>> I have a Nymphaea Stellata bulb and it sprouted leaves around the base,
following this it sent up 3(with another on the way) floating leaves.
I have seen in magazines photos where there are no floating leaves and a very
dense rosette of leaves around the bulb. My bulb has stopped growing leaves
down near the bulb, but has instead sent up floating leaves.
Is there any way of preventing this, and bring on growth around the base? <<
To keep the plant from developing floating leaves, you need to snip the
floaters before they reach the surface. Eventually, the plant will "give up",
and concentrate on submerged growth. If even a few floating leaves are
allowed to develop, the plant concentrates on those, and loses the submerged
foliage. My guess is that it takes much less energy for the plant to meet its
needs via the floating leaves, which is why it will go that route if at all
Nymphaeas sometimes increase by producing offsets, but they need a very rich
substrate for this to happen in the aquarium. Again, I suspect that since
they are meant by nature to be a floating leaved plant, that continuous
submerged life is draining enough that propagation in the aquarium is not that
common. For sexual propagation, the plants must be allowed to flower without
cover, on the surface.
The plant does have a dormant period, and whether it comes back or not
depends to a large extent on how well it was able to feed in its previous
growth period. Many people with less than optimum conditions find that it
comes back several times, but usually smaller each time than the time before.
E-mail from: Karen Randall, 11-Jul-1995