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Old 11-21-2020, 05:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stem plants rot

Hi folks, I need help refresh my memory and I’m struggling to find the answer from the Walstad book. What makes stem plants rot from the bottom and up? I’ve noticed this happen to Ludwigia for example and other stem plants as well.

Is it because light perhaps doesn’t reach the bottom of the plant? Or the light is too strong for a Walstad set up?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stem plants rot

Check if the substrate has gone anaerobic.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stem plants rot

Ludwegia have a tendency to develop bare bottom and rot over time. You have to discard the bottoms and replant the tops periodically to rejuvenate. With the exception of a few super easy stems, most stems behave the same due to, I guess, inadequate light penetration to the bottom due to distance to light source and shading.
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for the response. No, the substrate isn’t anaerobic right now. Plenty of root activity from other growing plants. I basically re planted the tops of Ludwigia again that we’re behaving weird.
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stem plants rot

Nice tank.

It could be that the substrate is poisoning stem roots with small amounts of H2S. Substrate looks okay but it could be borderline toxic.

In your tank, root area oxygenation by rosette plants is strong enough to protect roots from H2S. However, stem plants are not as vigorous rooters as rosette plants. They also need free CO2, whereas many other plants can get by with bicarbonates as their carbon source. Plants that cannot photosynthesize cannot oxygenate their root area.

Do you have a soil layer? (Soil iron reacts with H2S to neutralize its toxicity.)
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