I have a very new aquarium and planted two specimen of Echinodorus Tenellus in the fresh dirt/gravel substrate. I bought the plants without paying too much attention to the stems they were developing but now I'm beginning to get a little worried about them. My main goal is to get the plant to propagate in order to get a nice bed of grass, and from what I read Echinodorus is supposed to generate runners. However, I don't see any runners yet. What I do see is the stems on both of the plants growing like crazy and developing a large number of buds.

So my question is, should I just let the plants grow flowers or would it be better to cut the stems, hopefully letting the plant create runners instead?

Attached is a picture of the plants. As you can see there's one runner already there but that was already there when I bought it and it's not doing very well I think.

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1 Answer 1


It will produce runners. One of the principal benefits live plants is that they absorb nutrients that normally just sit in the water at the end of the nitrogen cycle. That's good, so let the plant grow and trim it only when it gets too big. It will start to develop branching rhizomes much like a strawberry plant does, and it will also develop runners as well (that's actually what you see in that picture). Just let it do its thing, trim off any material that starts to die and otherwise enjoy.

  • Moderator note: Comments have been removed; please see meta.gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/689/… for more information.
    – Niall C.
    Nov 25, 2015 at 21:33
  • The flowering parts (inflorecences) of this species are 'proliferate'. That means they will produce new plants vegetatively. This is different than most plants where these parts simply produce seeds. I don't grow this plant, but have observed similar species in the same family, and it seems that they will produce offshoots near the surface that you can push into the substrate to take root. It looks like you might need more light. It takes a lot of light to be successful with aquatic plants! You can collect the seeds and propagate this plant this way as well. Nov 26, 2015 at 17:45
  • @EricDeloak is absolutely right about the lighting. People who do aquaScaping use lots of lights, and specialize tubes to produce light in the right bands. There are some ingesting setups.
    – Escoce
    Nov 26, 2015 at 19:00

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