The undersides of the water wisteria’s leaves have a white shimmer to them. In certain light, they might appear entirely white. It’s easy to confuse them with sick leaves lacking in nutrients.
As wisterias grow tall in size, they can easily flip – especially if you grow them as a wisteria carpet.
Another reason why this might happen is that you’re having a fish species that loves to burrow, such as kribensis cichlid. These fish will dig through the substrate, occasionally uprooting the unprotected plants.
Don’t worry. Wisterias can survive floating in the water, so this won’t kill them. However, I would advise you to take the plant and put it back into the soil to control its growth.
Can A White Leaf Turn Green Again?
Now that you know why the leaves of your wisteria changed in color, you might wonder if there is anything you can do to make them green once again.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to save a leaf that has already changed color. Once the plant has turned white, this means it has lost its chlorophyll and the plant can’t get it back.
However, you can save the rest of the plant by cutting off the damaged leaves and making sure the water parameters are fixed.
Once you’ve made sure the nutrient levels are sufficient (and nothing more than that!), the rest of the plant should keep on growing healthily.
As wisterias are rather hardy plants, they can survive even when most of their leaves have been damaged or cut off. As long as there’s some green on them, they can keep on creating new leaves.
Finally, if so much of your plant has been damaged that you think it has become ugly, you can always cut it off and plant the top of the wisteria back into the soil. The plant will root itself quickly, and you’ll end up with a new, perfectly healthy plant.
Having a water wisteria turning white is never a good sign, but make sure your plant simply hasn’t been uprooted before panicking!
You know that calming feeling of tranquility and thrill while looking at a gorgeous, perfectly functioning tank? That’s why I became an aquarist.
To make a very long story short, I’m Noah, and I’ve started this site aiming to share the most helpful advice on creating thriving habitats for fish and underwater animals.