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my pogostemon stellatus turns purple at the tips


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this is one of my favorite plants, it grows well and really fills out large tanks. i have some growing in a high tech set up and the leaves start turning purple once they are about 4-5” from the surface. easy way to add color to all the green!






anyone else getting this with their pogo? any other plants that surprised you with their color? i wasn’t aware when i got it that it does turn purple in high tech. 

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I have seen something like that on terrestial plants like Tipularia discolor the Cranefly Orchid, or Hepatica americana – the round leaved liverwort. All are green on top and purple on the bottom. It is a pattern I have seen on dozens of species of plants. Most often on plants that are in areas of reduced or more diffuse light (or maybe that is the only place I have noticed them).

And despite having a botany background and despite having asked some botany heavyweights about the cause of this phenomena, I still haven’t gotten a satisfying answer.

Plant pigments are at the heart of photosynthesis so you would think the answer lies down that path.

But it does look cool though.

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the closer the stem was to the surface, the deeper and brighter purple it is. 

this is the top of the plants:



unedited photos from my phone taken just now.

this is the underside, you can see a green stem going through the center on the underside that is purple on the top:



im not dosing any iron into this tank, i only dose the og flourish i still have a gallon of since it’s low in nitrates, it is high light with co2 though. i just never see this plant advertised as a “red” plant when it clearly has the potential to be, well more purple.



Edited by yannachka
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