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How To Propagate Java Fern Emersed In Your Own Tank!

After publishing our article going over how to treat black spots on java fern, we noticed more and more people asking about how they are able to propagate java fern emersed.

Java fern is an excellent plant to use in aquariums that is becoming more and more popular for aquascapes too and due to it being relativley easy to grow java fern emersed, we only expect the popularity of the plant to continue to increase.

You are able to easily propagate java fern when emersed but you have to wait for the buds to form on the leaves of the java fern plant to show that new plants are ready to sprout.

This usually looks like a small black, brown or in some cases yellow bump on the leaf of the plant giving you a clear indication that the java fern leaf is ready to grow some fresh plants.

We commonly see people try to propagate their java fern plants before they are ready and this is why so many people on social media think that it is not possible to propagate java fern, especially submerged but it is and it can be surprisingly easy when done right.

Keeping java fern emersed in your aquarium is common and many people do this within their tanks all over the world with minimal issues too.

Can Java Fern Grow Emersed?

Java fern can grow emersed with minimal issues and optimal conditions for java fern to grow emersed are usually very easy for the majority of people to replicate in their own aquariums.

Emersed java fern will usually grow much slower than java fern kept in other formats though and this is totally normal and to be expected with the plant when emersed.

We just wanted to specific this to our readers as many people who are keeping their java fern emersed seem to worry that there is a problem when they realise that it is not growing quickly but this is natural for the plant when emersed.

Other factors such as water flow, water parameters, nutritional levels, and light intensity can also come into play but in the vast majority of cases, when you are keeping your java fern emersed, you will usually have to accept that it will grow slowly.

It can be normal for java fern to lose a bunch of its current leaves when emersed if it is used to living immersed or out of the water completely.

This is also considered normal and will occur with most types of plants that can live both emersed and imersed when you switch the plant between the two.

We would highly recommend that you try to keep any full water changes in your tank with emersed java fern in it to less than 30 minutes as java fern can quickly try to return to its imersed state when not submerged in water.

“Otocinclus Catfish on Java Fern Leaf” by aquaticmag is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

How To Grow Java Fern Emersed!

Java fern is relatively easy to grow emersed from scratch or to transfer to growing emersed from it having previously grown imersed.

The key thing to remember is that you really do need to try and attach your java fern to rock or wood when growing it emersed rather than using a traditional substrate as it can improve the chances of your java fern taking and growing emersed without issue.

Maintaining suitable water parameters and steady lighting intensity is also important for java fern but unlike many other aquatic pants, java fern can grow in a range of light intensity provided it is kept constant.

This can make java fern an excellent option for any emersed aquascapes as it allows you to use the plant as a filler in areas between other plants that require very specific water parameters.

There are a number of other, less common problems that people can end up running into when trying to grow their java fern emersed but we have a dedicated article going over why your java fern is not growing that may be able to help you with this.

It goes into more detail and depth on the less common problems that may cause you issues with growing your java fern so it is worth reading if you are having problems growing your java fern emersed.

How Fast Does Java Fern Grow Emersed?

Java fern will grow at a much slower pace when emersed compared to java fern growing imersed or out of the water.

This is totally normal for the plant and to be expected but it does catch a number of people new to keeping their java fern emersed out as they expect it to grow at a pace that they are used to.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, we have seen a number of people feel that their java fern is under performing when emersed in aquariums that are fully optimized for the plant to grow in.

Unfortunately, this is just the reality of growing your java fern emersed and there really isn’t much that you are able to do to prevent the problem either.

Rather than expecting a growth rate of close to one inch every month when growing your java fern imersed, you can usually expect to half this to around half an inch every month when growing your java fern emerced.

Please keep in mind that this is in an aquarium with optimal conditions too, if you are having problems with nutrition levels, water parameters or you are trying to grow your java fern in substrate rather than on a rock or on wood this can be even lower.


That brings our article going over how to grow and keep java fern emersed in your aquarium tank to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of growing your java fern emersed and although many people do make easy to avoid mistakes with the plant, it is generally very easy to grow your java fern emersed but just keep in mind that the growth rate of the plant will usually be much slower than an imersed java fern.