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Influences on leaf and stem size

When I first got Eichhornia diversifolia, some of the
stems were HUGE.  The plant does well for me but
doesn't get up to that size.  Same for Hydrotriche.  I
am NOT talking about stunting or anything.  

I know light intensity has something to do with it. 
Bigger when brighter.  The Baensch Atlas mentions iron
as a contributing factor.  Is that all?  How do you
grow those very large stems?  Sometimes I do get some
bigger ones when a stem right next to it is smaller.

Thanks, Cavan

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