Aldrovanda (Waterwheel Plant) Introduction:

Ever thought of what an underwater Venus flytrap might look like?  This is quite an exciting species that extends from Europe, Africa, Japan, Australia, India.  In Japan however it has become extinct in the wild.  Last word is that it has the same fate in Europe.  Hopefully with cultivation in the lab and as attention is drawn to it, the Waterwheel Plant will have a second chance at life.

This plant grows underwater, or just under the surface.  These are rootless, just floating along among other aquatic plants.  An average size for Aldrovanda is 6 inches.

Some people consider this an invasive plant.

Water Requirements:

With the obvious need to be kept in a container that is filled with water.  Some have also noted that a possible reason for failure within collections is the fact of not having acidic water.  Acidity seems to be a key in helping these plants hang around a while.  Adding some peat moss or possible some Miracid ® ( very very small amount ) might help out.  

Also, it may be noted that changing out of the water for these plants in a good idea.  Stale water leads algae to form.  If this happens, promptly move the plants and replace with fresh water.  

Light Requirements:

These plants will do best in partly sunny conditions.  Full sun may be to strong for the Aldrovanda plant.

What Does The Aldrovanda Eat?

Water daphnia and mosquito larvae are the diet of choice for Aldrovanda.  Really anything that is small enough to be caught by the traps will work.  Just remember to NEVER feed your carnivorous plants  people or pet food. 

Fertilizing:

Not so much as a fertilizer, adding Miracid ® might help with the acidity levels in the water that seem to be necessary for the survival of the plant.

Dormancy:

In cooler areas, this plant will go dormant for the winter.  When this happens, the plant will curl up into a ball, leaving nothing exposed.  When warmer conditions return, the plant will resume its carnivorous nature.

It is not necessary for this plant to be dormant.  It will go dormant in conditions that are cooler.  If conditions in your area are not cool enough to allow for dormancy, than the plant will retain its carnivorous nature.

Notes:

Propagation of these plants is as easy as breaking apart a piece and allowing it to grow.  

Never allow the plant to freeze.  Cold conditions around 50 is tolerable and is not recommended going below that.

If possible, allow your plant to live in a large container.  This is another possibility as to why this plant does poorly in collections.

These plants have no root system.  So do not panic if one is not seen.

Links of interest:

Curious about other aquatic carnivorous plants? Read about Bladderworts / Utricularia here

CP Faq – Aldrovanda  /  Waterwheel Plant

CP Resource  – Aldrovanda vesiculosa

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