Hello colleagues. In today’s article, I would like to discuss with you a rather interesting topic that concerns the reproduction of aquarium plants at home.
In particular, let us consider what are the ways of reproduction of echinodorus. Despite the fact that aquarium collections can be a couple of dozen types of Echinodorus, in amateur aquariums there are usually only a few of the most common types.
There were a lot of reflections on this topic, who talk about the difficulties of cultivating this plant, and someone argues about the high demands on the chemical parameters of water. I think that the complexity of cultivation has nothing to do with it, since I have not yet met aquarists who have had any problems with the cultivation of echinodorus.
The reason lies in the difficulties of reproduction of certain species, as a rule, these are collection and selection variations of a plant. Add to this the lack of information on the reproduction of all other species, and the result is a sad picture.
Indeed, in amateur aquariums, one can find mainly species that reproduce with the help of creeping shoots (for example, echinodorus tenellus and latifuss) and species that easily form daughter plants with peduncles (E. Bleher and parviflorus). But among these amazing plants there are a lot of rare species that very rarely form arrows in flowers in aquariums or never form arrows at all. But in wet greenhouses, they grow excellently or not at all.
Some terrestrial forms of echo, such as Berteroi, often bloom, but never form daughter plants on floral arrows.
As with many aquarium plants, growing echinodoruses in a wet greenhouse is an order of magnitude more efficient than if you were engaged in such things in aquarium. As a rule, novice aquarists do not even suspect that most aquatic plants have a land form in nature.
However, propagation in the air has its drawbacks, in particular, the giant size of the bushes, as a rule, broadleaf species are susceptible to gigantism.
In the case of vegetative propagation, the planting material is of very poor quality and needs long cultivation. If cultivation is carried out from seeds, then you may encounter low germination and mass destruction of crops in the first months of life.
According to professionals, the only and most significant lack of growing from seeds is the danger of cross-pollination of completely different species, which ultimately leads to the formation of a large number of rootless hybrids, which are already on the market and in pet stores like dirt. But we deviated a bit from the topic and let’s consider the options for reproduction of echinodorus in aquarium conditions.
To date, there are three ways of cultivating echo: daughter plants on the peduncle, growing seeds and dividing rhizomes. I don’t see any reason to dwell on the first two methods, as this is troublesome. Let’s consider the third option, as it is the only one suitable for the overwhelming mass of Echinodorus species.
Reproduction of echinodorus by dividing rhizomes has several advantages.
If you have some experience growing aquarium plants, then this method will be more acceptable to you, since it is most effective in the home. This method is most suitable for some types of echo, since it can give much better results than if you grew a hydrophyte on a flower stalk.
For other species, this method is the main one.
The division of the rhizome of the mother plant makes it possible to regularly obtain high quality planting material in small quantities. There are species that necessarily periodically need to cut the rhizome.
Without Ekhinodorus Intermedius, without such an operation, the rhizome and the roots themselves may begin to rot, and other water forms appear surface leaves and the plant acquires a marsh form. If you take a great interest in reproduction by means of flower arrows, then the probability of exhaustion and shredding of the uterine bush is high.
If you cut off the back wall of the rhizome, then you can restore the plant in a short period of time.
The best tool for this operation is considered to be a well-sharpened medical lancet. The razor blade is no good, as it may sag at the most inopportune moment, and you will get uneven sections. We take the mother plant from the aquarium and spread the roots to it.
To start, inspect the bush carefully and decide whether it is really necessary to cut it. There are cases when, after inspection, it becomes clear that such a bush is better to plant back into the ground.
It is better to make cuts from the side of the roots, turning the plant upside down. It is necessary to cut a bush in such a way that not several leaves and roots are left on both separated parts. The most common mistake of beginning aquarists is the separation of part of the rhizome without leaves and roots.
If you lose only the roots, then you can hope for a positive result. But if there are no leaves, the result will be the same: the buds will germinate, but the daughter plants will grow extremely slowly and grow small and weak.
In the end, you will have spoiled the uterine bush, if you leave part of the rhizome with a growth point and no roots.
Echo breeding in a similar way can be done quite early, as a rule, most species are ready for such breeding in a year and a half. For example, in Echinodus barthii, a spherical rhizome 15 millimeters in diameter appears annually; in an echo portoalegrensis, it is oblique or horizontal with a length of 3 centimeters.
After completion of the operation, it is necessary to remove weak and old leaves from the plants, and the shrub is placed back on the old place. I would like to note one interesting feature.
After this procedure, if the bush was healthy, then its appearance does not change much, and, very often, the hydrophyte accelerates in growth. A plant separated from the mother bush can be left to float on the surface of the aquarium.
After the buds appear, and the plant begins to grow, it can be gradually deepened. By the time the roots appear in the daughter plant, the bush of the separated echo needs to be planted in the ground.
The final step that you will need to do is to separate the children from the stalk. Due to the fact that the kidneys grow unevenly, as a rule, several children begin to grow faster than others and do not allow them to develop. When the daughter plants form into full-fledged bushes, they must be quickly separated and the rest of the buds will grow.
Similarly, with some rhizomes, you can collect several children every month. And this procedure can continue for a month or a year, until the mother bush loses the remaining leaves and finally decays.
There is another working method of breeding echoes – cut in half through the growth point. On each half there is only one, but a big baby.
This method may seem wild to some lovers of aquatic plants, but it gives excellent results and with good further care, it can double the number of mother bushes.