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Cutting Stem Plants

  • Thread starter Jason Greenslade
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J

Jason Greenslade

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Hello, I have had my current planted aquarium for a few weeks now and the stem plants seem to be growing pretty quick. I have cut them in half and replanted the top half but the bottom half does not seem to grow very quickly. Is this right ? Sorry if its a daft question.
 
J

Jason Greenslade

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Welcome to UKAPS Jason, depending on what they are they might take a little while to recover but should take off soon, any photos?

Thanks Arana, one is called Rotala but I am not sure what type. Its a pure green colour with short but thin leaves. The other one is called Pogostemon Stellata and has a very slight reddish tint to it, but not as much as when I bought it at the shop. I dont have any pics at the moment, but am hoping to get some soon.

I suppose I assumed that as the main stems seemed to grow quickly, the cut off bottom parts would sprout new stems and carry on at much the same rate. So slower growth in the bit left behind is normal ?
 

MARKCOUSINS

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Hi Jason I'm guessing the plants are fairly new and this is their 1st trim,good chance these plants were grown emersed to start with.Can you notice any differance in the leaf form from the bottom and top sections?The top sections should be fine now and will grow quickly providing aquarium conditions permit,leave the bottom sections and wait and see what happens for the time being.If you see they are dying off drasticaly(turning soft and mushy)remove them.Rotala if it is rotundifolia is a good easy plant to grow if conditions are right will grow very quickly and fill your tank in no time.Pogostemon Stellata is a toughie likes plenty of Co2.Cheers mark
 
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Jason Greenslade

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yes thats right, the trimmed bottoms may well sprout 2 or 3 new stems, thats how you get them nice and bushy;)

OK So rather than cut them half way up, would it be better to cut them lower down and maybe get two new cuttings from the part I cut off the top ?
 
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Jason Greenslade

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Hi Jason I'm guessing the plants are fairly new and this is their 1st trim,good chance these plants were grown emersed to start with.Can you notice any differance in the leaf form from the bottom and top sections?The top sections should be fine now and will grow quickly providing aquarium conditions permit,leave the bottom sections and wait and see what happens for the time being.If you see they are dying off drasticaly(turning soft and mushy)remove them.Rotala if it is rotundifolia is a good easy plant to grow if conditions are right will grow very quickly and fill your tank in no time.Pogostemon Stellata is a toughie likes plenty of Co2.Cheers mark

Hi now you mention it, yes the top part's leaves are growing closer together than lower down. Looks better actualy, and kind of healthier. SO I think I just answered the question I asked above... maybe the trick is to cut them off at the point they start to grow new leaves, and if the bit left behind sprouts new shoots, all good, I can cut them off too when they are long enough, but as you say, if they dont grow, I can pull them out. Cool, I like the idea they will multiply like this cos they ain't cheap haha.
 

MARKCOUSINS

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Rotala will produce side shoots to try and wait till it reaches the surface of your tank before to cut it the tips may become a nice pinkish colour patience with P.Stellata good Co2 needed,good luck mate!Cheers mark
 
J

Jason Greenslade

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Rotala will produce side shoots to try and wait till it reaches the surface of your tank before to cut it the tips may become a nice pinkish colour patience with P.Stellata good Co2 needed,good luck mate!Cheers mark

Many thanks. I do have CO2 ... one of those fire extinguisher setups I got off ebay. Hopefully it should go well. Time will tell I spose.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
maybe the trick is to cut them off at the point they start to grow new leaves, and if the bit left behind sprouts new shoots
Good idea, make sure you cut just above a node (where the leaves come from). Then with the cut stem, trim that so that the bottom cut is just below a node. The plant will root or shoot only from the node, and orphaned bits of stem above or below (we call them "snags") will decay. This is a Fuchsia, but the same applies for any stem plant.
cut_back.jpg


cheers Darrel
 
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Jason Greenslade

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Should I pull the leaves off that are at the next node up too then Darrel ?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Should I pull the leaves off that are at the next node up too then Darrel ?
You can take the leaves off of the cutting where they will be under the substrate, on the cut stem you should leave them all on. Don't pull the leaves off, this will create tissue damage. The best thing is to pinch them off with sharp nails or cut them off with nail scissors. If you pinch them off move your fingers up the stem, rather than tearing down.

cheers Darrel
 
J

Jason Greenslade

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Hi all,
You can take the leaves off of the cutting where they will be under the substrate, on the cut stem you should leave them all on. Don't pull the leaves off, this will create tissue damage. The best thing is to pinch them off with sharp nails or cut them off with nail scissors. If you pinch them off move your fingers up the stem, rather than tearing down.

cheers Darrel

OK I will try and remember that next time. Up till now I have just been pulling the leaves off :banghead:
 
J

Jason Greenslade

Guest
Hi all,
You can take the leaves off of the cutting where they will be under the substrate, on the cut stem you should leave them all on. Don't pull the leaves off, this will create tissue damage. The best thing is to pinch them off with sharp nails or cut them off with nail scissors. If you pinch them off move your fingers up the stem, rather than tearing down.

cheers Darrel


Ive just looked at the bottom half of some of the stems I cut the other day, and noticed that they are sprouting several new shoots, which are growing too. By accident rather than knowing I should do, I must have cut them at the right place. So the "mother stem" is growing new shoots but has wider spaced leaves than whats growing new from being in the water.

When the new growth is longer I just want to have them as the new plant looks better with the narrower spacing between the leaves. Would it be better to cut each one off individually and have its bottom node (like you described above) become the new root ? Or should I leave all the new stems attached to the "mother stem" and just cut that a few nodes down and let the new ones grow from that ? I am thinking cut them all off because then each new stem will develop its own root system, but thought I would check I am thinking straight. Thanks.
 

dw1305

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Joined
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Messages
11,777
Location
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Hi all,
ve just looked at the bottom half of some of the stems I cut the other day, and noticed that they are sprouting several new shoots, which are growing too. By accident rather than knowing I should do, I must have cut them at the right place. So the "mother stem" is growing new shoots but has wider spaced leaves than whats growing new from being in the water.
All the leaves axils will have dormant axillary buds, normally their growth is suppressed by the hormones secreted by the terminal (apical) bud, once you've removed this, the buds aren't suppressed and they will sprout. Most plants only have buds in the leaf axils, so the new shoot will always come from these.

Have a look at the tutorial for pruning:
<Pruning - A general guide to plant maintenance | UK Aquatic Plant Society>
450px-Plant_Buds_clasification.svg.png

When the new growth is longer I just want to have them as the new plant looks better with the narrower spacing between the leaves. Would it be better to cut each one off individually and have its bottom node (like you described above) become the new root ? Or should I leave all the new stems attached to the "mother stem" and just cut that a few nodes down and let the new ones grow from that ? I am thinking cut them all off because then each new stem will develop its own root system, but thought I would check I am thinking straight
Potentially each node can grow both shoots and roots, we call these "single bud cuttings", but the danger is that smaller propagules have less biomass, and larger cut surfaces, so need really good growing conditions to avoid rotting or just running out of stored food reserves before the new leaves have started photosynthesising. Three or 4 nodes per cutting is a lot safer (plants are actually "totipotent", meaning that you can grow a whole new plant from a single cell and people have done this to grow haploid plants (n) from pollen cells).

How long the internodes are (internodes are the bits between nodes) will depend upon plant species, light intensity, nutrients and CO2, but assuming they aren't too limiting, and you don't remove too much leaf material, more pruning will create bushier plants.

cheers Darrel
 

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