Hyptis Lorentziana often erroneously referred to as Hemigraphis Traian
Usage: Accent (red), Background, Midground, Dutch style
Hyptis lorentziana is hardly available in trade these days, which makes it a rare aquarium plant. However, there is a growing number of hobbyists around the world who cultivate and propagate this beautiful plant and thus hopefully make it more readily available in the future.
Under ideal growing conditions its petiolate leaves are of a deep red and grow in pairs along the stem. In the leaf axils, lateral shoots are formed. H. lorentziana does well under almost any water parameters, however, it needs strong lighting, CO2 injection and a regular supply of nutrients if you want it to display its beautiful purple-red colour (see photo). A nitrate level of around 10 mg/l contributes to intensive colours. In addition, phosphate ought to be a constant 1-2 mg/l. Under these conditions, H. lorentziana will grow strongly.
Like other stem plants, H. lorentziana can be propagated through cuttings. These should be taken with a sharp pair of scissors directly above a leaf pair, around 8 to 10 cm over the ground. In addition, this procedure enhances lateral shoot formation on the old stem you can leave in the ground.
Emersed cultivation is quite easy and leads to faster and often also to higher growth. The easiest way to get emersed stems is to just let the plant grow out of the water. If you cut the emersed stems and re-plant, they often start wilting a little and require several days to acclimate to submersed form. This problem can be remedied if you avoid unnecessary trimming and keep the cuttings in a humid enclosure.
Its striking colour makes H. lorentziana a highly suitable accent plant for the background of a layout. Its large purple-red leaves contrast beautifully against the manifold finer-leaved green plants available in the hobby.