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Re: Trimming/pruning/maintaining crypts

I grow my crypts in trays, and they usually get quite crowded before I get
around to doing anything about them.  I usually have a solid mass of roots
and runners that holds on to the gravel, and I have to get pretty rough
with it in order to break it up.  The main "parental" plant or plants
usually have dozens of runners  going in all directions.  In order to get
the plants separated, I have to tear off most of the roots and runners, and
a number of leaves break off, too.  The younger plants usually only consist
of 3 or fewer leaves, and they, too, can be so crowded that they get
roughed up pretty badly in the process of separating them.  However, they
will recover if planted with decent lighting. (2 to 3 watts per gallon).
The smallest plants and pieces of rhizomes can be floated in a guppy tank,
and they all produce little plantlets that are fine for planting or sending
through the mail.  These little plantlets are actually ideal for sending
through the mail, because they last in the bag a lot longer than larger
plants.  It is possible to get 50 to 100 of them from one 4 x 6 tray of
moderately crowded plants.

I definitely agree with Roger that one shouldn't send the beat-up plants
just pulled out to the LFS, but, rather, one should let them recover and
grow under uncrowded conditions for a while before uprooting them gently
without damage.

Paul Krombholz, in cool, dry, central Mississippi.