Named after Anubis, the Egyptian god of death, the Anubias genus of plants also favour the dark.
That being said, many of these semi-aquatic plants are versatile terrarium species. They can happily grow as an epiphyte attached to rocks and branches near rivers, as well as partially, or fully submerged in water.
Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ is one of the smallest varieties, and it really shines when its nestled into the cracks and crooks of terrarium hardscape.
With it’s dark green leaves, it adds some lovely contrast to a terrarium environment and really lets you get creative with some 3d planting.
Anubias barteri ‘Petite’ Care & Growth
|Lighting||Low – medium indirect light|
|Watering||Regular, even moisture|
|Humidity||High humidity (70-100%)|
Like the god that bears its (similar) name, Anubias barteri thrives in the shade. Even just a little indirect light will be sufficient each day.
Definitely keep out of direct sunlight, but if it happens to be in brighter indirect light, just make sure to check in more regularly on its moisture levels.
As a semi-aquatic species, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Anubias barteri needs consistent moisture. More so than most other terrarium plants.
If allowed to dry out even for a short time, it’ll likely very quickly die.
So, if planted epiphytically, misting regularly and keeping the humidity as high as possible will keep it happy.
Nine times out of ten, when used in terrariums, Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ is going to be planted epiphytically.
It doesn’t like to have its rhizome completely buried and can be prone to rot if you do, so it’s best to either place it directly into a hardscape crevice/crook (you can add a pocket of sphagnum moss to help keep it moist) or gently place on the surface of the substrate.
Temperature & Humidity
A high humidity is a necessity when trying to grow Anubias species emersed in a terrarium, otherwise they’ll quickly dry out and die.
They’ll do best at the higher temperature ranges too (ideally above 20°c) but that tends to go hand-in-hand with high humidity anyway. You’ll absolutely need a closed container for this one.
Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ is a truly compact plant.
It won’t grow more than a few inches, so you can be confident that it won’t out grow it’s original placement. You can expect it to attach itself to adjacent rocks and branches quite quickly, but it’ll take a month or so before it grows any new leaves.
You can propagate Anubias barteri quite easily by splitting the rhizome.
Try to allow a few healthy leaves on each side of the cut with plenty of roots for best results. The mature plants tend to form new shoots that can be easily harvested for new plants.
Varieties & Similar Plants
The Anubias genus has lots of species used in aquariums, but generally only the smallest varieties are used in terrariums, e.g. Anubias nana ‘Petite’, ‘Mini’, ‘Coin’ and ‘Bonsai’.
The others tend to be too large to be planted epiphytically and can be challenging to keep moist.
The biggest challenge you’ll face in keeping Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ happy is keeping it moist at all times, but despite its poor drought tolerance it’s quite a hardy plant.
Keep the humidity high and you should be fine. Also, if you see the leaves fade or bleach, that could be a sign that it’s getting a bit too much light.