The Planted Tank Forum banner

Would you prefer shorter (3-4") or longer (6-8") stem cuttings?

  • Short

    Votes: 11 28.9%
  • Long

    Votes: 27 71.1%

Stem Length Preference?

689 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ringram
I have often pondered what length of stem cuttings people would prefer when I ship out plants.

I myself would prefer the shorter stems because I hate dealing with stems that have been bent for 3-4 days and also I think the shorter stems would allow more to fit in the bag.

Keep in mind that I use quart size bags to keep shipping costs down.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
definitely long. often short cutting don't survive the transplant.
you can coil up any length of stem in your bag for shipping.
once transplanted it will un-coil itself to the light in days.
It helps to pack long stems between heavy duty paper towel.
long cuttings can have added value to the buyer who'll risk to
cut them and get 2 stems. if someone sends me short cuttings,
they better already have roots on them, or they'll be trouble :angryfire
I agree spypet.....

I prefer healthy mature plants with some roots versus the growing tips...
but are the growing tips any less healthy??

when i receive plants i find it is easier to plant them without their roots

if i receive plants with roots, i just trim them off and stick the stem into the substrate

i actually like planting with smaller stems, easier to navigate around the tank with them!

in my experience after a while they all end up looking the same, regardless of whether you planted it with or without roots

of course i'm not talking about a little 1/2 inch stub, but like a stem that is 3-4 inches is sufficient
See less See more
Since roots are how most plants take in their nutrients. not having any roots makes them have to work that much harder to bounce back after shipping. I hate it when Im sold plants without roots. because they always seem to wind up dieing. So I prefer getting a long stem that I can dice to needed lenght. I guess it really depends on the individual plant.
the plants seem to stay planted if you have some root structure under the substrate rather then just a stick in the ground.
I prefer shorter stems....I can control the new growth and prune and shape better. When I got long stems I usually cut them in half anyway.

As for plants without roots.....It shouldn't matter whether you get them with or without roots. If you can grow plants, they will grow, regardless. They shouldn't die as a result.
Excellent points.

Keep in mind that most times (and all in my case) stem cuttings are fresh toppings so they will not have roots. I think if you expect roots with stem plants you are asking too much. Stem plants can absorb their nutrients from the water column so roots are not at all necessary.

A healthy plant put into a healthy environment will heal itself very quickly. If you have stem plants dying it is because they don't have what they need, not because of the way they were cut.

I have put some seriously abused plants in a healthy tank and it is amazing how resiliant they are. They will bounce back from practically nothing if their requirements are met.
I have put some seriously abused plants in a healthy tank and it is amazing how resiliant they are. They will bounce back from practically nothing if their requirements are met.
If they didn't/couldn't we wouldn't have so much concern over invasive noxious weed in our waterways. :wink:

As for the topic at hand, I prefer short stems. I typically will trim stems down to 4-5" before planting since, as Robert mentioned, a long stem shipped over several days in a small bag is too corkscrewed to plant neatly.
You can always make long stems short. But it's much harder to make short stems long.
More stem length=more nodes. Nodes are what really matter.
Judging by poll results, in the future I will ship long stems if possible. Thanks for everyone's input.
I've found that stems which are 5-6" tend to work pretty well and I haven't really had any complaints about dead/dying plants upon arrival. Plants are quite resilient - you'd be surprised. I've had plants come back from almost nothing.
Rex - why would you want to make a short stem long? More short stems will be more likely to be straight and easily planted without bending every which way.
MrBelvedere - nodes, schmodes IMO. As long as the cutting is healthy, it will bounce back with new healthy nodes within a few days.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.