How to Grow a Sword Plant


The Amazon sword plant (Echinodorus bleheri) is considered one of the easiest plants to grow for the aquarium enthusiast. It is commonly found at aquarium supply centers. The Amazon sword plant has broad, strap-like leaves and has a root system that it uses to anchor itself to the gravel or sand at the bottom of the aquarium. Like most aquatic plants, the Amazon sword plant produces oxygen when exposed to light. It regenerates quickly when nibbled on by fish, snails or other aquatic life. The Amazon sword grows large and looks best if grown in a 20 gallon aquarium or larger.

Step 1

Wash the aquarium gravel or sand in a bucket or other container so it does not cloud the water when placed in the bottom of the aquarium. Pour the gravel into the bottom of the container and fill the aquarium two-thirds full with chlorine-free water. To remove chlorine from tap water, you can add a chemical that removes the chlorine from the water, which you can buy at any fish store. Or, allow chlorinated tap water to sit for 24 hours before using, to allow the chlorine in the water to dissipate into the atmosphere.

Step 2

Pick up the Amazon sword plant by the base and rinse gently with chlorine-free water to remove any dead or slimy leaves. Use one hand to dig a suitable sized hole in the gravel and place the root base of the plant in the hole with the other hand. Cover the root base of the Amazon sword plant with the gravel and press the gravel down very gently to secure the plant in the gravel.

Step 3

Fill the container or aquarium up to the point where the Amazon sword plant is completely covered with water. Fill the container gently so the newly planted sword plant or the gravel where it is planted is not disturbed. Check the pH level of water with a pH test kit and adjust the level, if needed, to a range of between 6.5 and 7.2. You can buy a pH adjustment kit at any aquarium or pond supply store. The pH is defined as a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the water.

Step 4

Expose the container or aquarium to medium light but not direct sunlight. The temperature of the water should remain between 78 and 82 degrees F. Install an aquarium or pond heater, if needed, to keep the water temperature within that range. Install an aquarium or pond water filtering system, depending on the location of the Amazon sword plant. Change the water frequently if you don't have a filtration system; stagnant water is detrimental to the health of the Amazon sword plant.

Step 5

Fertilize the plant with a fertilizer for aquatic or aquarium plants that contains iron. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer container label carefully. Adding too much fertilizer can damage the health of aquarium plants or fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Bucket
  • Dechlorinated Water
  • Aquarium water filter
  • Aquarium plant fertilizer containing iron
  • Aquarium pH test kit


  • Aquatic Community: Amazon Sword Plant
  • Natural Aquariums: Echinodorus Bleheri
  • Aqua Articles: Echinodorus Bleheri
Keywords: sword plant, amazon swordplant, aquarium plants, Echinodorus bleheri

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.