I completely agree that the first step is being able to grow your plants well. Healthy plants is the foundation.This is a double edged sword. You 1st have to learn how to grow plants 1st. By this I mean actually be able to trim them and they grow back. For many this is THAT big wall or hurdle to overcome. Once you achieve good growing trimming is easy.
Art this is a great topic and is under discussed in the hobby.I completely agree that the first step is being able to grow your plants well. Healthy plants is the foundation.
I may be in the minority but trimming plants correctly for me was much more difficult. Here’s what I mean.
You often hear, cut the top off of stems, pull out the bottom and replant the tops. Easy to say but actually hard to do because some plants will be OK with this, some won’t and some will then won’t after a few times.
Other plants prefer you to trim and leave the old stem allowing them to grow back. However, as many of you know, this often creates in multiple stems growing from the node you cut. This may be good or may be bad for your aquascaping. So if you know what you’re doing, you do this intentionally and compensate for this. If you don’t do this intentionally, it presents additional issues.
Now, if you’re going Dutch-inspired like our friend @GreggZ or @Burr740, you need to tame fast growing stems to maintain that beautiful, but limited spot you have it in. How do you think they do this?
Now, if you want to go crazy creative and design wild shapes in your plants like @Cheattha Sae-Teaw ‘s tank of the month, trimming becomes intense. He meditates before trimming.
In all honesty, trimming to me is still something I continue to learn and try to perfect.
Anyone else find it challenging?
Trimming and appropriate placement is the hard part if you would want to have a cohesive scape. I still struggle with making a vision come to life (I know I'm not an artist). Gregg mentioned some great concepts and here are my thoughts:
I totally free with all of you, very good points, this is why I got away from planting stem plants, or at least minimized the amount of stems. I have a busy schedule with work and home so limited time to enjoy my hobby. So I choose slower growing plants and try to keep them as healthy as I can. I agree with learning how to trim and I have done it before. Just learn your plants and your tank, ask questions from people that have the results you want and, learn from them.Trimming and appropriate placement is the hard part if you would want to have a cohesive scape. I still struggle with making a vision come to life (I know I'm not an artist). Gregg mentioned some great concepts and here are my thoughts:
1. know how the plant propagates!
2. Know growth rate in YOUR setup.
3. For stems, remove leaves in the 1-2 inch area at the bottom before planting (I sometimes leave a small bit of the leaf stalk to aid in anchoring the plant)
4. After a few rounds of trimming, some plants develop unhealthy bases. Toss and plant the tips. (Amano said 7 round bur I'm not sure where he got that number from)
5. Remove unhealthy leaves at every trimming/planting.
6. If you're doing a bunch of trimming, make sure to vacuum/clean the substrate before replanting.
7. Make sure you have the appropriate tools!