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trimming marsilea

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by travdawg, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    I got an overgrown clump of marsilea quadrifolia from a LFS a few weeks back. I got 2 small pots of it for a buck each. Cheap because the owner had them for a few weeks, & under the poor lighting the stalks had grown to the surface & he hacked them off an inch or so above the top of the pot.

    So I took em home & stuck em in my tank... and they have rebounded somewhat. I was wondering how you all trimmed these plants back? I have some runners coming out of the main "clumps" that were formed by the jar, & some new clover springing up from these same clumps. However, the runners, while growing, are not all really rooted like I would expect them to be. Some of them are growing an inch or two above the substrate. And the old growth that the LFS owner had hacked back has black tops at the top of the stem. Do I just try to cut those off at the base? It is VERY thick.

    Is marsilea safe to uproot, trim, & replant??? Or would that shock the plant too much? I really like it, its very pretty, but I dont want the plants to end up in worse shape than they are now.
     
  2. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: trimming marsilea

    The stems that have the blackened tops - cut those off, they will just rot away ... of course, if it is as dense as you describe, that could be a challenge.

    Since you have runners ... it is just my opinion, but I would basically leave much of the rest of the plant alone and cultivate their growth with the goal of separating them as soon as you think they are established well enough on their own ... I've often gently laid plant weights across the runner part to anchor them down temporariliy which allows them to "root down" ...

    I've nursed a lot of relatively dead mushy plants back to life ... and again, it is just my opinion, but I try to focuse on promoting whatever new growth I see no matter where it is at ... and in many cases discarding the original plant ...

    In the tropical fish hobby, we often talk about "culling" baby fish... we essentially do the same with prunning, although often, I think we focus on saving the original plant rather than focusing on new plant growth ...

    Greg
     
  3. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: trimming marsilea

    Greg, thanks so much for the response!

    Well, I definitely have runners... I plucked the both of my clover "clumps" out a few days ago, along with their runners. I trimmed back as much as I possible could of the dead plant material, & took a good bit of the living plant as well... it was pretty tight in there, but I wanted to get as much of the dead stuff out of there as I could. I replanted the remains of the clump, & managed to get the runners buried again as well. All seems to be going well. I have one runner that is growing at a frantic pace, I am very happy with it.

    If I wanted to try to grow trim back the runner, & plant it along side itself, to grow a more dense bunch, rather than just a long string, where would I cut the runner at??? Would it be best to do i right next to a shoot, or somewhere between two of them?

    I want to take a runner that looks like this (i = shoot)

    -----i--------i---------i--------i-


    and make it like this

    -----i-------i
    -----i-------i

    the idea would be to get more of a carpet.

    Advice is welcome, as always!

    Trav
     
  4. derekparr

    derekparr Junior Poster

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    Re: trimming marsilea

    I don't know what the "best" way is.. but I just cut in between the sprouts in the middle of the runner, then just put gravel on top of the runner to try and hold it down.. as you've noticed, not always an easy thing to do.
     
  5. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: trimming marsilea

    I read that the best way to plant gloss (or maybe riccia, I cant recall) was to cut the runners into single runners like you do.... Cutting the runner midway between each sprout, then to use tweezers to hold the root & plant it like that. I am gonna try that on my next major tank cleaning, & see if I cant get some more all around growth that way. I have a couple really good runners, but other than a couple good lines across the front of the tank, I cant say I am loving its growth.

    I figure a major cleanup may take place this evening, I have so much green dust on my glass... its pretty ugly.
     
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