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Lace plant experiences
I needed to control a monster lace plant, Aponogeton madagascariensis, and
asked for help here.
Since no one had any answers, I had to improvise - and here is the result:
The plant was in a high-light 2x96W PC, CO2 injected, 250 l tank (76 deg F,
kH and gH > 25!, pH 7.4,) in an old 2" substrate, 2-3 mm gravel enriched
with laterite, clay, jobes sticks. Its bulb was the size of a small potato,
about 4" in diameter and 2" thick. Its leaves were 14"+ long and 5" wide, on
15" stems. . And it was taking over the tank with dozens and dozens of
My first plan to control this monster was to cut off all the roots (which
are formed on the crown like most other Apon bulbs), to remove the bulb and
cut off any daughter bulbs which I thought had formed at the side. There
were about five growth points ("eyes") from which leaves were produced.
After I removed the bulb, however, I realized that there were not daughter
bulbs and I simply cut off a sliver of the bulb (1cm thick, the size of a
quarter) with one of the eyes on it. I replanted the original bulb and let
the other float in the tank. After a little while, both the old bulb and the
cut off piece produced lots of roots and the bulb decided to flower. I
eventually sold the cut-off.
After the flowering was over (three stalks, lots of pollinated seeds) the
bulb grew even more, and had about 10 eyes!
In frustration, I pulled off all the leaves, hoping it would take some time
to regain its original size. Ha. The energy in the bulb was tremendous, and
within 2 months, I was back were I started from! Lots of long leaves.
Again, I cut off all the roots, pulled the bulb out and noticed that it was
getting weaker. There was a soft spot in the middle, indicating either
damage and rot, or used up tissue that was used in foliage production. This
time, I cut all the eyes off, each with a piece of the original bulb
attached (about 1 cubic cm). Some if the eyes were destroyed in the process.
Now, I have eight pieces with between 5 and 15 leaves, floating in the tank.
They are all now growing new roots and I expect that in two weeks, they will
be strong, independent little plants. I expect the long leaves to come off
and be replaced by newer, smaller leaves, with much shorter stems.