Large sword - pruning advice

stevet

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I have a large (50cm+) leaved sword in my tank. It has produced 5 or six large broad leaves which reach the top of the tank. Only trouble is the plant looks to have stopped producing new leaves and the older leaves are getting algae on them due to their proximity to the lighting.

Can i prune this plant back to the crown and will it send out any new leaves again? My worry is that i am left with an ugly looking set of quite thick stalks and no new leaves and the plant dies? Do leave a couple of leaves on it?
 

Ed Seeley

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IME leave a couples of leaves on the plant or they can simply die off. Sometimes you can get away with removing all the leaves and they grow back fine, but sometimes they simply don't re-grow.

I'd be more worried about why you aren't getting any new leaves! Are you sure there aren't some smaller ones in the centre? I find swords do really like a nice nutritious substrate - I thought mine did well in flourite, but they are amazing in Aquasoil so I'm going to add Aquasoil 'pockets' around my swords in the other tank I think.
 

stevet

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Maybe ill have a closer look - trouble is its a bit of a sword forest in there so its difficult to determine anything!

I may just remove the worst leaves as they show signs of dying and leave it to its own devices.
 

Ed Seeley

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Not usually. In the wild they are usually growing emersed and then are inundated for a period of time and will produce submersed leaves then, but they never really go dormant like Aponogetons or Nymphaea.
 

stevet

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Vaguely connected to this - can large swords like this get root bound in a similar way to house plants? I would imagine a sword of this size must have a quite substantial root ball?

Its in a 400 liter tank - 120x50...
 

fishgeek

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i trim the outer most leaves away when mine get big, if they get emergent i find they flower and send out runners more regulalry

andrew
 

ceg4048

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stevet said:
I have a large (50cm+) leaved sword in my tank. It has produced 5 or six large broad leaves which reach the top of the tank. Only trouble is the plant looks to have stopped producing new leaves and the older leaves are getting algae on them due to their proximity to the lighting.

Can i prune this plant back to the crown and will it send out any new leaves again? My worry is that i am left with an ugly looking set of quite thick stalks and no new leaves and the plant dies? Do leave a couple of leaves on it?

Hi,
On first glance algae + no growth = nutrient deficiency in my book. You may want to check your dosing and/or CO2 if applicable. There is no way you should get algae on an Echinodorus leaf under normal circumstances even if it's 1mm from the light bulb. These guys are bulletproof, so the appearance of algae is typically a warning.

If you're sure your dosing is appropriate then you may want to check your flow. Maybe there is too much clogging of flow paths so overall trimming might help. Any leaf with algae should be automatically jettisoned. Brutal, but I think necessary. :arghh:

Cheers,
 
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