Bolbitis Heteroclita

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  • Easy Aquarium Plant
  • Light Preference/Tolerated (Medium Light, Low Light)
  • Aquatic Watering Needs
  • Mature Height 12 inches

Bolbitis heteroclita is an aquatic fern that originates in southeast Asia. Sometimes called the Java Fern or El Nino fern, Bolbitis is one of the easiest aquarium plants for beginning Aquascapers. The broad leaves and upright structure make Bolbitis heteroclita perfect for midground planting in a small tank or foreground planting in a large tank. Aggressive fish may damage the leaves and root structure.

Best Locations For Growing Bolbitis Heteroclita

Bolbitis heteroclita has broad, arrow-shaped fronds that make a nice backdrop or specimen plant in a freshwater aquarium. The top of the leaves can grow outside of the water as long as the rest of the plant is submerged. This Bolbitis also grows easily in a high humidity closed terrarium scape. The terrarium must be placed in a warm, bright room between 70-80 degrees F.

Bolbitis Heteroclita Sunlight Requirements

This Bolbitis grows as a top layer plant and tolerates low to fairly high light levels. Lower light levels cause the plant to grow slower and have darker coloring, while higher light levels spur faster growth and more delicate, almost opaque leaves. Eventually, the mature plant will be tall enough to reach the outside of an open tank. 

Bolbitis Heteroclita Care

Do not plant this aquatic plant directly into the substrate. Attach rhizomes to an object to anchor them in place. Planting the roots in the substrate will rot them and cause the plant to die. Planting Bolbitis close to the water flow will keep algae from forming on the fronds. Any old or dead fronds can be cut off near the rhizomes to keep the plant tidy and reduce decomposition in the water.

Watering Bolbitis Heteroclita

Bolbitis can be grown fully or partially submerged, with part of the top growth out of the tank. This is also an excellent plant for closed, high-humidity terrariums.  

Feeding Bolbitis Heteroclita

A CO2 injection every once in a while will help to keep the fronds growing steadily but is not necessary. Generally, no extra fertilizing is required when raising fish in the aquarium. The nutrients from fish food and waste are all that Bolbitis will need.

Bolbitis Heteroclita Information

Light Exposure: Medium Light, Low Light
Care Requirements: Easy
Watering Requirements: misted at least one a day
Pet Friendly: No
Kid Friendly: No
Air Purifier: Moderate
Habit: Upright
Growth Rate: Slow
Mature Height: 12 inches
Mature Spread: 16 inches
Flowering: No
Flower Color(s): None
Flower Shade/Description: Grown for Foliage
Fragrant: No
Foliage Type:
Foliage Color(s): Green
Foliage Description: Light to Dark Green
Temperature: 65° - 80°F (18° - 27°C)
Humidity: Above Average to High (60% - 100%)
Common Name: Bolbitis Heteroclita
Other Name(s): El Nino Fern, Bolbitis Broad Leaf
Scientific Name: Bolbitis Heteroclita
Plant Type: House Plant

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Know As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Know As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Know As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2-3 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 3-4 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.