9 Best Plants to Attach to Driftwood – First Three are Awesome

Are you an aquascaping lover, crafting your underwater world with driftwood and live plants? Then you will definitely be searching for the best plants to attach to driftwood. This combination is not tough to get as several fantastic aquarium plants do well with driftwood.

My personal choice is aquatic ferns and mosses which can make a unique visual appeal with driftwood. Luckily these plants thrive on driftwood, rocks, and various aquascaping decors.

People make amazing aquascapes with plants and driftwood, and believe me; this craft is not hard at all. But before starting the affair, you need to arrange the necessary items.

In this article, I’ll talk about nine aquarium plants that are perfect for attaching to driftwood. Here’s the list:

  • Java Moss
  • Anubias
  • Java Fern
  • Dwarf Baby Tears
  • African Water Fern
  • Crystalwort
  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Christmas Moss
  • Dwarf Hairgrass

A Quick Comparison of Plants On Different Aspects

Here is a table comparing different aspects of the plants that are suitable for attaching to driftwood.

PlantCare LevelLight RequirementsGrowth RateHow to Attach to DriftwoodFertilization Requirements
Java MossEasyLow to ModerateFastTie with fishing line/glueLow
AnubiasEasyLow to ModerateSlowTie to driftwood with threadLow
Java FernEasyLow to ModerateSlow to MediumTie to driftwood with threadLow
Dwarf Baby TearsAdvancedHighSlowAttach to driftwood with glue or meshHigh
African Water FernEasyLow to ModerateMediumTie to driftwood with threadLow
CrystalwortEasyModerate to HighMediumAttach to driftwood with glue or meshLow
Hygrophila PinnatifidaModerateModerateMediumAttach to driftwood with glue or meshHigh
Christmas MossEasyLow to ModerateMediumTie with fishing line/meshModerate
Dwarf HairgrassEasyModerateFastAttach to driftwood with glue or meshLow

As you can see, some plants are easier to care for than others and have lower light requirements, while others require more attention and higher light levels.

The growth rate also varies, with some plants growing slowly and others quickly. In terms of attaching the plants to driftwood, some can be tied with fishing lines or thread, while others may require glue or mesh.

Finally, fertilization requirements differ among the plants, with some needing more frequent fertilization than others.

Read the rest of the article for detailed information on each of the plants in the above table.

My Top Three Picks of Best Plants to Attach to Driftwood

Java Moss, Anubias, and Java Fern are my top three picks as aquarium plants to attach to driftwood. They are rhizoid plants and don’t have actual roots. Instead, they have adhering organs or rhizoids.

As they don’t require roots, they are capable of flourishing on rocks and driftwood.

Java Moss

Java Moss is a super excellent aquarium plant and one of my favorites to keep with driftwood. They are one of the easiest plants to maintain. Very hardy and almost impossible to kill and I consider it the best moss for driftwood.

Java Mosses

How does it look

Java Mosses have bright green pointy leaves with stringy branched stems. Dense green leaves make them perfect for carpeting plants. They are equally beautiful when attached to driftwood.

How to attach Java Moss to driftwood

They have rhizoids to grab something and secure themselves in a place. But unfortunately, their organ is not too strong to do the job perfectly.

You have to fix them on driftwood with additional effort, usually with string or glue. I personally prefer fishing lines, but many people use glue as it is one of the easiest ways.

The light requirement for Java Moss

Java Moss is a low-light plant and grows satisfactorily in minimum lights. Still, if you provide moderate lighting conditions, they will prosper a lot better.

Fertilization for Java Moss

Java Moss primarily absorbs nutrients from the aquarium water through its leaves. Naturally occurring nutrients in the aquarium water are sufficient for them.

Liquid fertilizer supplementation, along with adequate lighting, can do magic in growing Java Mosses.


Anubias is my second choice after Java Moss, as I prefer the bright green coloration of Mosses over the dark green leaves of Anubias. But many aquarists will keep Anubias at the top of their lists because they are excellent to grow in driftwood.

How does it look

Anubias has broad leaves with thick stems. They are sturdy dark-green plants. They look beautiful on driftwoods, especially on bogwoods or marsh roots. In an ideal environment, Anubias can present creamy white flowers, but it is only occasionally.

