Live to Plant

How to Save a Dying Elodea Plant

Updated: March 23, 2022

Elodea plants are aquatic plants that are commonly found in freshwater bodies such as ponds and aquariums. These plants are often used for decorative purposes and to provide oxygen in aquatic environments. However, they can sometimes suffer from various problems that can lead to their death. In this article, we will discuss some of the common causes of an elodea plant dying and how you can save it.

Common Causes of a Dying Elodea Plant

Poor Water Quality

Poor water quality is one of the most common causes of a dying elodea plant. If the water in which the plant is growing is not suitable for its growth, it can cause the plant to wilt and die. Some of the factors that can affect water quality include:

  • High levels of chlorine or other chemicals
  • High levels of ammonia or nitrate
  • Low levels of dissolved oxygen
  • High or low pH levels

Lack of Nutrients

Elodea plants require nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for their growth. If these nutrients are not present in sufficient quantities, the plant can become weak and eventually die.

Inadequate Lighting

Elodea plants require adequate lighting to carry out photosynthesis, which is necessary for their growth. If the plant does not receive enough light, it may not be able to produce enough energy to survive.


If there are too many elodea plants in an aquarium or pond, they may compete with each other for resources such as nutrients and light. This can cause some of the plants to die off.

How to Save a Dying Elodea Plant

Check Water Quality

The first step in saving a dying elodea plant is to check the water quality in which it is growing. You can use a water testing kit to check the levels of chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, dissolved oxygen, and pH in the water. If any of these levels are out of range, you will need to take steps to correct them.

Add Nutrients

If the elodea plant is not receiving enough nutrients, you can add a liquid fertilizer that is specifically designed for aquatic plants. Follow the instructions on the package carefully to avoid over-fertilizing.

Increase Lighting

If the plant is not receiving enough light, you can increase the lighting in the aquarium or pond. You can do this by adding more lights or moving the plant to a location where it will receive more light.

Reduce Overcrowding

If the elodea plant is overcrowded, you will need to thin out some of the plants to reduce competition for resources. You can do this by removing some of the plants or transferring them to another location.


Can I save an elodea plant that has already turned brown?

It may be possible to save a brown elodea plant if it has only recently turned brown. However, if the entire plant has turned brown and is brittle, it may be too late to save it.

How often should I fertilize my elodea plants?

You should fertilize your elodea plants once a month or as directed on the fertilizer package.

Can I use tap water for my elodea plants?

You can use tap water for your elodea plants, but you should treat the water with a dechlorinator before adding it to the aquarium or pond.

How much light do elodea plants require?

Elodea plants require about 12-14 hours of light per day.

Can I add too much fertilizer to my elodea plants?

Yes, you can add too much fertilizer to your elodea plants, which can cause harm or death to the plant. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully.