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trimming amazon swords- have i done it correct?


2 Apr 2008
ive just come back from holiday and my tank was a jungle. The main culprit of this mess was my amazon sword plants, their leaves had grown huge, each leaf was about 40cm long and about 10cm wide! Now, ive cut one down but now im not sure if i did it correctly :wideyed:

ive cut every leaf off the plant but i left some of the stalk that the leave was attached to the plant with (not sure if that makes sense...) this is because the leaves were too big. Is this ok or have i officially killed the plant?

please help me,



7 Nov 2007
Hi Will,

Cant say Ive too much expierience with swords (Echinodorus Sp.) But I hink you may have gone a bit OTT!
However all is not lost -

I think with Swords you would usually just remove the oldest leaves (and stems) by cutting them as close to the base of the plant as poss. I dont think The stems you have left behind after removing the leaves will grow new leaves! but new leaves will be produced on new stems. This means that you have started all over with your swords.

Removing old (larger) leaves occasionaly, results in a plant that always looks impressive but its size is continualy controlled.

It may be best now to cut the plant right back to the substrate as I fear those remaining stems will rot causing possible ammonia and algae issues.

Im sure It will grow back :)

Ed Seeley

3 Jul 2007
aaronnorth said:
a stalk without a leaf = a rotting stalk = ammonia = algae!

But they are green stems and therefore contain some Chlorophyll unlike many terrestrial plants. However the cut ends will be open to all sorts of problems and will die. Best bet I find is to snap sword leaves off at the rhizome leaving no stub. Also I would remove all the leaves as I have found some old established swords die when treated to this shock.

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