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How Long Until Stems Develop Roots?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by csmith, May 16, 2010.

  1. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Yesterday I moved all inhabitants from my 10 gallon to a 20 gallon high. I've also replanted each stem atleast 3 times :rolleyes:. I saw a thread a while back on the optimal way(s) to plant stems and I've tried each way I can recall. Planting at angles, leaving the bottom leaves on and shoving them as deep as possible, etc. I'm a little hesitant to keep doing this, as the bottom layer is worm castings/osmocote and I really don't want to mix up the substrate too much. Any tips on what I'm doing wrong? The only powerhead on right now is the one diffusing the CO2 as I don't want to keep aiding the problem with flow. I figure I'll give them a few weeks, hope for the best, then restore the flow.
     
    #1 csmith, May 16, 2010
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    C Smith,

    Is the issue that the stems WONT grow roots or it takes too long?

    Most stems IME should start to grow roots after planting say a top cutting within 5-10 days based on species, location, etc...and I am just using plain flourite.....

    I always strip the lower leaves so as not to bury any that will simply decay....

    Are you replanting more than once other than the move from one tank to the other? If so, why?

    Not sure how flow affects rooting unless the flow is actually uprooting the stems......the plants needs to get flow certainly but not enough to blow it away....

    Is the substrate being uprooted?

    Not sure what the issue is???
     
  3. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    I had my stems in my 10 for about 2 weeks bound by the metal retainer..thing.. because I knew I was going to be putting them into a 20. I just planted them for the first time yesterday (after HEAVY pruning, they apparently didn't like being bound together and all seemed to be dying right in the middle). They have no roots now and keep floating to the top. I'm curious as to how long this will go on. My replanting multiple times is based on them not staying put, not me wanting to do it. Sorry for the confusion.

    Edit: Also, substrate is onyx sand.
     
    #3 csmith, May 16, 2010
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Ahhh,

    Okay, the lead weight IME should be removed immediately if not sooner :) They DO NOT like to be tied up...

    No light or flow gets in the middle of these bunches and you see the result. The OUTSIDE looks good to the customer, but the inside is not good. This is what happens BTW when trimmng is neglected and bunches get too thick..

    Rinse the stems and handle each one individually. I just gently rub them under the running water to remove any bad or injured leaves. Then remove the lower leaves that will go under the substrate... I usually try and plant at least 1.5-2" underneath so as to avoid the floating issue....

    Pile little mounds of substrate around them as well.

    Based on the stem species, I will sometimes place 2-3 stems max together, but then you need to leave more space around them. Think diandra, some rotala, or HM that have thinner stems...

    As stated, you should see them fairly well rooted by 10 days...If you pull one up you should see healthy white roots...

    If not, I would look at the conditions of the plants above the ground and guage their condition and make necessary adjustments in care..

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Right now I'm dealing with rotala rotundifola. I was hesitant to remove the lead because I knew I was moving them. I did remove the lead on my wisteria and let them float..only to come home to find that the wisteria thought they'd plant themselves in the intake of my powerheads. If you've never come how to find hundreds of tiny chunks of plants floating in an aquarium it's an experience I'd go ahead and skip. Anywho, thanks for the advice as always. I'll go back through and see if I can push them down a bit further and remove the lower leaves.
     
  6. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    This is basically what I do with stem plants:
    I remove the 'lead' plant weight strip(s) or rubber bands.
    I trim the bad, dead, smushed, etc off of the end of the stem.
    I pull off the lower node(s) worth of leaves that will be planted into the substrate.
    I get my tin snips and cut the plant weight strips into ±¾" lengths.
    I use needle nose pliers or my fingers and fold them into a "U" shape.
    I get a stem and place the trimmed strip a little bit above the cut but not on a bare (exposed) node.
    I gently squeeze on the weight strip until it is snug but not crushing the stem.
    Then I plant it. More times than not, it will stay in place.



    You'll have to play with this a bit at first because:
    some plants tend to float more than others
    some are more delicate than others
    differing stem diameters
    differing number of stems in each "bunch"
    differing spacing between the nodes
    differences in the weight strip used (weight, thickness, height, length, etc)
    and so forth



    This works well for me. Sometimes I'll put a root tab(s) in their area when planting. More times than not, when I pull the stem plant up, the little plant weight strip comes up with it so I can use it again.

    I hope that this helps. This made stem plants less of an 'aggravation' for me.

    Left C
     
  7. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Just To Show What I'm Working With..

    No lie, the second the last photo was taken one of my hygro kompakts floated to the top. :mad:

    [​IMG]
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  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    May I suggest 4 or 5 more stem bunches? Stems seem to be like schooling fish and do better in groups...You can use a few more plants IMO

    Rotala will grow tall and you can place a wall of them in the back to help hide the hardware..

    Any easy way to get more stems is to simply top them and leave the bottoms where they are. They will branch and you can plant the new tops in another area..

    You can try dividing the compakt as the size of the leaves may be causing some bouyancy issues as one larger plant. 2 or 3 smaller ones may prove easier to control.
     
  9. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Didn't mean to ignore this question. Yes, I believed the flow was causing problems. Turns out if I turned it down a little it did away with the issue.

    4-5 bunches? Quite a bit more than I was expecting. I was afraid of overdoing it and not leaving enough room for water movement. I'll pick up more this week. I also plan on moving the crypt in the middle. I'd like a little more open space.

    I actually did divide the hygro, they're just planted closely. All of the leaves are gigantic.

    Will the stems straighten out over time, or will I have to just prune the curves out?
     
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