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[APD] Trimming/thinning E. tennellus
Jason Miller asks:
>>I have a small (12" x 3") area of E. tennellus that
has mostly grown quite tall (6"+). The newest growth
is about 1/2 the size, so I'm wondering how to thin
out the tall stuff so the newer growth can move in.
Can I just trim the leaves, or would it be best to
pull out the taller ones?<<
E. tennelus grows quickly-- even under sub-optimal
conditions, so in my experience the best course of
action is to pull the whole stand, seperate and
replant the strongest looking plants, and then sell or
trade the rest. It should take root and start sending
out new runners in 1-3 weeks. As you know once it gets
going, it fills in fast so the disturbance to your
aquascape won't last long. Trimming out old leaves
will work, but the bottoms of the trimmed leaves will
turn brown and ugly up the plant around the bases.
The one thing that always bothered me about "runner"
plants like chain swords, Glossostigma, Lileaopsis,
etc, is that once they get going, they run towards the
glass and stay there all bunching up along the front
and sides. I find this to be minimized by planting in
pairs (ie: 2 plants per pod planted together) and in
the center of the desired foreground. As they spread
outwards, you can direct them or even replant while
still on the runner to grow in the desired direction.
It's quite a bit of work, but makes the plant grow
into the desired area more reliably and faster...
Further, the "mother" plants are easily identified the
next time you have pull everything out, so you can
leave them in.
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