Eleocharis parvula, also known as ‘dwarf hairgrass’ is one of the most popular foreground plants for Nature Aquarium style aquascapes. It is used in many scapes due to its ability to grow fast and stays shorter than 5cm. Eleocharis parvula is sold in a variety of forms; potted, in-vitro, and Wabi-kusa. In many cases, it is easy to grow compared to other carpet plants such as Micranthemum tweediei.

1. Basic Information 

Wabi-kusa Eleocharis parvula

2. Lighting

Just like other carpet plants, Eleocharis parvula needs strong lights. But it doesn’t mean it will not grow in shadowy places. While many other carpet plants can only be cultivated in bright areas, Eleocharis parvula can stay alive in relatively dark areas such as behind layout materials. It will slow down the growth, but the plant stays alive. However, the lack of light will make the plant grow longer than it should be and ruins the balance of the scape.

3. Substrate

The most recommended substrate for growing Eleocharis parvula is soil. It is able to grow on sand or gravel but the growth gets much slower.

4. CO2

Eleocharis parvula can be cultivated without CO2 injection, but to make it healthy and strong, you must add enough CO2.

5. Planting

I would recommend purchasing tissue culture Eleocharis parvula when you are setting up a new aquascape. This is because one cup contains a vast number of plants and likely to grow fast.


First, separate the grass into little bits and plant each bundle using a tweezer. Make sure the roots are under the soil. You don’t need to cover the entire substrate at this point because the grass will gradually grow and makes a carpet within a month.

6. Trimming

The most common way to trim Eleocharis parvula is to cut the entire leaves, just above the roots. The grass will look sad after you trim but don’t worry. Within a week, it will start to grow its new leaves and become a beautiful carpet again. This is also useful when there are algae covering the grass.

7. Recap

✔️Eleocharis parvula needs strong lighting but it can stay alive in shadowy areas

✔️Adding CO2 will increase the growth of Eleocharis parvula dramatically

✔️Tissue culture plant is recommended