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Re: [AGA-Member] Very Big Swords

Working form the outside in, you can remove almost all of
the leaves. The more you remove, the harder for it to
recover, ime. I like to leave at least 3 or 4 leaves but
usually I have to leave more than that to ensure that I
don't damage the part of the rosette the sends up the new

Slower growing swords like a ocelot, of course, will
recover more slowly than a bleheri or rubin. 

Sometimes, I'll replace a plant entirely with one of the
smaller plantlets that grows on the flower stalks.

Once you have a smaller plant, you can try to keep it
smaller by removing leaves before they get too large.

Another method is to sink your fingers into the substrate
around the around the root mass and and lift gently until
you feel some of the roots snapping. I think Walstad
mentions this method in her book. I'm not partial to
stunting a plant this way. I'd rather leave lots of roots
to feed new leaves than leave a lot of old leaves without
adequate roots.

Also, I find that the swords seem to grow more slowly when
they have a flower stalk or two growing -- I guess the
"energy" is mostly diverted to the stalks.

Also, if a sword, like rubin or bleheri, gets really large,
you can probably find multiple rosettes at the base. You
can separate or cut these away, leaving just one.

Good luck,

--- Cheryl Rogers <cheryl@wilstream.com> wrote:

> Hey y'all.
> I have a bunch of swords in my 30-gallon high tank and
> have been caring 
> for them a little too well. :-)   They are becoming huge
> and blocking 
> the light for all other plants, which are slowly dying
> out.
> I have already removed three of the plants, which served
> only to allow 
> the remaining swords to grow larger!
> How many leaves can I remove without destroying a plant?
> Is this an 
> effective way to reduce size for a while, or must I start
> completely over?

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