Picking the best live plants for Betta fish is something that many aquarists struggle with. It can either seem like there are no suitable options or too many!
Fortunately, it’s far easier to pick one that it seems.
All of the plants on our list below are go-to options by Betta owners and are loved for their simplicity and the benefits they bring. These plants have been used for years and all have a fantastic track record.
In this guide, you’ll learn about each of the best Betta fish plant options you can pick from. It doesn’t matter what kind of tank setup you have, you’ll be able to find a plant that works for you.
Table of Contents
- Our List Of The Best Betta Fish Plants
- Should You Consider Fake Plants?
- Time To Pick!
Our List Of The Best Betta Fish Plants
There are a ton of options you can choose from when it comes to Betta fish plants. However, we’ve taken our own experience and the wisdom of some of the best Betta owners we know and come up with this tidy list.
Each of the plants on this list is easy to care for and can improve the overall health of your tank (and fishes).
Java moss is a plant that we find ourselves recommending all the time for a number of purposes. It’s one of the most versatile aquatic plants out there, and it’s a great fit for Betta fish.
It can be rooted or used as a floating plant which gives you some room to be a bit creative, and it’s a piece of cake to maintain. One of the reasons why people like Betta fish so much is because they’re a very approachable fish for beginners, and Java moss is the same!
They don’t need a lot of light as well which means you can use them in a fairly minimal tank setup. A lot of Betta owners like having a low-maintenance habitat, so that makes Java moss a great fit.
Ultimately, it’s really up to you to decide how you want to include it in your tank. You can attach it to driftwood, rocks, or carpet it along the substrate. This flexibility is why it’s one of the best Betta fish plants you can get.
Hornwort is definitely one of the best live plants for betta fish, and it’s probably our personal favorite aquatic plant in general. There’s so much to like about this plant that it’s going to be tough to keep this section short!
First of all, this plant is absolutely beautiful. It has a nice rich green with thin whispy leaves that create a cool flowing effect in your tank. We like this because it matches the flowing beauty of Betta fish quite well.
This plant also requires very little experience to care for. It’s extremely hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. It would probably be hard to kill even if you wanted to.
Just like Java moss, you can choose to root it or float it. No matter which you choose, it will serve as a comforting hiding spot and object to investigate. Keeping stress levels low is one of the most effective ways to maximize the lifespan of your Betta fish and helping them live a happy life.
Author Note: One thing you’ll need to look out for with this plant is its growth rate. Your main job as an owner will be to consistently trim it to prevent the Hornwort from taking over your tank.
The Amazon Sword is a good Betta fish plant that’s a favorite of many owners. We’d say that about one-third of the Betta fish owners we know have this plant in their tanks!
First off, the Amazon Sword looks fantastic. The large leaves that jut out of the substrate add a neat visual effect. Under the right light, they almost seem to glow.
This provides an interesting backdrop for your fish to swim around. There’s something about watching a colorful Betta swim next to these leaves that really catches the eye.
The Amazon Sword also can serve as a great hiding spot for your fish. The large leaves act like a barrier or divider that can provide some much-needed privacy.
There are two main things to be aware of if you’re thinking about getting this plant. First, this plant can get quite large. This means it’s not a good fit for a nano tank.
Secondly, it needs a decent amount of light in order to thrive. If your aquarium setup is stopping you from providing that then you should steer clear from this plant as well.
Anacharis is another good plant for Betta fish because of how easy it is to care for. Even if you’re dealing with your very first tank, keeping this plant alive will be no problem.
Most aquarists prefer to spend the majority of their time thinking about the fish in their tank, so having a low-maintenance plant is always convenient.
Anacharis doesn’t need a lot of light to survive and is versatile in how it can be utilized. You can root it or float it (floating is our favorite actually) which is nice.
Since this plant can grow quickly and get rather dense it can be a great hiding place for the Betta fish in your tank. Even one plant can end up being more than enough depending on the size of your aquarium and the number of species you keep.
