Learn how To Keep Your Amazon Sword Plant Alive and Thriving

Amazon sword plants are some of the most popular aquatic plants around, and for a good reason. They’re easy to care for, and their leaves typically stay colorful and healthy for years. Here are five tips for keeping your Amazon sword plant happy and healthy: 

Amazon Sword plants will thrive with a water temperature of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a PH of 6.5 to 7.5, and moderate to bright light for approximately 10 to 12 hours a day. You should also make sure that your fish are compatible and that some are algae eaters, and you’ll need to trim your plant if the leaves get yellow occasionally.

Let’s expand on this in our no-nonsense care guide for your Amazon Sword plants!

Large Amazon Bleheri Sword 18-24 inches Tall | Live Freshwater Aquatic Plant

Fish that Aren’t Compatible with Amazon Sword Plants

First off, if you are considering adding Amazon Sword plants to your tank, you’ll want to consider the fish you have housed there already. Certain fish can be quite hard on these plants, taking nibbles and otherwise damaging them, so you want to make sure that your current fish won’t be a problem with these plants.

Fish that are not a good fit for Amazon Sword plants include the following:

  • Texas Cichlids
  • Plecostomas
  • Oscars
  • Jack Dempseys
  • Goldfish

Selecting Your Sword Plants

If your current fish are not included on our list, you’ll want to select your Sword plants next, and there are a few specifics you’ll want to look for. Look for Sword plants with long and healthy green leaves, which also have a well-developed root system already to make the transplant to your tank easier.

Avoid plants with cracked leaves and holes if at all possible, and if you see yellow leaves, then avoid these – you’ll only have to trim those leaves later, so you want the plant to be as healthy as possible so that it has the best chances to thrive.

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Planting Your Amazon Sword Plant

When you are planting your Sword plants, it is recommended that you plant them in a suitable and loose substrate that goes throughout the bottom of the tank. These plants can grow extensive roots, so it’s essential to have enough substrate to support them. If you don’t want to add this to your tank, they will grow in gravel, but they’ll be much healthier in a substrate.

You’ll want to ensure that the tank is at optimal conditions, with the 6.5 to 7.5 PH and tropical temperatures of 72 to 82 degrees.

If so, the planting part is next, and it’s pretty easy. Just make sure that you don’t cover the crown of the plant, but beyond this, anchor the roots securely, and over time, your plants will do the rest!

How Fast Do Amazon Sword Plants Grow?

Amazon Sword plants grow pretty slowly, but they can get very tall over time. On average, you can expect a height of 12 inches, but if the conditions are perfect, these plants can get as tall as 18 or even 20 inches.

Depending on the size of your tank, you may well need to trim your plant from time to time, but with the slow growth rate, these plants are very manageable, and the trimming will be infrequent.

We should also note that these plants will spread around your tank eventually. The Amazon Sword plant produces lengthy stalks, which may become new Sword plants inside your tank environment as long as the conditions are good and the tank is spacious. If the tank is a little on the small side, you can remove these stalks as-needed and plant them in other tanks.

Keeping Your Sword Plants Algae-Free

Algae can be a problem with Sword plants due to their longevity, slow growth rate, and significant time they spend in the light. You can’t just scrape the leaves, as they can damage quite easily, but you can use a little of Nature’s strategy to keep the algae manageable.

You’ll want to add some algae-eating fish to your tank.

Many choices will work, with a few examples being Cherry or Amano Shrimp, Otocinclus Catfish, and many different types of snails. These little tank-friends will eat the algae as it grows on the Sword plants, and as long as they are compatible with the fish you are housing, they should balance the environment nicely.

Common Issues with Amazon Sword Plants

Once your plants are in place, the conditions are optimal, and you’ve enlisted the help of your algae-eating friends, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for some common issues that can occasionally occur.

First off, you may notice yellowing or browning some leaves after you first transplant your Amazon Sword plants. This is not uncommon, as it takes them a while to adjust, but it will require a little action on your part. Trim the yellowing or dead leaves from the bottom and cut them off right at the stem.

Don’t worry – new, light-green leaves will unfold soon, generally from the central area of the short stem of your Sword plants, and by this time, your plants should be fully adjusted.

You can encourage growth and improve overall health with an iron-rich fertilizer, but if you are still seeing a lot of yellowing, recheck your tank conditions – as these conditions are the most common reason you’ll see Yellowing in Sword plants.

After that, make sure that you don’t add any new fish from our ‘incompatible fish’ list, and your Amazon plants should grow and thrive.

Some Final Words on Amazon Sword Plants and Their Care

As you can see, Amazon Sword plants are easy to take care of. You’ve got a 6.5 to 7.5 PH, that the tank is 72 -82 degrees, and that you don’t cover the crown when you plant them. 

Beyond this, make sure you’ve got algae eaters, as these plants grow slowly and need a lot of light, making them quite vulnerable to algae growth.

Make sure your fish are compatible, and if you see any dead or yellowing leaves, you’ll want to trim them promptly. Finally, an iron-rich fertilizer will help ensure that your Sword plants are at their best, so be sure to feed them some now and again.

These plants will live 1.5 to 3 years, so follow the care tips that we’ve shared today, and we hope you enjoy your beautiful new Sword plants!


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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