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Low growing plants

It was a happy accident, but I've gotten hygrophila polysperma, h. difformis 
and hteranthera zosterfolia  to creep as a low-growing ground cover. Planting 
the stems in almost horizontal in the gravel seems to encourage this, and 
once it starts creeping, it grows horizontally, rather than vertically. 
Lighting doesn't seem to be an issue.

In the case of the stargrass, I believe the stems were actually not rigid 
enough to grow up, due possibly? to softwater conditions.


> 2)  How, after a plant has started "reaching" for light (and you fix the
>  lighting problem) do you get the plant to return to a low-growing habit?