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Trimming Plants

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by shane, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Anybody have good tips/suggestions on trimming stem plants?

    Is it just hack away or is there more of a technique to it?

    Do all types of stem plants get the same trim treatment?

    So take for example r.willichii. This is one you chop the tops and replant.

    R.indica you prune the top.

    What about r.nanjenshan?
     
    #1 shane, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2010
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Shane,

    Go to the Tropica or ADA website. I know they have a few videos that show trimming techniques. Will see if I can find them.

    My rule of thumb (green of course).

    All stems can be topped and the tops replanted. No issues there.

    The BOTTOMS that remain however will USUALLY branch from this point.

    IMO the stems that should ALWAYS be topped/replanted are:

    Any 'fluffy' leaved species. Examples: cabomba, myrio, r.wallichi, etc.

    You can always trim a small section to see it's growth patterns. Also, plant the tops in front of the remaining bottoms to help hide them till they branch and regrow.

    Lots of threads on this site related to trimming. Need to search a bit.....

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Shane,

    Because the stems will branch at the point that you cut them, if you cut them too high up the stems will start to look 'top heavy'. To avoid this, cut fairly low on the plant (perhaps 2 inches above the substrate). If you have room, plant the top somewhere, otherwise throw the top out.

    I stagger the trimming, so that some plants have just been trimmed and some are a week or so off needing a trim. This way I get a balanced look. If I trim all the stems in one hit, it can look a bit barren for a few weeks until they grow back a bit. For example, if there are, say, 20 stems, trim 10 of them now, weight a week or so, trim the other 10 etc etc.

    Scott.
     
  4. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    OK, noob here (which means I'm allowed to dig last year's threads and ask silly questions).

    I still have my first tank planted with egeria and cabomba as stems, because I want to learn as much as possible with hardy and forgiving plants. The plants do well, they grow a lot, even if atm I'm just dosing micro (it's a heavily stocked small tank). I have medium-to-high light and CO2. Still, here's what I noticed:

    When I cut the tops off these plants, the remaining part starts looking unhealthy. It doesn't branch for at least a week or so, the color darkens (it's a sad green, no longer happy green) and algae begin growing on them. That part never recovers a healthy look even if eventually it does shoot happy branches that do well and grow 20-30 cm per week (the branch looks like a different plant). This happens even if the bottom remains in full light, not shaded by anything.

    Is that normal when you trim stems? Is it specific to egeria/cabomba? Is there something I am doing wrong? (probably yes, but more specifically?... :) )

    PS Btw, that part with algae growing on the stunted/unhealthy plant really brought home the point about best algae control = healthy plants.
     
    #4 Florin Ilia, May 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  5. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    A similar thread gave me an idea: could this be because I don't cut close enough to the bottom?
     
  6. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    Remove the leaves at the bottom of the stem that would otherwise get buried and rot in the substrate. You can trim the 5 inch top of R. nanjenshan and plant it. The pruned stem will sprout new growth. To prevent newly planted stem from floating, plant it in a 45 degree angle.
     
  7. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the advice, but I was referring to the bottom part of the plant, not to the top part that is cut off.
     
  8. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    If the bottom part looks worn out/old/brown/ugly/eyesore, just pull it out.
     
  9. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    It only gets that way after I cut off the top. I was wondering if it's normal/to be expected.
     
  10. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    Some plants respond that way after being pruned. The bottom part doesn't grow as fast as the top (vegetative growth).
     
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