It’s also gorgeous.
Under the right light, Anacharis can blow you away with the vibrant green it has. This color in combination with the natural beauty of a Betta is yet another reason why this pairing is so great.
5. Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Most of the Betta fish plants we’ve included on our list are pretty popular. Chances are you’ve heard of at least one or two before (no matter how long you’ve been interested in aquariums).
But Cryptocoryne wendtii is a bit different. This is a species that doesn’t get a lot of attention and isn’t found in tanks nearly as often as something like Hornwort.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth considering though.
Cryptocoryne wendtii is a great live plant for Betta fish because of how easy it is to care for, and what it adds to the tank. This species of plant needs very little light to survive which makes it a smart choice for any owner who doesn’t want to add lighting to their tank setup.
The large leaves make for great hiding places, but the smaller stems allow for movement underneath. We’ve seen some really creative tanks that use this to create little passageways from one side of the tank to the other.
Author Note: When you see this plant out of the water it can be easy to dismiss it. When it’s under the surface it’s a totally different story. Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of those plants that really transforms underwater, so give it a chance!
Vallisneria is a solid all-around option no matter what sort of tank you have. For our purposes, we’ll be looking at it through the eyes of a Betta fish owner, but you can absolutely use it for other purposes as well!
This is a plant that is about as low maintenance as it gets. Once it’s planted properly your only job will be to give it a trim every once in a while. It’s really as simple as that.
Vallisneria has long thin leaves that can grow quite a bit if left unchecked. This means you can make quite an impact on the look and feel of your tank with only one or two plants.
We’ve found that a very dense amount of Vallisneria can be a little too thick for Betta fish to navigate, so keep this in mind. As long as you maintain it and prevent things from getting out of hand, it’s a great Betta fish plant.
Pennywort is a plant that we’ve been fans of for years. It’s a staple of the aquascaping community and has been used in a variety of ways for quite a while.
This is a plant that tends to be more of a surface dweller than others and is often floated. You’ll need to be aware of this because Betta fish regularly visit the surface and you don’t want to block their access entirely.
Another reason why Pennywort is a great Betta fish plant is the low-maintenance care requirements it has. You can honestly throw this plant in your tank and leave it alone until it’s time to get pruned.
Author Note: If you want to keep the growth rate under control one thing to try is limiting the amount of light you give the plant. The speed that Pennywort grows will directly match the available light. This makes it easy to manipulate the growth rate however you want!
8. Java Fern
Java Fern is a very popular plant that’s a great fit for Betta fish. This species can not only tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but it looks great too.
Our favorite thing about Java Fern is the pattern and texture of the leaves. When viewing it underwater it creates a very unique look that not a lot of other plants can replicate. We’re a big fan of pairing beautiful plants with Betta fish because they play off each other nicely.
Another benefit of owning Java Ferns for your Betta fish tank is their growth rate. This plant inches along and doesn’t grow like a weed (unlike some others on our list). That makes it easy for you to keep up with them and stops you from having to spend a ton of time pruning them.
While these plants usually prefer some kind of water flow, it’s not something you need to plan around in your tank. They’re hardy enough to deal with pretty much whatever conditions you put them in.
9. Amazon Frogbit
Amazon Frogbit is one of the best plants for Betta fish because of its unique build. This plant is different from most of the others on our list, and those differences go a long way.
If you include this plant in your tank you’ll be floating it and relying on the dangling roots to provide a source of enrichment and serve as hiding places. The roots are so long that you can really change the look and feel of your tank with a minimal amount of plants.
Your Betta fish will enjoy swimming around the roots and going up to the surface to interact with the large leaves that rest on the surface. It also looks really neat when viewing the tank!
This plant is hardy and easy to care for too. There’s very minimal pruning that needs to be done and it can thrive in a variety of different conditions.
