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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've seen various plants take different forms from pictures on the net and even my own experiences. Now, I know that to some degree, the stages in the life of a plant are part of the reason, and also varying levels of nutrients from tank to tank. But has anyone tried to manipulate the shape of a plant with pruning (make it stringier and elongated, more bushy, etc.) at different stages or methods?
 

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Temp and lighting can effect shape a lot. Nutrients can effect color and condition.

Religious trimming can make stem plants compact and bushy while letting them grow they can get tall and lanky. High light can also have plants stay short and spread side to side as opposed to tall (reaching for light).

Trimming a plant like ludwigia will also make it send out two shoots from where you cut giving it even more dense growth.

When I let my Wistiria run rampant the lower stems would actually start to carpet the substrate until it found an opening to grow up.

So in short yes trimming will effect growth styles. Maybe not in a leaf shape way so much (and that may have been what you were asking) but in an overall style; definitely.
 

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When you say plant shape you mean one stem (growing tip +leaves) or the bush (one major root system + attached stems) ?

Typically when you trim frequently you will crowd more plants at a similar level this results in more dense and smaller leaf size... for example the H. pinatiffida in my journal , when grown and trimmed low it will have a 3-5cm leaf. Put one stem with plenty of space in all directions and you will get 20+cm in leaf size under the same conditions.

If you do not trim the plant will reach the surface and some will change leaf shape due to higher light. Let them break the surface and you will get very dif. leaf shape

Regarding the whole bush prune to the desired shape :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I didn't mean leaf shape per se, but height.

What it really boils down to is I've just planted gratiola viscidula in my 12 gallon long in hopes of getting it to grow like a background plant (long and stringy). Now, I guess I should assume though that if I force a plant to grow in a way it's wasn't meant to grow, it will eventually affect its health?
 
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