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Bucephalandra Melt: Stages of Growth

Bucephalandra Melt: Stages of Growth

Are you getting Bucephalandra melt?

Don't throw those rhizomes away! This is common when buce is adjusting to its new surroundings. If you ever end up with a piece with bare rhizome, leave it in your tank emersed or submerged and after several weeks, new leaf growth can occur. For more information on why it could be melting in the first place, check out this article on preventing plant melt.

Many species of Bucephalandra grow on long, thin rhizomes that can sometimes be mistaken as stems. Brownie Blue, Mini Coin, Black Mist, Kedagang Mini, and Velvet 3 Color are all examples of Buce with small to medium sized leaves. All buce leaves will grow vertically off of long rhizomes. 

We will show you the stages of buce growth with some Bucephalandra Black Mist.

Stages of Buce Growth:

Bucephalandra Melt
1. New shoots are just starting to develop along the rhizome. They look like tiny red spikes or roots.

New growth appearing on healthy bucephalandra rhizome

 Bucephalandra Melt

2. The new shoots will get a bit longer and split into reddish-purple leaves.

New leaves sprouting on bucephalandra rhizome

 Bucephalandra Melt

3. As the new leaves grow taller and larger, they develop to more of a dark green.

 Bucephalandra Melt

4. Here is a fully grown patch of Black Mist:

Dark green and reddish purple colored leaves on Black mist bucephalandra

 Bucephalandra Melt

 Bucephalandra Melt

Note: Dead rhizomes are black and brittle like the part shown on the left side. Even though this side is pretty much dead, new growth can still appear like the healthy portion on the right. 

bucephalandra rhizome with both healthy growth and melt

 Bucephalandra Melt

 Bucephalandra Melt

Remove all dead rhizomes, save the rest! (dead on left, healthy on right)
Trim with UNS Scissors for a clean cut.

Cut off dead matter on bucephalandra rhizome

 Bucephalandra Me

If you see buce melt please don't get discouraged. Buce will go through stages to become their most beautiful buce selves (just like us). Like we always say when it comes to aquascaping, time and patience is key! 


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Suman Chatterjee - December 7, 2021

Very useful information… thanks a lot 👍

Alvaro - August 21, 2018

I recently bought bucephalandra so red mini from you and it’s melting what shoul I do?

Jennifer Abraham - August 21, 2018

I have a buce that melted pretty much all the leaves, but is now throwing what looks to be a flower spike at week 3 after moving it to a new but cycled aquarium!
I am running a kessil A160WE with pressurised CO2 and macro/micro ferts + extra iron in an 18" cube.
Don’t give up on your buce too early..

Fabricio Valverde - September 6, 2017

Hello, awesome website you have!

In terms of light and CO2, what is better for melted Bucephalandra? I have different kinds of tanks so I can place them with high tech or low tech conditions.

MIke - April 5, 2016

Thanks for the advice! Now time to save all my rhizomes. Awesome guys!

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