Question about cutting (and replanting?) plants

BarristanTheBold

Hi all-

So right around this time last year, I did a lot of Aquarium Plant Shopping ... I had got a new 75-gallon Aquarium from PetSmart at Christmas, and transferred my Goldfish to it, and decided to have some fun with Tropicals in my 60-gallon. In addition, over the course of several months (Jan-March) I purchased a bunch of the PetSmart tubed plants. (Before anyone says anything, I've had nothing but success with them and no problems really so I can't complain.)

I have a bunch of different types (and sizes) of Anubias - I read multiple times that it was one of the only plants people had success with Goldfish not eating them or digging them up etc- so in both tanks, I have various Anubias planted. I have no idea which ones are which. I would buy 3-5 at a time, 3 or 4 times, and I didn't write out a "floor plan" to keep track. I should have, but did not. Regardless. I also got one or two others ... a Lobelia Cardinalis and a Bacopa, a couple of various Sword-type plants. The funny thing - the Cardinalis plant (sold as a "tissue sample" with a bunch of single-ish stringers packed in the clear gel stuff) took a *while* to grow - I had problems getting them to stay in the gravel to get started etc. and actually lost a few ... then they started growing vertically (up) but shedding their leaves like my Aussie Cattle Dog sheds his fur. But in the last month or two, they have really grown! Now they're getting taller and fluffier with much more leaves on the stems.

My main question - cutting the plants and hopefully replanting. First with the Cardinalis ... I have read that people just literally cut some off the top - like cutting off broccoli ... Can I do that? And *if* I do that, can I then replant that into the gravel as another plant? I am not at the point where I need to cut it at all yet - probably only halfway there. But I want to be prepared and have a plan.

Also the main center plant in the Tropical tank is a "large" Anubias variety. It was sold as one of the "full-size" (or maybe the 3rd of the 4th sizes - I can't remember if they have S, M, L and XL or just S, M, and L - it wouldn't have been the XL [really long tubes] but definitely a Large, and it said it would become quite a large, full-size, centerpiece plant.) - and it's definitely decided it wants to be the 'center piece' ... Initially I had it planted in the back, with the roots buried and the rhizome just barely above the gravel. It has just migrated into the center of the tank with a very large V-shaped rhizome and an absolutely ridiculous collection of roots in all directions, somehow keeping it just chilling in the same spot. I have read multiple times that you can absolutely cut Anubias plants and replant them - just by slicing off part of the rhizome and reusing/replanting. The thing is, all my other Anubias plants have *horizontal* rhizomes which offer some logical process to cutting and replanting: snip off some part of one end lol. This one is V Shaped - and with that long amounts of roots, I will probably wind up ripping out the roots accidentally, no?

On a related note- I have a similarly-sold "Large", or "Full-Size" Anubias in my Goldfish tank- I believe it's Anubias barteri var. Nana ... it's got long green stems connected to wide, fat, broad leaves ... it's also getting bigger and bigger and if I can trim the rhizome and just replant another "piece" I will (perhaps not today but again preparing a plan) - Just want to make sure this is doable.

Ok thank you very much to everyone for their time and help!
 

gray_matter16

My main question - cutting the plants and hopefully replanting. First with the Cardinalis ... I have read that people just literally cut some off the top - like cutting off broccoli ... Can I do that? And *if* I do that, can I then replant that into the gravel as another plant?
Of the 4 photos you've posted, I don't see any Lobelia Cardinalis. The red/pink plant in your first two photos looks much more like really leggy Alternanthera Reineckii. Lobelia Cardinalis has broader leaves and is green with a sometimes purple tint. This is sometimes the problem with Petsmart plants- they mislabel more frequently than other places. Regardless, with Alternanthera Reineckii, you can just cut off the top yes and plant the cutting into the substrate. Just make sure to leave a few healthy leaves on the original stem. If the original stem is left with no heathly leaves, it won't be able to photosynthesize and will eventually die.

Personally if I were you, I would just cut mid-way down on all those red plants, plant the cuttings, and throw out the remaining bare stem. That way you'll be growing a healthy plant instead of having to look at the leggy stem all the time.
 
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BarristanTheBold

So the really angering part of this is that I had saved the package it came in for over a year now - simply because I threw it in a specific place, where it remained harmless for the last year- and I *just* threw it out a few weeks ago...

but...

Pretty sure it said Lobelia Cardinalis. I could not find it on PetSmart's website, but I found it on PetCo's website-

- this is exactly what I took off the shelf (in a laminated-cardboard wrapped plastic pouch...) When I purchased mine, there was a lot more reddish tints than this picture (which is pure green) - but that was pretty close to it-

And this Reddit post, this is *the exact package* I bought- except again, mine had red mixed in with the green, not fully green, not fully red, sort of mixed- but the leaves/look of the plant is *identical* and the package is identical, and on the back (this shows the front) says " Lobelia cardinalis " - which multiple people on that Reddit post confirm.

I am no expert on aquarium plants - and I certainly could not swear in court that the plant is Lobelia Cardinalis - but I could swear in court that the package said Lobelia Cardinalis and looked exactly like all these other ones bearing the same name, except for a different shade of leaf.
 
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gray_matter16

I definitely agree that both the links you've posted here look like Lobelia Cardinalis. What I'm saying is that the red/pink plants from your first two photos do not look like the links you've posted (or any other photos I can find online) of Lobelia Cardinalis. They look exactly like my Alternanthera Reineckii plants when they're not getting enough co2 (tall and leggy). Alternanthera Reineckii are a stem plants that can be cut and replanted.

Your last two photos may be Lobelia Cardinalis, but even that I'm not sure on. Your last two photos of that green plant have much longer and larger leaves than pics I've found and the two links you posted of Lobelia Cardinalis.
 
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Steve13

Lobelia cardinalis look different when grown emerged vs submerged. Emerged will get red/purple color, submerged will get green .....
 
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BarristanTheBold

So I know that this is old but I wanted to comment on it because of some discoveries I have made.

I stopped by my local PetSmart on Saturday morning (it's close to an hour away so I don't get there often.) They had Alternanthera Reineckii in small plastic "tissue culture" packages. It's definitely my plant. They also had Lobelia Cardinalis packages, and definitely not what I bought. But behind it on the same shelf, there were packages labeled Lobelia Cardinalis *that had Alternanthera Reineckii obviously inside it*. That's definitely what I got. Bamboozled. Just want to point out that I'm not as crazy as I seem.

The plants have finally developed a little ...I cut the tops off when they got very tall, and stuck them in the gravel in various spots- and all of them are growing now too. I admit they're somewhat all of a pain in the genitals because they all constantly shed leaves, but the tradeoff is having a nice, red, leafy plant in the tank.

So thank you very much for all of your help, ya'll were right, I was in disbelief because I was *certain* the package said something different - and then I saw it myself.
 
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ProudPapa

I feel your pain. When I was first starting out I bought one of those plants in the tube, and the directions plainly said to plant it in the substrate. It was Java fern, so that was less than wonderful advice.
 
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