Author Note: Don’t go overboard with this plant. Because the large leaves can quickly cover the surface of the water, it can prevent your Betta fish from accessing the surface too. Make sure there are comfortable gaps where light can come in and surface access is available.
Water wisteria is a plant that we overlooked for a long time. For whatever reason it just didn’t hit our radar!
But it was actually a Betta fish owner that introduced this plant to us. This aquarist provides some of the best Betta fish care we’ve ever seen and uses water wisteria almost exclusively in his tank.
The reason for this is a mix of form and function. This plant looks incredible when underwater and that effect is even stronger when you put some light on them. It seems to hit a certain color green that other plants can’t!
It also serves as a great place for your Betta fish to hide out and play. Just a couple of these plants in a tank can totally change the comfort level of your fish because they have so many new areas to sneak around in. There’s something about water wisteria that seems to bring out the exploratory nature of Bettas.
It’s also a durable and fast-growing plant that doesn’t need a lot of attention. All you’ll need to do is check to make sure it’s not growing too large and trim it down if needed.
11. Banana Plant
This is one of the more interesting Betta fish plants on our list. While a lot of the other species tend to have a pretty straightforward look that you’ve seen elsewhere, the Banana plant is completely unique!
This species gets its name from the green banana-like roots that can be found at the base of the plant. They extend and bend downward from the start of the stem and almost look like little legs on an alien creature.
From there the thin stem travels up to a small, wide leaf that looks a lot like a Lilly pad. This means you can plant a series of them in your tank while still leaving room for your Betta fish to swim around comfortably.
This is a plant that doesn’t require a lot of effort from you at all. They won’t grow quickly and take over your tank, they don’t need a lot of light, and they’re generally quite durable. This makes them a very good live plant for Betta fish.
Duckweed is a plant that provides an interesting look and feel to a tank, no matter the size. This plant grows like crazy and will quickly take over the upper portion of your tank if you’re not careful.
We would recommend this plant for your Betta tank if you have a little bit of room to spare. Duckweed can quickly drown out any light that enters a tank and make things feel very cramped. You don’t want your plants to cause added stress for your fish, so be honest with your setup before you get this plant.
The upside of this plant is that it’s super easy to take care of. From an overall care perspective, it’s very low-maintenance and will survive (and quickly grow) no matter what conditions you present it with. The only thing you’ll need to remember is that it’s important to trim this plant aggressively, no matter how much room you have in your tank.
Some aquarists consider Hygrophila to be a “plain” or “boring” plant. This is because it looks a lot like a number of plants you might see on your local trail. There aren’t any specific gimmicks or traits that blow you away.
But it’s still a very good plant for your Betta fish.
Hygrophila has incredible growth potential and can almost two and a half feet in height if you don’t trim it. This means you’ll likely want to have a decent-sized tank if you plan on seeing its full potential.
It’s recommended that you provide this plant with a moderate amount of light in order to maximize it’s growth, fullness, and color. The best Betta fish plants are functional but also beautiful at the same time. It would be a shame to waste a potentially pretty plant by giving it insufficient lighting.
As far as the other tank conditions go, there’s nothing special you need to do. Just plant it and do some pruning from time to time!
14. Anubias Nana
There are a number of reasons why Anubias Nana is such a great live plant for Betta fish. We were fortunate enough to stumble across this early on in our Betta-keeping days, and we haven’t looked back since.
Our personal favorite feature when it comes to this plant is the rich and vibrant green it has (when healthy of course). This plant steals the show in most aquariums, but when paired with a Betta fish they play off one another quite nicely.
With just a little bit of light and enough room to grow, Anubias Nana will be a gorgeous green that is unmatched by most other aquatic plants. You really have to see it in person!
It’s also a very low-maintenance plant that can be cared for by anyone. You don’t need to provide it with any special conditions or spend a lot of time to ensure that it thrives.
Author Note: If you’re an aquarist who isn’t interested in the notion of frequently trimming or pruning, Anubias Nana is a great choice for you. This plant has a very modest growth rate which makes it very easy to stay on top of.
