Plant Grooming

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Heather M

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How would you go about keeping the plants getting too large and overrunning the tank? Is there a way you can prune them so they still look natural? For example, I usually cut off whole stalks of water sprite, but what do you do when they get too tall? Will it harm the plants for some of the leaves to sit on top of the water?
 

Kunsthure

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It all depends on the plant, really. Some are really easy to lol off anywhere along the stem while others will die if you do it. So if you can list the plants in question, we can help a little better.

-Lisa
 
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Heather M

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Kunsthure said:
It all depends on the plant, really. Some are really easy to lol off anywhere along the stem while others will die if you do it. So if you can list the plants in question, we can help a little better.

-Lisa
In my aquarium info. I'd like to get more of a variety of plants but this is what I have for now.
 

sirdarksol

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Most aquatic plants can be trimmed with impunity. Yours fit within that realm. If you cut it off at the stem, you can usually plant the stem and get it to root. If you want, though, you can just trim off the leaves.

Also, most plants will do fine if they reach the surface. In fact, a lot of aquatic plants grow better when at least part of them are emmersed (outside of the water). Water wisteria, for example, shoots up like a rocket when it reaches the surface. I have to trim my wisteria because it's trying to escape my 10 gallon tank. It has pushed past the plastic lid of the cheap little hood that I have.
 

catsma_97504

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I agree. The plants you have would do well with periodic pruning. The only time I worry about plants at the surface is if they are shading other plants below. Too much shade and some plants will no longer thrive.
 

bass master

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water sprite also loves being on the top of the water, once it gets a few emersed stems it will take off as well. It usually does best when left floating across the top of the tank, be careful though or it will quickly shade the other plants. I actually just trimmed a huge amount from my water sprite after vacation, I clipped the thickest stems and took out the clumps of leaves attached. I havent had much luck replanting the stems, although often one of the original stems will shoot out roots and develop almost as its own plant, you should be able to trim it at this point and replant it.
 

Elodea

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Lots of plants just bend over at the surface and grow horizontally, others clear the surface and grow straight up until it hits the hood of the aquarium. This is clear in plants that also grow free-floating, like anacharis and hornwort.

Water wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) actually has two forms: an aquatic form and a "terrestrial" form. The aquatic form has those interesting fern-like leaves, but when the plant grows out of the water, the leaves take on a more rounded shape with serrated edges.

Some plants you just can't snip and replant, you have to get a large enough aquarium to accomodate their growth. This rule applies to most non-bunch plants, including Vallisneria. You can't just cut the long, onion-like leaf in have, you have to remove the entire thing. Rosette plants like Amazon sword follow the same rule, although technically, you can still prune them. However, it will be unwise to just snip the offending bit off like you would clip a hedge or cut a strand of anacharis.
 
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