Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: S.F. Bay Area, CA, USA
The lead ties (IF they're in fact lead) can be harmful if the water is acidic. Under alkaline conditions, they're relatively inert, but I prefer not to have them even within my zip code. I found that using stainless steel small-diameter nuts or washers are pretty effective. But if you plant with a pair of tweezers, weights shouldn't be necessary. What I do is to cut the lowest leaves into a spade shape so that it'll help to hold the stem in place. It's a little difficult to describe, but if you have a deep substrate, you don't even have to cut the leaves - just push the stem base far down enough that the first node (with leaves) is completely buried. The substrate above it will hold it down.