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Re: Swords

Daniel Boyer asked:
>1) Is it possible to cut each plant in half to form two plants or will that
>kill it?  (ie: how can I propogate the swords?)

Yes, you can divide the sword, but you might not get the expected result.  I
did this a few months ago (it was accidental), and Karen Randall eased my
fears, on the list, that I had destroyed the plant.  (Check the archives for
this past January, if you're interested in checking out that discussion.)

Karen wrote:
>As long as there is at least a part of the vegetative cone (growing tip) on
>each section you replanted, it should recover.  How long it takes will
>depend on how much of the cone needs to regenerate.

I ended up with one largish plant, with fewer leaves (the half that had lost
all the roots, but kept most of the leaves - it regrew its roots, and
doesn't appear to have suffered much at all), and a bunch of little swords,
which grew from the base of the section with all the roots, but which had
kept just a few of the leaves intact (at last count, I think it had
generated 18 or 20 new plantlets... I've now populated an entire 29 gallon
tank with them.  I still have that vegetative cone sitting in the 29,
although it's lost all its older leaves now, and just supported by the new
growth.  It's still sending up plantlets!)

>PS: some of the leaves are turning yellowish (as apposed to the nice deep
>green of the other leaves)... this looks like a nutrient deficency... which
>deficency would cause yellowed leaves on swords?

Are the affected leaves on the outside of the plant?  As long as the new
growth is a deep green, and it's just the older leaves that are affected
(which you can just pick off), I don't think you have anything to worry
about.  I think it's normal for the outer leaves to be shed, especially if
the plant is moved around or suffers some other kind of minor injury.  If
it's the new growth, then I'd start to worry about a nutrient deficiency.
Someone please weigh in, if my speculation is only half-right.

Alysoun McLaughlin
Wheaton, Maryland