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Pruning Plants


  1. [Plant]Re: How to propogate plants?
    by (e-mail) (Erik Olson) (26 Jul 1994)
  2. How to prun Hygrophila corymbosa?
    by (Fri, 4 Aug 95)
  3. Trimming H. corymbosa
    by George Booth <> (Fri, 04 Aug 1995)
  4. Stem plants
    by "David W. Webb" <dwebb/> (Sat, 5 Apr 1997)

[Plant]Re: How to propogate plants?

by (e-mail) (Erik Olson)
Date: 26 Jul 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria (Len Trigg) writes:

[wanted into on pruning strategies]

Here is my experience (so far):

Rotala macranth[err...where's that list george made?...ah...]
Rotala macrandra (A,An,Bl,D,J,R,Sl,S2,V) "Giant Red Rotala" [Cool, it really
does work to put it in another window & paste it in!!!  Hahahhaa!  Viva
Linux!  Viva X-11!...umm, sorry 'bout that, I've been inside too long]:
I cut off fairly long stem cuttings, and the mother plant grows exactly
two new stems where the cut was made.  You can do this multiple times,
making the plant thick & bushy.  Blows the fish stores away when I bring in
a cutting that has 6 or more divisions like that.

Alternanthera sp. "scarlet temple" - Basically same as Rotala, it throws out
two stems at the cut.  Since this is a bigger plant, I try to make the cut
maybe 2" from the roots, and leave the mother plant rooted.

Hygro. corymbosa (giant hygro): If I cut the stem, both parts lose nearly all
their leaves & it takes months for it to grow back.  This is probably because
I don't have a tall enough tank.  Sigh.

Hygro. polysperma:  Cut off the end cutting & it will continue to grow.
The mother stem will start to grow a new stem at EVERY leaf node.  Later,
you can cut off each new stem.  It doesn't grow nice & bushy, because of this.

Ludwigia sp.: divides sort of like Rotala, but oftentimes the mother plant
will just rot away.  Oftentimes, the stem cutting will also partially rot
away.  Of course, since I've ignored them and stuffed them behind the
zosterfolia (see below), the cuttings are thriving.

Heteranthera zosterfolia: I have no idea how this one divides, because it
seems to rapidly become a giant mass of plant no matter how I trim it.
That's a good thing, though. :)

The original poster also asked about bulb division, so I'll share a little
Amazon Sword bit:  About two months ago, I ripped out my juvenile amazon 
swords (maybe 1 year old) to put in some smaller plants.  One of the plants
had developed a food storage tuber (?) on the side.  Interestingly, the tuber
was sprouting a new plant!  I snapped the tuber off & sold off the two original
plants, but in a fit of curiousity replanted the tuber.  It's now growing
far faster than the original plants!  In fact, in 2 months, it's nearly
the same size as they were.  So is this bulb division?

And finally, a rhizome division anecdote & I'll let y'all go:  Also about a
month or two ago, I trimmed some of my Crypt. wendtii (maybe) rhizomes
to sell to another fish club guy.  I didn't pull up the main plants, just
the ones I was taking out.  But even so, I've had melting leaves and reduced
growth ever since.  It's really true about leaving those guys alone for months
before they're happy.

  - Erik

Erik D. Olson					(e-mail)

            "Hope you like our new direction" - Spinal Tap

How to prun Hygrophila corymbosa?

Date: Fri, 4 Aug 95

>Despite my algae problem, some of the plants in my 6-week old tank are 
>doing quite well, the six stems of H. corymbosa I bought in the first 
>week of the tank has grown out of the water and are in danger of being 
>burned by the lights. They were only 10 inches tall when I got them and in 
>six weeks they outgrew my 24" tall tank!
>Anyway, I read the article by Erik about pruning various plants from the 
>Krib WWW site, and he said that cutting the stems of H. corymbosa always 
>caused significant trauma to both parent and "offspring" plants. Has 
>anyone else had similar problem? What's the best way to take cuttings 
>from corymbosa without interrupting its growth too much? What's the 
>best length of the cutting, and where should I make the cut: at a leaf 
>node, just below or above a node, etc? Thanks. 

When I was producing this plant in huge quantities, it was simplest to
completely uproot it, break up the stems at where the leaves meet it
and plant the broken up stems. That is, plant a small piece of stem that
has a couple leaves at the top and may or may not have roots at the bottom -
no matter. In harder water this is probably the most vigorous plant there is,
certainly in my experience and others I've given the plant to. One friend
does real well with soft water that he adds salt to, I've had it do just
fine in african cichlid tanks that have a lot of salt and high pH.

If you let some of it grow emersed up to your lights, it'll drop the
submerged leaves and put out little purple flowers that have a faint, sort
of 'jungle/greenhouse' type smell. However, it gets real messy when the
flowers die. It'll also fill the tank with roots if you let it grow emersed
and develop a 'woodier' thicker 'trunk' as well.


Trimming H. corymbosa

by George Booth <>
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 1995

> From: "John Y. Ching" <>
> Anyway, I read the article by Erik about pruning various plants from the 
> Krib WWW site, and he said that cutting the stems of H. corymbosa always 
> caused significant trauma to both parent and "offspring" plants. Has 
> anyone else had similar problem? 

Nope, we hack ours apart every two weeks and have not noticed a
problem. This is in a 100g discus tank (83 F).

> What's the best way to take cuttings from corymbosa without
> interrupting its growth too much? What's the best length of the
> cutting, and where should I make the cut: at a leaf node, just below
> or above a node, etc? Thanks.

We cut off the top 6" just below a leaf node and replant the top.
Remove any leaves that would be below the gravel surface to prevent
rot. New roots should grow from the old leaf nodes. 


Stem plants

by "David W. Webb" <dwebb/>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997

In response to Karen's note about stem plants, I thought I'd toss out an
observation of my own that I just never thought about mentioning before.

I have the easiest time quickly establishing stem plants if I do something
very different from the common method of stripping the lower leaves.  

The method I've observed isn't very practical in most applications, so you
may or may not be able to use it.

I just pinch off some of the stem plant and lay it on its side on top of
the gravel. with maybe a small rock or piece of wood to hold it down.  The
plant sprouts roots from several nodes immediately, and begins to grow
furiously upward, and sometimes laterally across the gravel as well.

I use this method primarily with top cuttings, particularly emersed ones.
I have a problem with emersed cuttings dieing back completely when I shove
them into the gravel.

This method appears nice to me in that I'm not tossing anything into the
substrate that might die and rot, and the plants can use more leaves
initially for photosynthesis since I don't strip them.  It's worked well
with every stem plant I've tried: H. polysperma, H. difformis, R.
rotundifolia, E. densa, A. reineckii.

For submersed cuttings, I still strip leaves and cut right below the lowest
node.  I also wrap any roots around the stem before inserting the stem in
the gravel to make sure the roots are all in the substrate.  This
root-wrapping method works will with all plants that I've encountered
except those without real roots (java fern) and those with stiff roots that
will break if you try to bend them (Anubias).

I guess my main factor of which planting method I'll use depends on whether
there are any roots on the section I'm planting.  YMMV.

I hope this helps someone out there.  :-)

David W. Webb in sunny, humid Plano, TX.

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