Ludwigia repens questions

I recently acquired some ludwgia repens at my LFS and it's grown pretty well. I have questions though.

Is it normal for bottom leaves to die and develop holes? Is there a way to prevent this?

I've trimmed them once because they were very tall, I had 10 trimmings and replanted 2. Is this the best way to propagate?

Are roots growing out of the stems normal? There are tons of roots growing out of them.

Only the top parts of the plant turn red, is this a lighting issue?

Tank conditions
Ammonia and nitrites are constantly 0, nitrates gets to about 20ppm at the end of the week
Eco complete substrate with osmocote diy root tabs, replaced every 3 months
Currently not dosing ferts although I have aquarium co op easy green on hand. Been using some excel and h202 to combat BBA.
No problems with algae besides BBA.

I dont dose ferts because everyrime I do I have an outbreak of diatoms and green spot algae.
 
Solution
So they don't have to shed those bottom leaves but it's light dependent. Once mine hit the top and bend over, shading the tank, they shed all the lower light leaves.

When I propagate there are 3+ different things I do, depending on the desired result.

1. Long straight, no forks and bald bottom: pull from root, trim bald section and toss it, replant.

2. long with long forks, bald bottom: a. Cut each fork off and makes several long straight. B. Cut the bald section off and replant.

3. Long stem with short or evenly distributed forks: plant stem sideways across the tank to anchor all the smaller forks. These are tricky one they need replanting though.

*Topping encourages forking, if I'm going to leave it planted but want to cut it...
I don't have an answer per sey but i frequently experience this behavior. I think it is because the upper leaves get more light and so the plant focus on those and drop the lower leaves. With a lot of stem plants i have the bottom 2/3 of the stem might be completely bare but it depends on the plant. A few plants will actually keep up with the lower leaves (like Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus) but most of the ones i have do something similar to your plant. I don't have the ability but i wonder if getting a stronger light to the bottom leaves might cause a different behavior.
 
I don't have an answer per sey but i frequently experience this behavior. I think it is because the upper leaves get more light and so the plant focus on those and drop the lower leaves. With a lot of stem plants i have the bottom 2/3 of the stem might be completely bare but it depends on the plant. A few plants will actually keep up with the lower leaves (like Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus) but most of the ones i have do something similar to your plant. I don't have the ability but i wonder if getting a stronger light to the bottom leaves might cause a different behavior.
Mines are exactly the same. I hate it lol
 
So they don't have to shed those bottom leaves but it's light dependent. Once mine hit the top and bend over, shading the tank, they shed all the lower light leaves.

When I propagate there are 3+ different things I do, depending on the desired result.

1. Long straight, no forks and bald bottom: pull from root, trim bald section and toss it, replant.

2. long with long forks, bald bottom: a. Cut each fork off and makes several long straight. B. Cut the bald section off and replant.

3. Long stem with short or evenly distributed forks: plant stem sideways across the tank to anchor all the smaller forks. These are tricky one they need replanting though.

*Topping encourages forking, if I'm going to leave it planted but want to cut it down for some reason I try to top it above a fork node.

I'm not a scape expert but I work with it allot as it's nearly the only plant I can get a good red out of with my parameters/conditions. I also like to let it go crazy, it's the primary cover plant in my 29 trash can tank. With that tank I can keep the lower leaves on longer by my bar light (not the rack lighting) and moving it closer and closer to the front edge as the ludwigia and lilies shade the tank. Eventually (a couple weeks ago I hacked it down) there's just no getting the light in there and it's easy and fun to start over. On start over days I cut the lillys back, pull all the ludwigia to be trimmed and replanted and do a rare sand tumble and re-cap before replanting. It's super handy having such a durable tall plant.
 
Solution
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