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[ Q: separating runner plants from parent ]
The rule of thumb that I've seen in books is that you should wait
until the new plant growing on the runner is about 1/2 the size of the
parent plant. One book I read said that if you separate the runner too
soon, the new plant may not create runners when it matures. I don't
know if this is true, but it sounded interesting. Anyway, I'm a newbie
just parroting what I read. Perhaps someone with more real world
experience will give their input.

=== begin old post == 
       I was wondering if anyone could advise me of a good way of
separating and transplanting the runner shoots on one of my melon
swords(this is what I think it is).  There are five new shoots on
stem with roots and all.  When can I cut those away from the
parentplant? I
have tried in the past with poor luck.          Tracy in Idaho
== end old post ==

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