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I hope this isn't rude....just thought some of the aquatic gardeners here might find it of interest.


All plants start growing toward the nearest source of light.

In areas of dense growth,this can be a struggle for survival,with some plants too heavily shaded to grow.

If you place stem plants very close together,most of the new growth will occur at the highest point of the

plant,with very little branching.

This is the phenomenon of Apical Dominance.

The growing tip will produce a hormone that inhibits lateral branching!

The hormone is sent down the stem,preventing the dormant lateral buds at each node from growing.

If you remove the growing tip of the plant,the flow of hormones is interrupted,allowing these lateral buds to

commence growing.

This is why pruning results in bushier growth!!

Then the race for the dominant position starts again...with the uppermost growth becoming the leader.

This leader then starts sending the hormone down the stem,inhibiting all the lower buds from growing.

Knowing this,the clever grower can use it as a tool.

Let's look at a fast growing stem plant like Hygrophila.

Take a fairly long stem and remove the growing tip.

Place it horizontally on the substrate and weigh it down with pebbles between the nodes.

Where is the highest point now??

They are all equal!

With no inhibiting hormone present,all of the dormant buds can now start growing and will also send down roots.

Great way to quickly grow a Hygro Forest.....or to quickly propagate a favourite plant.

Any comments guys?


Edited by JUNGLE
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Makes so much sense put like that!

I do it with a variety of plants myself but never even thought of horizontal planting of aquarium plants to gain extra growth!

Thanks for that - will definitely try it when I start working on a planted experiment.

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i know... :bighug:

takes a lot of experimentation and, unfortunately, plant death, to learn. *sigh*

aquatic plants seem to be more forgiving than terrestial plants. root prune a terrestial plant at the wrong time... *sigh*

blyxa japonica seems to be a-dominant and a plant you have to pay careful attention to. occasionally send out side shoots but if you don't pay attention to it, it sends all the energy into the head then melts! *boohoo*

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