Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus - which option to fill in?

Katie Dawn

Hello All,
I've had three pogostemon stellatus octopus stems for about a month and they seem to be happy in my low(ish) light tank. I'd like them to become more dense, and in reading it seems I have two options:
(1) cut the existing plants at the nodes and they will start to grow kind of bushy (become wider)
(2) Trim the top and re-plant it to create more plants.

If I choose the 2nd option (cut the tops and plant them, will they just continue to grow upwards? So I would just have a bunch of individual, thin stems that aren't bushy, but could have a lot of them?

If I choose the first option (cut at the node to help it grow width) do I cut all four leaves coming out of that node or just one? And do I cut it right at the base of the leaf, or do I actually cut slightly into the node?

Finally, the two biggest plants have started to grow baby plants from the base. Do I need to do anything? (I can't tell if they're independent plants that need to be moved or if they're attached to the adult stem.) If they are attached to the adult plant then I think that answers my question about whether or not they will grow bushy/wider on their own - looks like they will!

Thanks for your help. These are the first plants I've had that need any maintenance (have only had java ferns and anubias up until now) so I'm still learning. :)
 

Mudminnow

To make your plant fuller, do both of the things you mentioned...trim your plants and plant the tops. Two stems will grow from where you trimmed the plant (more specifically the uppermost remaining node).

You don't need to do anything with the baby plants. But, if you like, you can trim them off the mother plant and replant them.
 

Katie Dawn

To make your plant fuller, do both of the things you mentioned...trim your plants and plant the tops. Two stems will grow from where you trimmed the plant (more specifically the uppermost remaining node).

You don't need to do anything with the baby plants. But, if you like, you can trim them off the mother plant and replant them.
Thank you! That is interesting that they will grow two stems where I cut the top. Kind of makes me want to cut farther down.

If I do nothing with the baby plants they will grow just fine where they are? I would like them to grow. I've read you should keep each plant a few inches apart so they don't get tangled up in each other but in this case it's not a problem?
 

Mudminnow

If I do nothing with the baby plants they will grow just fine where they are? I would like them to grow. I've read you should keep each plant a few inches apart so they don't get tangled up in each other but in this case it's not a problem?
As long as they are getting enough light, they should grow just fine where they are.

It is best to plant your stem plants a couple inches apart initially, but, after that, they tend to do what they want. And, it's been my experience that they always fill up any empty space (that has enough light for them to grow) eventually.
 

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