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Planting The Top?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by csmith, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    I've been reading quite a bit, and that always generates questions.

    What is this stuff about having to pull up a plant, trim off the bottom and replant the top portion? Is that normal for some species of something or another? I need an explanation. :confused:

    What is "topping" a plant and what does it do?

    Why do plecos cost so much, or is it just at Live Aquaria? $40-$110 for one?
     
    #1 csmith, Apr 12, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  2. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Many plants -- especially whorled ones like L. 'Cuba' and the tall Eriocaulon/Syngonanthus/Tonina stems -- just look better when you let the top keep growing. Some stuff, like P. stellatus 'fine leaf' might stunt on you anyway and it's nice to keep a big crown growing in front of and hiding the branching stuff that's growing up behind it.

    But with lots of other stuff, like most Rotala and Ludwigia sp, topping -- trimming off the tops and leaving the bottoms -- will get you nice dense evened out bushes. The tops are also more tradeable, of course.

    Tom said once that his goal was to get all of us more worried about scapes than algae and nutrients and junk. I think the way you get both skills is trimming. Lets you figure out your stuff. Ideas for the next scape. Nutrient export. Hobby cash for stuff like rare pretty Plecos. :)
     
  3. vrchards

    vrchards Junior Poster

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    Thanks wet for sharing the information.
    Topping a plant refers to cutting off the top shoot(s) of cannabis plants. You can pinch, clip or snip off the tallest shoots or the freshest shoots. Cut the branch stem just below the last fully developed node,. The plant starts developing branches at the remaining nodes. This is a good techniques to keep a plant short and bushy. Or you can develop many top colas instead of just one. Don't top a plant more than twice and never top when it is in the flowering stage.
     
  4. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    As vrichards said, thanks for the information. With this method, though, you're basically continuously uprooting your stems to whack off the bottom? I understand they don't have the greatest of root systems but still it seems a bit much, basically replanting everything every week or two. Oh well, like everything else I've found here it'd seem that if it didn't work or serve a purpose it wouldn't be done.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    C,

    You can either replant the nice looking tops OR leave the shortened stems alone. These cut stems will branch NEW sprouts around the cut basal portion. These will grow into NEW tops......so will have a bushier appearance. Think of a hedge around a house......Same principle.

    Depends on how much they grow, how much work it is, and how you prune......
     
  6. ghostsword

    ghostsword Lifetime Charter Member
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    The majority of my stem plants I do not actually bury on the substrate, but have them weighted down instead. So when I need to trip them I will grab them, cut the bottom part and keep the tops on the tank. The bottom's usually look messy, so I just throw them into a tank that is just for cuttings, but emmersed.. Some grow back, others will die off.

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