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afrogg 12-09-2007 06:48 AM

is it ok to trim this plant all the way to the roots
i just got the sudden urge to trim my pearl grass all the way to the roots so it can grow fresh leaves and so that all of its leaves would be grown in my tank. will it grow back if i do that? some of the old leaves on it are from before i bought it and the oldest leaves are dead or crusty...maybe it had different conditions back then or something

edit: I think the plant I'm asking about is Hemianthus micranthemoides ... pearl grass ... I originally thought it was baby tears but it's not.

Here is a stock picture of Hemianthus micranthemoides (although this one looks much healthier than mine :))

afrogg 12-09-2007 01:20 PM

I googled it some more and found that I can replant the tips so that's what I did ... cut everything off the mother plant down to the root and replanted little tips everywhere. usually in my tank this plant sends out horizontal shoots along the gravel so maybe in a few months I will have a nice carpet. :)

fish_4_all 12-10-2007 12:22 PM

I cut my pearlweed down to the roots many times when I had it and it came back very thick and fresh. When I would rpelant it took a long time to grow back in thick. I think leaving the roots is the best way to go. There should be a massive amount of roots and you could remove the entire root section, seperate them into smaller groups and replant.

afrogg 12-10-2007 06:01 PM

that sounds like a good idea! I will try it next time. I left the mother plant roots in there too, I can't wait until it grows back!! I love this plant.

I wonder if the crustiness on the old leaves is caused by biogenic decalcification. I have been reading about that and it seems to fit what I'm seeing ... crusty white deposits on the pearlweed leaves and a tiny bit on the glass walls too. do you know if pearlweed does biogenic decalcification? If so I bet that's what is causing my leaf crustiness. from what I read, biogenic decalcification seems to happen for certain plants in high-light, low-CO2 tanks ... and mine fits that description totally... right next to a southwest window with a lot of direct light and no CO2 system. but I love to see the sunlight on my plants so I have to figure out something that doesn't involve moving the tank. I started adding flourish excel last week so maybe that will help a little until I can figure out the CO2 thing without blowing everything up. :)

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