Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

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Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-03, 19:37

I had a lot of issues with trimming stem plants. When they grow out - the bottom stem begins to look bad. After a while roots a mile long develop on the bottom half of the plant. I've learned when I do trim I should do so a few inches under the water level and not at the water level.

I think at some point it's just best to clip the plant about half way down, pull the bottom plant out and just replant the top where I pulled the stem up. So in an aquascaping theme it would be wise to leave enough space to get your fingers down to pull the whole plant up...

When surfing the net checking out aquascaping themes I notice how pristine ppls aquascaping is. And i just know the picture was taken AFTER a major plant clipping. I can tell those stem plants where just clipped and planted where they want them...

Can anyone share how they trim stem plants? Any input appreciated.
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  MorganEA on 2014-04-03, 20:02

What kind of plant is it?
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-03, 20:14

Well soon I have to trim bacopa caroliniana. I am leaning toward just trimming as far down as I can then pulling up the main stem then replanting the top. Space is limited for this plant so I am unable to propagate it but the tops look amazing and are turning pinkish.

However, the thread can cover many other stem plants such as Ludwigia and Rotalla. These other two species can get to look funky over time if not trimmed in a certain way.
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-03, 20:18

I am definitely going to follow this! I'm going to need to learn how to trim plants as well!
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  MorganEA on 2014-04-03, 20:23

as far as I know stem plants can be trimmed anywhere along the plant and it will grow roots. Just know that trimming it leaves it open to infection so you might loose some of your tops.
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  Guest on 2014-04-03, 21:47

Remember bronzefighter posted this video on how to trim lush plants.
http://www.wafishbox.com/t9302-how-to-trim-your-plants

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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-04, 00:35

OOOOOHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHHH! forgot about this , niccccceeee. Thank you SirWesDragon.
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  LuminousAphid on 2014-04-04, 13:13

I have been trimming my ludwigia lately, and notice all the issues you mention; manky looking stems low down, roots growing down into the substrate and sometimes pulling the upper stem downward so it's all bent, but the tops look great. I have been doing exactly what you mentioned; trim the top 10'' or less off and then replant it somewhere else.

I have actually been leaving the old nasty stems though, so that more good stuff will grow from them, but I haven't had enough time to see if that will give good results. I'm thinking that since the lower stems are well rooted, they might start regrowing new lush stuff that I can again trim and replant, until I have enough good-looking top stems to fill in the area I want.

This has also worked for bacopa for me, but be careful that you don't cut it too short- I have found that when you use only a small section at the top, it is adapted to high light, and has a harder time getting going when it's put all the way at the bottom. I have had the best results trimming about half the length and replanting. Usually mine have some roots starting to grow somewhere near the middle of the stem by the time they need trimming, so I cut them just below these roots and replant.

One thing I have not tried with bacopa is to keep trimming them short from the top to see if they start branching out, but if you have limited space you should probably just go with the replant the top method. It probably will look better anyway, like you said the tops get nice and pink so they are the more aesthetic part to keep. Mine also like to make runners and grow new sprouts from the bottom; usually these are very nice and fresh looking and give a nice height contrast. Usually they have a nice root system too, so should be good for replanting. I don't know how to induce this, it has always just happened for me. I have some coming up right now that I would part with, if you want some more short pieces.
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Re: Trimming stem plants - aquascaping

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-04, 13:28

You hit the nail on the head LuminousAphid. When I 1st started growing stem plants for background it was good to trim the top and replant to propagate and spread the plant. In my new aquascape there is currently 8 different background plants. Not to mention repositioned woods with 3 other plant species growing on them bringing the background plant total to 11. Trim regimen has changed from spread it out as a wall 7' long , to nice and neat, variated bunches statistically placed. So, ideally I have to find the best way to trim each individual species so it both visually looks nice and isn't completely growing into each other.

The video above covers all the plants I have. I find myself instead of randomly trimming like before being very strategic. Kind of like growing bonzi , lol! I have already learned how to make a nice stem plant look like a messy bush, now let's see if I can keep them nice and neat Smile
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