02-06-2012, 01:52 AM
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I hate stem plants, and they hate me. If we were married, we'd end up on Jerry Springer throwing chairs at each other.
Forceps/tweezers don't work well for me because the mechanics only allow for manual closure, and not manual opening. Half the time, I just end up pulling the stem back out when I withdraw the forceps.
I use hemostats. If you don't have hemostats, needle nose pliers would be a second choice. I grasp the plant in the hemostats so that the stem is nearly parallel to the instrument, with the plant kind of laying back on my hand. The very end of the stem is between the very ends of the grasping surfaces. I insert the stem into the substrate. While keeping the instrument very still, I open the the grasping surfaces slowly and widely, letting the substrate fall back around the stem gently. I then slowly withdraw the hemostats at a 45 degree angle to the substrate and stem.
An equally effective technique is the use of very loud, very abusive language. You really have to intimidate the plant, shatter its self esteem, really assert yourself as the dominant life form. After all, you know how to use tools.