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How do you trim your aubias?


Active Member
  • Joined
    Jan 31, 2023
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    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    My jungle tank is ready for some trimming back, and there are a lot of overgrown anubias. I would prefer to leave them attached to the wood and just trim from the tips back a few leaves, because I love the way the roots are clinging to the driftwood. I assume that new leaves will sprout from the rhizome and form a new tip (or tips), but will they look “bad” like this for a long time? Do most of you cut off the nicer, newer tips and just reattach them? If you cut off the growing tip will the rhizome sprout new leaves from places where older, ragged or algae laden leaves had been cut off?

    If I do cut the tips, will the rhizome branch out and form multiple trunks, so to speak? I am certainly not going for a photo-worthy show tank, but I do like it to look it’s best.
    Maybe it is a tradeoff between a new, fresh looking plant vs a nice, established, clinging root system.


    For me, anubias have always been a little tricky to get looking like I want. They are slow growers, as you know, so it takes time to get them to the size and shape you are wanting. But, then they continue to grow and you are faced with a dilemma. How do you trim them back to what you want?

    I have found that they don't only grow from growing tips. If you notch up the rhizome, they will grow from there. You can do this to make them more bushy. Alternatively, you can trim the leaf/stem you don't like and it is possible that it will encourage growth from the place you cut. Whether it will be one leaf or two, I don't know.

    In my tanks, I use anubias that I know will only grow to the size I want, usually small. This limits me having to trim leaves that get too large and throw off the aesthetics. However, I have has nana send up a leaf or two that is much taller than the others. Of course, this means something changed in the environment so I have to deal with that. My method is trim the offending leaf and ensure a stable environment to encourage the plant to go back to the size I want.

    Not sure if I was much help but it's a good question that many people face. Thanks for asking it.

    All the best,