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Re: dying Java ferns

Some discursion about Java fern not doing so well prompted this comment by

"After a pruning reminescent of a 
flat top hair cut and a bit of pulling out rhizome things it has bounced
and looks better than ever. Anybody ever see this? My theory is if you dont 
prune if for so long, say a year or so, it kind of overgrows itself and
cut back to grow again."

I have the same situation with several Java ferns (small leaf variety) 
that have been growing on the same pieces of wood I originally put them on
about 3 years ago. They are now showing signs of stress as the rhizome has
continued to grow on top of itself. If the piece of wood remains
undisturbed for a long period of time sitting on the substrate, the rhizome
will venture off looking for less crowded place to expand the plant. But,
since I often remove the wood when trying to catch a fish or do tank
maintenance, the rhizome has usually nowhere to go but back over itself.
The stress manifests itself in that the older leaves continuously produce
plantlets at their tips and the newer leaves appear white and malnourished
near the leaf base and petiole. Apparently they are being choked out. I'll
thin them out one of these days.  
--- Eric