How to attach Anubias to driftwood

Anubias have rhizomes, which are a bit different from rhizoids. Rhizomes are more effective in fixing them with driftwood and rocks. Still, you need to tie the rhizomes and roots with driftwood initially. You can use fish lines or fine pieces of cotton.

After a few weeks, rhizomes and roots will grab the decors firmly, and you can remove ties. But I keep it tied even after rhizomes are stable. Because it allows more flexibility during maintenance, especially during tank cleaning.

The light requirement for Anubias

Anubias is a slow-growing plant, and these kinds of plants can do well in low lights. But for substantial growth, it is better to provide moderate lighting for them.

Fertilization for Anubias

Anubias can absorb nutrients from the substrate, but since you attach them with driftwood, the only food source is aquarium water. Supplementation with liquid fertilizers will promote their growth.

Some aquarists use CO2 injection for Anubias, which will be nice for them but not really mandatory.

Java Fern

Java Ferns are also a popular aquarium plant that can perfectly go with driftwood. Java Ferns are hardy, available, and cheap, thus an excellent choice for beginners.

How does it look

Java Fern has unique and attractive-looking green leaves with wrinkled textures. It can form various shapes from bushy to barbed. The coloration varies from bright to dark green. Light influences the color, and the more you increase the light intensity, their leaves become deeper green.

How to attach Java Fern to driftwood

Java Ferns have rhizomes that they can use to grab driftwood. A smoother surface is not ideal for them to be attached. Bogwood, Cholla Wood, or African Mopani are just perfect driftwoods for Java Ferns.

Use fish lines, cotton strings, or glue to tie the rhizomes at the start. After a few weeks, they will secure themselves with rhizomes. Once they are attached to driftwood, you can remove the ties. But I prefer keeping them tied with fish lines.

The light requirement for Java Fern

Java Ferns are low-light demanding plants. Their leaves start turning brownish under high light intensity. So, don’t make the light intensity too high for them. Optimum lighting is 1.5 to 2 watts per gallon for Java ferns (5000 – 7000K bulbs).

Fertilization for Java Fern

Java Ferns absorb nutrients from the water. So keeping nutrient-rich aquarium water is vital for their growth. They don’t have high demands, and usually naturally presented nutrients are sufficient.

But if you observe low growth of your Java Fern, go for fertilization.

Some Other Ideal Plants to Attach to driftwood

There are some other plants that you can attach to driftwood and keep growing. Among them, I’ve selected six as I have first-hand experience with them.

Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears and Driftwood

Outside the top three, Dwarf Baby Tears is my first choice. They appear in the aquarium with bright-green, dense leaves. They are famous as excellent carpeting plants but equally good to grow with driftwood. Their lush leaves can provide lots of hiding places for fish.

Dwarf Baby Tears root on driftwood and porous rocks. Use cotton strings to tie small sections of Dwarf Baby Tears for attaching them to driftwood. Within a few weeks, they will start developing roots around the driftwood.

Cotton strings and fishing lines are suitable to tie them because they are not visible and diminish over time. Roots are sufficient to be attached in a fully developed phase.

Dwarf Baby Tears are sensitive to iron deficiency, and leaves become yellow. Iron-rich liquid fertilizer is the best supplement for them. They show excellent performance with a CO2 injection system.

They have a moderate light requirement, and 2 watts per gallon should be available at least. For better growth and coloration of Dwarf Baby tears, 3 – 4 watts per gallon light is perfect.

African Water Fern

African Water Ferns, another member of the fern family, are also good to attach to driftwood in aquariums. They are native to the Congo River basin and are known as Congo Fern as well. They are attractive in appearance with dark-green leaves.

African Fern thrives on pieces of driftwood. You can attach them to driftwood using cotton strings or fishing lines. They usually do well on softwoods. African Ferns are fragile, so handle them with care.

Since they are absorbing nutrients from the water, keep healthy and nutrient-rich aquarium water. Naturally occurring nutrients from fish wastes might be sufficient for them. Additionally, you can go for fertilization.

African Ferns do very well if you can provide 3 watts per gallon of lighting. Though, low light is okay as they are extremely slow-growing plants.


