Trimming advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Trimming advice

Hi all

I've got a bunch of rotala at the back of my tank but I haven't really been very consistent with trimming and wanted to see if I could get some advice on this. So far I have basically been just trimming the tallest stems without thinking much about how the neighbouring stems will grow and how the scape will look overall, so at the moment the stems look healthy but overall the scape doesn't look very nice.

This is the latest picture of the tank:


As you can see, the rotala isn't very bushy at all, and because of how i've been trimming, the tallest stems are on the side and the shortest are in the middle when what I really want is a gradual increase in height from left to the right and front to back. Also because I think some of the stems are shading their neighbouring stems, some of the stems are being stunted a little.

I think I have two options at the moment, which is either:

1. To hack everything now down and replant some cuttings so that everything is at the same height; or
2. To let them do whatever they want for a two more weeks and try to shape it gradually

I'm not quite sure what I should do at this point but would be grateful if any experienced scapers could suggest something!

Thank you.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 11:17 AM
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Hi. I think options 1&2 are both viable plans. I would personally cut them all down (same height leaving an inch or 2) and replant the tops in hopes that the cut stems will regrow 2 more. Eventually getting the bushy look. Looking good nonetheless.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 05:57 PM
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with plants like rotala that grow pretty quickly I try and experiment as much as possible

I sometimes just do massive hack jobs and cut everything down to an inch of stem and toss the tops. others times I pull everything up and just replant the tops. I think hacking everything gives you that bushy look.

This type of bush is hard to keep since the tops will be bushy and will kill off the bottom leaves. in your scape I don't think it will be an issue.

keep hacking the plants back, an inch from where you last cut it until you get a nice hedge and the tops are nice and bushy but at the angle that you want them at
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 06:56 PM
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 07:58 PM
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If you want to change the shape of the group, do it by trimming the top of the plant into the shape you want. If you want to change the height of a plant while maintaining the shape of the group, uproot, trim the bottoms, and replant in the same spot.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Econde View Post
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjcarew View Post
If you want to change the shape of the group, do it by trimming the top of the plant into the shape you want. If you want to change the height of a plant while maintaining the shape of the group, uproot, trim the bottoms, and replant in the same spot.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyruler90 View Post
with plants like rotala that grow pretty quickly I try and experiment as much as possible

I sometimes just do massive hack jobs and cut everything down to an inch of stem and toss the tops. others times I pull everything up and just replant the tops. I think hacking everything gives you that bushy look.

This type of bush is hard to keep since the tops will be bushy and will kill off the bottom leaves. in your scape I don't think it will be an issue.

keep hacking the plants back, an inch from where you last cut it until you get a nice hedge and the tops are nice and bushy but at the angle that you want them at
Thank you all.

I have considered uprooting and keeping just the tops but... it is quite a pain in the ass so I avoid it. I should be doing that with my macrandra green but I always put it off.

I am aware that pruning stems back encourages branching, but strangely I don't get branching all the time. Sometimes I get two or three branches from the node just below I cut, but sometimes I only get one.
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Last edited by chicken.nublet; 10-02-2020 at 05:13 AM. Reason: .
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 07:10 AM
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Trimming advice

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Originally Posted by Econde View Post
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Would have read this article at least 5 times and I think will keep reading this whenever I try to trim the stems. Articulated and simple article for all.


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