plants throwing out tons of roots


Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
Vista, Ca
Most of the plants in my tank seem to be sending roots out from about 3/4 the ways up the plant down towards the gravel.

How would i go about fixing this issue and is this common?




Guru Class Expert
Jun 18, 2007
I think it looks cool. I have no idea why or how it happens, but I would be interested hearing any explanation. It happens to all my stem plants. At least their growing :D .


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Hi Chris,

Many (most) stem plants do this ... it helps them spread in a natural environment. And, no, I do not believe you can control this. The ones that do many, many roots (especially the big hairy roots!), are often called "weeds," and I personally find the roots unattractive as they multiply -- I've removed many of these plants from my tank over time. I know that if you keep some of these "weeds" pruned very low, they can look very nice and you do not see the roots.

For plants that send out occasional roots here or there, I often prune the roots off ... or, if they are not unattractive, I might leave them.

There are at least a few stem plants that seemingly do not do this at all -- like rotala wallichii, but that's the only one I know of, and perhaps I haven't had it long enough to see it do this.

Perhaps someone else will chime in, but other than pruning low, I have no answer for controlling visible roots.


Guru Class Expert
Oct 29, 2007
Northern Virginia

I asked this same question a month or so ago here and Tom mentioned that it is completely normal. If it just gets aesthetically intolerable you can pull out the bottom and replant the tips. I got good results doing this with Rotala Rotundifolia, hygro, cabomba caroliniana, and Ludwigia Repens.


Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
South Florida
IMO, Ted has it correct. This is a GOOD sign that the plants are healthy and growing well. I have had this with most species of stem plants that I have kept. Rotala, hygro, bacopa, etc.

I can't think of a way to stop this, and not sure I would want to :)

You can always trim the roots close to the stem, so they aren't visible.

What you can do, is cut the stems just below the new roots and replant as top should see that most roots are coming out at a segment in the stem.

However, based on plant growth rate, you may be doing this a lot. lol

Best of luck.