Cyperus Helferi Planting And Care Guide

Cyperus helferi is one of the few plants of the Cyperaceae family that can live underwater. It was brought to the attention of aquarists around the world by the famous Japanese Takashi Amano, who used it first to create its fascinating aquatic scenery.

Cyperus helferi is a plant originally from Southeast Asia, widely known especially in Thailand, where it grows both submersed or emersed, on the banks of the standing water or in slow flowing water.

Cyperus helferi produces long leaves that bend elegantly along the water column. Despite the fact that it is a “rosette” style plant, it develops a very small system of roots. Many smaller plants are produced at the base of healthy, well-stabilized specimens.

Cyperus Helferi

Data sheet of Cyperus helferi



Asia – Thailand


20-35 cm

15-25 cm

Light conditions

Medium – Strong

20-27° C

Water hardness


5.5 – 7.5

Growth rate



Hight – Not suitable for beginners

Aquarium and water conditions

Cyperus helferi can grow when sown in the aquarium substrate to a height of about 20-35 cm, the temperature at which it develops in good conditions is averaged between 20 and 30 °C.The hardness of aquarium water can fit in a wide range of values, between 1 and 20, and the pH accepted by the small aquatic plant is between 5 and 7.5.The plant particularly likes the soft, slightly acidic water of 25-27 °C and a strong light, similar to what is found in its native environment.

Cyperus helferi can grow even when it has a weaker, diffuse light, but if we provide at least 2-4 watts / gallon, it can grow spectacularly, especially if it has a sufficient amount of fertilizer and CO2. It needs nitrates, iron, potassium, but also microelements, so that its graceful leaves do not turn yellow and keep its own green greenery, which brings optimism to our soul and urges us to continually reinvent ourselves.

The water flow in the aquarium must be low or moderate in order not to aggressively treat delicate plant and allow it to reverse its long, thin, arched leaves in the form of rosettes.

Planting Cyperus helferi

This plant comes in pots from aquarium plant farms and the transition process from the pot to the aquarium bed can be a bit tricky at start. Some of the plant may not survive the process and those that do survive will recover in a couple of days given that they have the required conditions.

This plant will do best in larger tanks of 100 liters or more because the plant tends to spread its leaves around and can cover other plants if not trimmed correctly.

Even a single Cyperus helferi plant can bring a lot of distinction to a planted aquarium, we do not necessarily need to group more specimens of this aquatic plant in bushes, especially if we want a minimalist decoration in accordance with Japanese stamps.

Cyperus helferi can be sown both in the background, besides its aesthetic role with a pragmatic one, hiding various equipment necessary for the aquarium, as well as in the middle of the container. It is only the aquarist-gardener’s fantasy that decides the positioning of the Cyperus helferi, which will surely be a plant that will attract everyone’s admiration.

Propagation and maintenance

In small aquariums, it needs to be shortened regularly to fully enjoy this variety of dwarf plants, but in a medium or large capacity aquarium, as a rule, open to all peasant beauty .

There are multiple ways to propagate this aquatic plant. If left on its own, the mother plant will develop small adventitious plants at the base. Other ways involve taking trims of the top of the plant and planting them upside down in the substrate.

To ensure the survival of the small plants, we have to make sure that they have a developed root system that will allow them to survive when they are separated from the mother plant.

Using Cyperus Helferi in combination with other plants

There are numerous aquascapes that can use this plant, it is versatile and can be used in almost every combination. Here are a couple of aquascape plant combinations that include it:

  • Cyperus Helferi, Cryptocoryne Petchii, Eanunculus inundates, Eleocharis parvula, Pogostemon helferi, Anubias nana, Ludwigia glandulosa.
  • Cyperus Helferi, Eriocaulon cinereum, Eleocharis acicularis, Elatine hydropiper, Helanthum Quadricostatus
  • Cyperus Helferi, Rotala green, Hygrophila Araguaia, Anubias petite, Staurogyne repens, Pogostemon erectus, Bolbitis heudelotii, Microsorum pteropus
  • Cyperus helferi, Limnophila hippuridoides, Rotala macrandra, Limnophila sessiliflora, Pogostemon erectus, Nymphaea lotus, Murdannia keisak, Crinum calamistratum, Bacopa caroliniana, Lobelia cardinalis

Cyperus helferi is considered to be one of the symbols of prosperity and rebirth, which can further enhance the role of a beneficial activator that an aquarium, well positioned according to Feng Shui rules, can bring it to the homes where it is located.

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