15. Marimo Moss Balls
A lot of people assume that Marimo Moss Balls are just a gimmicky plant that doesn’t provide much value to a tank. But that’s actually far from true.
These plants are an interesting inclusion that will definitely get a double-take from guests. They’re just simple green balls of algae!
The reason why they make great Betta fish plants is that the fish seem to love them. There are a ton of videos out there that show Bettas playing with Marimo Moss Balls and getting a ton of enrichment from them.
This is a unique benefit that you can’t get from the other plants on our list. Sure, your Betta will explore and interact with the plants in its tank.
But not like this.
There’s something about Marimo Moss Balls that seem to bring out the playful side of Betta fish. This is super important because Bettas are quite intelligent little fish and need stimulation if they want to live a happy and healthy life.
It might look funky, but this plant is one of the best plants for Betta fish that you can possibly get.
A lot of aquarists forget to think of the Water Sprite when they’re considering what plants to get for their Betta fish. We’re not totally sure why that is, because there’s a lot to like about this plant.
Because of their spread-out leaves and stems, Water Sprite is a great environment for Bettas to interact and explore. They create so many natural nooks and crannies that just one plant can provide a lot of enrichment for your fish!
This is another versatile plant that can be rooted into the substrate or left to float near the surface. We personally recommend rooting it if you’re going to be including it in a Betta tank. It seems like this setup gets more engagement from the fish.
Water Sprite is a plant that requires very little care and maintenance. They can thrive in almost any aquatic setting which means you won’t need to plan around it.
Author Note: This is a plant that grows rather quickly, so many sure you check in on it from time to time. Giving it a quick trim will only take a minute!
17. Aponogeton Ulvaceus
This is a plant that gets overlooked far too often. Not only is it a great Betta fish plant, but it’s also a great aquatic plant in general!
Aponogeton Ulvaceus has long stems that connect to rather long and thin leaves. But where things get interesting is in the shape of the leaves. The leaves twist like a corkscrew which gives them a very unique look.
Seeing this plant wave around in the aquarium is really quite mesmerizing. It can be fun to watch your fish brush by them as well.
Aponogeton Ulvaeus is also a very easy plant to take care of. It does well with a little bit of light, but nothing too intense and can handle pretty much whatever water conditions you throw at it.
The growth rate isn’t anything to be scared of either. While they can grow to be reasonably tall, trimming them is about as easy as it gets.
Should You Consider Fake Plants?
Due to some bad experiences outside of the aquarium scene, a lot of owners don’t want to take on the responsibility of adding a live plant to their Betta tank.
And to be fair, there are a lot of great fake plant options out there. A lot of these are cheap, easy to add, and don’t require a second thought on your part.
You’ll sometimes see other guides online recommend getting these, but we feel differently.
Most of the live plants for Betta fish are honestly almost as easy to take care of as fake ones. That might sound a little crazy, but it’s true.
The majority of the best Betta fish plants are extremely low maintenance. All you need to do is add them to your tank and give them a trim from time to time.
No watering, no fertilizing, nothing that discourages people about the normal plant and gardening experience.
Trust us when we say that anyone can do it. We would never consider ourselves to have “green thumbs” but we’ve had great success with Betta fish plants over the years.
The reason why getting a live plant is worth it is really simple, they benefit the tank more. Live plants not only help clean and filter the water, but they seem to bring out more engagement from the fish.
Time To Pick!
Now that you’ve looked through our list and know what your options are, it’s time to pick your favorites.
With so many different plants to choose from it might seem a little overwhelming at first. Fortunately, there’s very low-risk in experimenting. The plants are cheap and you can always swap them out for something different if you change your mind in the future.
If you have a favorite Betta fish plant that you’d like to add to the list, send it over! This is a topic that we feel doesn’t get talked about enough, so we’re committed to providing the best resource possible.