Size: 15 to 50cm in height
Position and Usage: Background
Growth rate: Moderate
Lighting: 4/5 - 5/5
Water Conditions: 22 - 28°C
Propagation: Cuttings, side shoots
Special Requirements: Substrate fertilization highly recommended; nitrate (5 - 20ppm) and phosphate (0.2 - 2ppm)
Pogostemon stellatus, is a striking, marsh-dwelling variety native to Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. Specimens are suited to midground or background placement due to their substantial height.
P. stellatus has a distinctive whorled stem with variably-coloured leaves: high nitrate and phosphate supplementation will result in green foliage whereas low levels of either nutrient will result in purple or orange foliage. It is an excellent indicator species for micronutrient levels as it produces small, inwardly-curled leaves with stunted growth in cases of moderate deficiency and appears yellow or white in severe cases.
Although this species makes a beautiful focal point or accent, it is a difficult variety to cultivate. P. stellatus requires stable and regular CO2 supplementation to thrive. Intense lighting is necessary for healthy growth as stems will shed lower leaves under low lighting. Tank conditions should be changed slowly and with care to avoid shocking this sensitive plant.