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To keep "giant hygro", or Hygrophila stricta, in nice
shape with few upper roots showing, lots of lower
leaves, beautiful growth, etc. you need to feed it
This plant grows so fast, it can look lousy in a hurry
due to its high need for nutrients. I seem to feed mine
with Jobes sticks for Ferns and Palms at least once
per month. I break the Jobes into four pieces and
give each hygro stem one piece. They seem to love it
and lose less leaves when they are well fed. I noticed
that their roots grow right into the Jobes when I have
uprooted individual stems.
I only notice the "unsightly" root problem (if it is a
problem) when the lower leaves fall off. The lower
leaves only fall off when the plant needs nutrients.