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Re: plant groupings

Roger S. Miller hallucinated and wrote:
> It's been a slow week here on the APD, and I'm starting to suffer symptoms
> of plant-email deprivation.  My deprivation-induced hallucinations have
> even lead me to believe that there was a large, conversational response to
> my letter of last Sunday wherein I called for information about maintaining
> groups of plants.  Being the usually friendly type, I'm going to continue
> that conversation, hence this note about maintaining groups of
> Cryptocoryne wendtii.

Perhaps you have a small stand of C. sativa in there Roger? That could
induce the hallucinations. :-)

> Crypts as a family have a reputation as slow-growing, conservative plants.
> Some members of the family have the added problem of being difficult to
> grow.  C. wendtii is a relatively slow-growing plant, but it's one of the
> easiest crypts to keep. While the individual plants are slow growing and
> conservative, but groups of C. wendtii can be very aggressive.

Hmmm... I've never found C. wendtii to be particularly slow growing in
comparison to other Crypts. If you fertilize the substrate especially
with clay and fertilizer, this plant can grow quite rapidly.

> New plants arise from root runners.  Generally the new plants appear very
> close to the parent plant, and sometimes it just looks like the plant has
> spread out a little when actually there are two or more plants present.

I concur with this observation.

> The C. wendtii stands in two of my tanks requires no additional
> maintenance.  The stand in a third tank tends to drop older leaves.  I can
> leave those and they quickly melt away, but the dying leaves detract from
> the appearance of the group and I prefer to remove them when I first see
> them fade - when the leaf blade begins to yellow and the petiole curls.

That seems to be a problem with many kinds of Crypts although they look
better if you can keep conditions right so that they don't start to melt
from too bright of light or a change in lighting.

> Gad, this deprivation-induced hallucination is starting to fade, and it
> looks like I just responded to my own post.  Groan...this is
> embarassing.

I've done it before. (not the hallucination part, the replying to myself

> Does anyone else have something they'd like to add about maintaining
> groups of plants?  I'm looking especially for experience with other
> crypts, small groups of stem plants and "carpet" plants.

I've noticed that there is a big difference between how rapidly some
kinds of Crypts spread and the way in which they send out runners.

I have a medium sized brown Crypt which I think is C bullosa (check out
the picture at (http://www.geocities.com/PicketFence/4275/0021.JPG) This
plant sends runners out with new plants several inches away from the
parent plant. 

The green C wendtii (also pictured on in the PicketFence/4275 page) is
quite different. It grows into a dense thicket and doesn't spread much
at all. This is far more preferable if you want a grouping that doesn't
invade other parts of the tank. 

The upside of the C bullosa is that its easy to separate daughter plants
to sell or give away. C blassi, the huge Crypt, sends out thick runners
that surface 6" to a foot away. 

C crispatula (balansae) also sends out runners that make daughter plants
3-6 inches away.

C parva is very slow growing although I've not tried to stimulate it
much with fertilization. It spreads a few inches at a time but takes

C nurii is very very slow growing and I have not seen it send out a
runner yet although when I last moved one it had a very nice thick
rhizome going. We recently obtained a large selection of C nurii in a
shipment and all of these were made from cuttings which had a few white
roots on them. I think that these were grown emersed into dense thickets
and then uprooted and separated with a knife for propagation. Currently,
this plant is not too happy with me because I'm giving it more light
than it would like and it simply is not able to adjust. I also suspect
that this new MH bulb, a 5000K, has more actinic light which stimulates
photosynthesis too much and this causes the plant tissue to melt. 

Has ANYBODY read the latest article in TAG on crypt melting??? Nobody
has commented on this yet so I may have to resort to replying to my own
message too! Wait... I think I can see responses now, yes dozens of
them... floating up before me like ghostly images on the CRT... ;-)

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!