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Advice for Pruning/Trimming Ludwigia Ovalis

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Hi all,

I have a high tech (decent light, decent soil, ferts, co2) planted tank and i just can't seem to get my ludwigia (ovalis) to grow the way i see it in pictures. Every time I prune it, it shoots 1-2 new sparsely-leaved stalks directly to the surface and grows horizontally from there.

So I end up with nothing but diagonal stalks i most of my tank, and a bunch of lovely red/yellow leaves in the top 5% of the water which I can't see due to my aquarium rim. 😄


Is there a secret tip to trimming ludwigia to train it to stop shooting to the surface? Or do you think this behavior is specifically due to my light setup? I have a pretty good light (lifegard aquatics 20W) so I assume i'm just trimming it wrong.

I attached a photo of some of the shoots and a screenshot of my attempt at calculating my PAR. I love the ACO community and hope to hear from y'all soon. 🙂

Screenshot 2021-03-07 184833.png



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I try to trim initial stems as low as possible, because they do branch off at the node once trimmed -- pretty sure there's nothing you can do about that. But trimming it short makes those two branched stems start lower to the ground and leads to bushier growth, especially as you can continue to trim and stems branch. 

But eventually, unless you are blasting it with light from multiple angles, the bottoms are going to lose leaves and get leggy.  So every few months or whenever I feel like refreshing the scape, I will trim several inches off the tops and actually pull a lot (or even all) of the bottom portions. Then I'll replace those leggy bottom stems with new fresh tops. Ludwigia grows so fast that there's really no fear in doing that kind of restart. It'll need trimming in a week or two anyway.

I prolong the need to pull out leggy stems by planting dense medium-height plants in front of them, like crypts, to hide the scraggly crap.

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