I did not have a good experience with betta bulbs. I bought a pack that had three bulbs in it. They all molded. No sprouts. From what I've heard though, this is typical - most people only get one bulb to sprout of the many they purchase. Very rarely is the success rate greater, but if you're willing to try, you might be able to get one going. From the people that do manage to grow them, I've heard nothing but good things about the plant.
I purchased my betta bulbs from wal-mart the night I setup my tank.
Out of 5 bulbs, 2 molded, 2 never grew (and might still be floating around in the aquarium) and 1 after exactly 5 weeks sprouted and was an Apongeton.
It is a very flourishing plant, bushy sort of plant with long stems that end in finger length, inch wide leaves. There are ussually about 12 or 14 of these leaves at any given time, and there seems to be a new chute each week that continues to send up little straight white flowers that grow out of the water for the past 2 months. It is remarkable to watch that chute grow. Because it looks distinctly different from the rest of the leaves, and it clears from the bottom of the aquarium to the water line in less than 3 days; you can literally observe this plant growing.
I would buy them again for my 10 gallon if I didn't have Marine plans for it in the future.
Just let the bulbs do their thing in your aquarium, and forget about them. Some might mold over. Instead of removing them, I wish i tried brushing them off with a tooth brush and dropped them back in.
Your mileage may vary. But remember to let them be for at least 6 weeks.
Thank you soo much for your detailed review, Tinthalas! Really appreciate all the details. Hmm, I can't decide if it will be a waste of money to buy these though, as the growing success rate doesn't seem too high. I should probably invest in a plant that's already alive, but it sure would be fun to watch them grow! I might give it a try.
Ive only had one bulb ever sprout and that was a red tiger lotus, lasted for years and it was from walmart...though now I have a lfs that sells them already sprouted, if you can get them that way, id recomend it
Don't bury it completely if you do. If you have regular neutral gravel, it won't help. If you have an enriched substrate or potting soil base, I would say that you should bury it, but leave the top half exposed.