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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know (or have a list) of what stem plants do not need regular topping and replanting to stay looking good?

I recall seeing a comment by Tom Barr somewhere that he doesn't have to do that with a number of his stem plants, so I'd love to know what those are.

These are some that I'm considering, and I'd like to know if any of them aren't a pain to take care of as such! Even if I could just trim the tops or trim them down to the bottom stem so they'd grow back that'd be okay, but I'd like to just know which are easiest as such.
- Rotala wallichii or macranda
- Ludwigia (various)
- Alternanthera reineckii or rosaefolia
- Pogostemon erectus or stellata
Limnophila aromatica
- Tonina sp Belem or fluviatilis
- Eichornia diversifolia
- Didiplis diandra
- Hygrophila corymbosa
 

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Bacopa - i trim all the longest one all the way down near root and let it regrow, super easy
Guppy grass, Najas guadalupensis - not sure if this is considered as stem plant, but it looks good no matter how you trim, oh and it is impossible to kill it
Wisteria - trim when it grow in the directly you don't like, i forced mine to grow only sideway, impossible to kill
Myriophyllum matogrossense - grow like weed
 

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Pogostemon Erectus is a somewhat slow but straight growing stem that can have a lot of sideshoots.
Ammania Bonsai is a nice slow growing plant stem plant too that is somewhat easy.
Tonina Fluviatilis - medium growth and not weedy. Nice leaf pattern.
Bacopa caroliniana although it grows a bit fast, it is not as weedy as the common ludwigias.
Persicaria Sao Paolo - nice stem plant that grows a bit fast but not weedy.
Rotala Macrandra Red - is also nice red stem. Medium growth but now as weedy as Rotala Mini butterfly
Limnophila aromatica can be a bit weedy but it is easy to maintain.
Ludwigia senegalensis - medium growth with a very nice leaf pattern and color.

I'd stay away from the more common ludwigias if you don't want to be trimming too much plus the ludwigia plants like to grow sideways with high light. Dildipis Diandra is a very weedy plant too. Myriophyllum matogrossense is a no no because to grows fast and weedy. I usually just keep 1 stem just to own it in my grow tank but never let it have more than 3 stems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rotala macrandra is very demanding, Limnophila aromatica takes topping very well.
Rotala is demanding in what sense? Of constantly needing to be trimmed and replanted to look decent? Or as in particular in terms of requirements to grow it?

And with L.aromatica, when you say topping do you mean say to cut the top three-quarters off and let it regrow from the stump if it starts to look stringy and lose bottom leaves? (Or did you mean that you have to replant those top sections and the stump/existing roots will die back? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pogostemon Erectus is a somewhat slow but straight growing stem that can have a lot of sideshoots.
Ammania Bonsai is a nice slow growing plant stem plant too that is somewhat easy.
Tonina Fluviatilis - medium growth and not weedy. Nice leaf pattern.
Bacopa caroliniana although it grows a bit fast, it is not as weedy as the common ludwigias.
Persicaria Sao Paolo - nice stem plant that grows a bit fast but not weedy.
Rotala Macrandra Red - is also nice red stem. Medium growth but now as weedy as Rotala Mini butterfly
Limnophila aromatica can be a bit weedy but it is easy to maintain.
Ludwigia senegalensis - medium growth with a very nice leaf pattern and color.

I'd stay away from the more common ludwigias if you don't want to be trimming too much plus the ludwigia plants like to grow sideways with high light. Dildipis Diandra is a very weedy plant too. Myriophyllum matogrossense is a no no because to grows fast and weedy. I usually just keep 1 stem just to own it in my grow tank but never let it have more than 3 stems.
I'd never much kept stem plants so this is an entirely new area for me with much to learn. When you say weedy, do you mean that it grows very quickly and invasively, (or just starts looking stringy and untidy quickly?) And when you are talking about side shoots with P.erectus, do you mean that as a good thing, as you can remove entire stems to let the upcoming shoots then replace them without having to replant?

I'm thinking I'll still stick mostly to rosette plants, but want to nevertheless experiments with mixing in some stem varieties this time around.

Bump: And can anyone tell me if with any of those species listed or mentioned if they will regrow easily and reliably from their roots if you just cut the group of stems down to substrate level or just above?

Admittedly I still find the concept of having to potentially trim and replant tops constantly a bit strange, as I'm wondering how those species happen to therefore propagate in the wild.
 

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Rotala is demanding in what sense? Of constantly needing to be trimmed and replanted to look decent? Or as in particular in terms of requirements to grow it?

And with L.aromatica, when you say topping do you mean say to cut the top three-quarters off and let it regrow from the stump if it starts to look stringy and lose bottom leaves? (Or did you mean that you have to replant those top sections and the stump/existing roots will die back? Thanks.
Not all rotala, just the macrandra, it needs a lot of light to reach its full coloration. L. Aromatica can just have the top part cut off and planted, and allow the roots to die off.
 

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Weedy meaning it just keeps growing in all direction until it fills up the space or the top of the tank. Not a really a good thing with a high CO2, high light tank.

The P. Erectus is nice when it grows a lot of side shoots. It is like a small grassy looking stem plant that is very compact.

I'll grab pictures of my tank. It is overgrown since I could not trim it after I cut my finger. I will never put my hand in the tank with an open wound LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. After listening to advice and researching, I've concluded that... I need a much bigger tank.
: )
- One in which I can try growing a cluster of every one of those species so that I could decide which one I like the look and care of best.
 

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Thanks. After listening to advice and researching, I've concluded that... I need a much bigger tank.
: )
- One in which I can try growing a cluster of every one of those species so that I could decide which one I like the look and care of best.
The way I handle this is to buy 2-3 stems of the plant I think I may like, plant them and see how they do. If they do really well, I can propagate it by topping and planting the tops until I get as much as I want. If not, it didn't cost much, and I just try another one. The For Sale forum here works pretty good for doing this, if you are patient.
 
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