May 2002

May 2002


May 2002


Well this month was a treat for me to say the least For the almost two years that I have had planted tanks I have never had the privilege of seeing any of my swords have flowers or offshoot plantlets. This month I was over run by them! It started early in the month with the Echinodorus Martii sending up a flower stock. This stock was kind of cool looking, it shot straight up and was pretty thick (about 5mm in diameter) at the top of the stock above the water level it started to develop its flowering head. This clustered head was shaped like an Aloe Vera plant the way the leaves grew out from the stem. At each base of a leaf there was a tiny flower forming. Each flower had a little stem that came off the main stem and ended in 3 little green balls at first. Each of these little balls turned into a small white flower that only lasted for about 1 week at most. I left the flower stock up to see if these little budding flowers would turn into plantlets. Well they did not and about two weeks into waiting to see if it would I noticed the leaves from the main plant below in the water column slowly begin to die off. I decided to cut the flower stock off at the base of the stem to see if all of the energy was going to the flower head instead of to the main plant. Seems like it was, about a week after this the main plant had bounced back and was starting to look a lot better.

The other sword that decided to send up flower stocks was my Echinodorus Bleheri (Amazon Sword). I have seen many an Amazon sword at the local LFS’ have flower stocks on them but have never had the pleasure of having any do this in my tank. About a week after the E. Martii had sent up its flower stock the E. Bleheri decided it was jealous and wanted to join in on the fun. At first it only sent out one flower stock with about 6 small flower bud nodes and developing plantlets. If you have not ever seen what these look like, the main plant from its centre sends up a stem about 2-3mm in diameter and on this stem there develops little nodes (like a bump) along this stem. At each node a couple of leaves start to form and also a little flower. This flower is small and white in colour. After the flowers come and go there develops a small plantlet of a baby sword. One on each side of the node, so at each node two small sword plants will grow. The stem keeps on rising and along the way there can be many nodes and many plantletts. If you want to cultivate these small swords from the parent plant you need to let the small plant grow and develop a root system. This should only take about a week to two at most. After the roots have grown a bit from the small plant you can take a very sharp knife and cut the plantlett away from the stem. Be very careful not to cut into the base of the plantlett or else you may damage the plant in question. Ok so this sword sends up a stem and I think cool this should be fun to watch develop…Well it’s jealousy must have been enormous!!! What does it decide to do??? It sends up another 4 flower stems!!! Not only that, on the original stem it decides to have offshoot stems start to grow!!! So here I am having never had the privilage of having this happen in my tank before and this plant decides to give me at least 10 - 15 little plants and wants to keep on going!!!. What am I going to do with them all???

Well as luck would have it we have to move and I have to take the tank down. So off I go with this plant and all of its little plantletts and take it to the local LFS. I also take cuttings from a couple of plants I will keep and some other whole plants.

Man this is kinda depressing looking at a very large Bare Bottomed tank that had just been fully planted!!! I can’t wait to move and replant the sucker!!! Till then………


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