Crystalwort, also known as Ricca Fluitans, is basically a floating plant. They have dense and compact green leaves like Java Moss. Combining them with driftwood can bring a more vibrant look to your aquarium.

Cut the mother plant off into pieces and tie them with driftwood using cotton strings or fishing lines. Soon the Crystalwort parts will start regenerating.

Crystalwort absorbs nutrients from aquarium water. Usually, additional fertilizer dosing is not necessary. But if you decide on fertilizer supplementation, use the liquid form of it.

Crystalwort can tolerate a wide range of water parameter variations. They are usable in coldwater tanks and compatible with almost all kinds of fish.

Hygrophila pinnatifida

Hygrophila pinnatifida is a unique aquarium plant and can grow in gravel, rock, and driftwood. They are famous for their attractive coloration.

They present green, brown, and red colors depending on water and lighting conditions. They can also flower and produce purple flowers, enhancing the beauty of your aquarium.

Attaching them to driftwood is not a challenging task, and you can do it using fishing lines.

Hygrophila Pinnatifida is sensitive to the lack of potassium. So potassium-rich fertilizer supplementation is the best way to keep them flourishing. CO2 dosing can help their coloration be more attractive.

For their substantial growth, moderate lighting is necessary, and they produce red color under high light.

Christmas Moss

Christmas Moss is an alternative to Java Moss, and it grows faster and denser. It can generate artistic textures with driftwood making an elegant aquascape.

Attaching Christmas Moss to driftwood is very similar to the task on Java Moss. Attach it using superglue, fishing lines, or cotton strings.

After a few weeks, the rhizoids will grab the surface, but they might not be firm enough. It is better to keep them tied even after they are stable.

Christmas Moss is hardy and easier to grow but a little more sensitive to water conditions than Java Moss.

Additional fertilization is not essential for them, but CO2 supplementation will encourage them to flourish with more vibrant colors.

Christmas Moss can do well in low light, but moderate lighting will help them grow denser as they are fast-growing plants.

Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass with driftwood

Dwarf Hairgrass is excellent as carpeting plants for aquariums, whereas they can also grow on driftwood and rocks. They are fabulous-looking grass-like plants with green strands.

Unlike other plants on the list, attaching Dwarf Hairgrass to the driftwood and keeping them flourishing can be a little tricky. Hairgrass prefers a soft nutrient-rich substrate but can absorb food from the water also.

Choose large pieces of driftwood, cut Hairgrasses into pieces, and tie them carefully using fishing strings. When growing on the driftwood, the water will be their primary nutrition source. So, maintaining nutrient-rich, healthy water is vital for Dwarf Hairgrass.

Final Words

It is important to remember that selecting and preparing driftwood is crucial if you wish to attach live plants to them. A rough surface is suitable for rhizome-based plants to be fixed with it.

Larger pieces of driftwood are more convenient than smaller ones. Several types of driftwood are popular for aquarium uses. Choose yours wisely.

Aquascaping is something special, and you’ll get the natural charm of fishkeeping with it. Newbies sometimes are muddled to start a natural ecosystem aquarium or a simple biotope. But they are not so challenging at all. You need to get the proper guidelines; the rest is easy.

I hope this article about the best plants to attach to driftwood will come to use for you. You are welcome to put any comments below.


What are the plant species that will attach to driftwood easily?

Some plant species that will attach to driftwood easily in an aquarium include Java moss, Anubias, Java fern, African water fern, and Christmas moss.

These plants can be tied to the driftwood using fishing lines or thread. Then, will gradually grow and spread across the wood, creating a natural and visually appealing display in the tank.

Which plants are the most visually appealing when attached to driftwood in an aquarium?

The most visually appealing plants when attached to driftwood in an aquarium are subjective and dependent on personal preference, but some popular options include Java moss, Anubias, Java fern, Dwarf Baby Tears, and Christmas moss.

These plants can create a natural, lush look and add dimension and texture to an aquarium.

Is it safe to use super glue in the aquarium to attach plants to driftwood?

Superglue can be safe to use in an aquarium for attaching plants to driftwood, as long as it’s a cyanoacrylate-based glue that’s fully cured and non-toxic.

Once the glue is applied to the driftwood and the plant, it should be allowed to fully cure and dry before being submerged in the aquarium water.

Sujit Modak

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