Covering up emersed plants


New Member
2 Jan 2019

I am looking into starting up a waterfall Wabi Kusa setup very soon. But I have a question, once I have the plants fully converted to their emersed state do I need to keep the Wabi Kusa covered up with clear plastic sheets or will I be able to leave it uncovered and just spray it? The roots of the plants will be under water from the waterfall setup, so it will be just the leaves that will be out of the water and uncovered.



11 Oct 2009
Difficult to say for sure, some plants can adapt and some won’t but also depends on just how humid the air arund the foliage actually is.


16 Apr 2015
As Foxfish, it is difficult to say.. Highly depends on the addaptability of plant sp. Some are extremely easy other extremely difficult.. The difficulty lays in the minimum air humidity the plant requires to live.. If this is over 60% you're definitively in a difficult position to ever grow them without a cover. Especialy if a warm lights source above the WB is placed.

Regarding the easy plant sp. i experienced them getting used rather soon to lower air humidity(1).. But you need to make then addapt slowly in 3 stages. Plants are also very sensitive at their roots. For example need to get used to the water paremeter change(2) and to the medium they stand on(3).

When you recieve them they are all grown on Rockwool. At least for Wabi Kusa this would be the best choice, using invitro is even more difficult.

Anyway, leave the plants a while on the rockwool in a container with lid and place them with the feed in an inch of clean tap water, no ferts. Than take of the lid and leave it off for some time, till you see the first leaf showing weaknes. If the plant shows trouble with the low humidity a leaf gets soft, shrivels and hangs, that's the sign it evaporates to much water. Than the liid needs to get back on and you'll see the leaf revover. Than a few hours later do the same, take it off monitor the plants and put it back on when you see leaves react negatively to it. This you do several times every day as long as needed. Depending on the species it can addapt rather fast within days, some are so well addapted by evolution it might do good from day one. If you get to the stage the plant used to staying firm without a lid, than leave tis lid off for a week, than they slowly take up the ferts that are left in the rockwool and deplete it.

Than stage 3 is gently taking them out of the rockwool and place them into the wabi kusa substrate. Preferably inert wet substrate (No ferts for the start).
And see how they react to this change. its about impossible not to damage roots, but try to damage as least as possible. If a plant already has a large rootsystem find a way to plant them without cutting any roots off. If it isn't possible you can but it will stress the plant and it can cause leafs to shrivel. (Than you need to cover the Wabi Kusa again.

If you go correctly through the first 2 stages without to much root damage, your wabi kusa doesn;t need a cover. Since plant already is addapted to the lower humidity and addapted to your water parameters. Once planted in the new medium and stay frm for at leats a day, than start fertilizing with a lean mix and slowly build this up.

:) For me the above always worked best to get Aqurium (bog) plants addapted ASAP. :thumbup:

Ive tried what many if not all Wabi Kusa tutorials say, it can work as well but imho its a bit to harsh on the plants.. Doing all in one stage with a longer term covered setups.. The plants get 2 unessecary shock therapies at once on the roof. Suddenly completely different water parameters and suddenly completely different substrate around their roots with to ealry possibly to much ferts possibly burning the crap out of them. And after that slowly need to addapt to lower humidity. Takes more time, gives more risks of failure. :thumbdown:

But than again, it a prefernce thing..

Thus summary, do all outside the wabi kusa for a start, 1st step addapt them to lower humidty on the rockwool. While doing that they slowly addapt to your water parameters take up left over ferts in the rockwool. After the plant gaint some strenght addapting to this. Than addapting to the new substrate in the wabi kusa is much easier on them. And you enjoy a Wabi Kusa without cover from day 1.. :woot:
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Global Moderator
Staff member
15 Aug 2013
Lelystad, Netherlands
Videos of Tropica and Dennerle show they have some plants even in their high humidity greenhouse ( 80% i guess) covered with added screening to keep humidity near 100 %.

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