Question about air layers

annafl

Esteemed Member
I am hoping to bring a few (just a few, 3 or 4 since I have few that might be desirable to some of you) air layers to the auction. However, I started my air layers about March 24th. It will be about 5 weeks to the auction day. Should I cut them off at 4 weeks (after checking for roots), and pot them up a week or so before the auction? What would you all do?:confused:

Ana
 
Four weeks is a little tight for this time of year.I doubt they will be ready but you can always check and see.I put some layers on March 1 and none are ready yet even though they are starting to put out some roots.

I am hoping to bring a few (just a few, 3 or 4 since I have few that might be desirable to some of you) air layers to the auction. However, I started my air layers about March 24th. It will be about 5 weeks to the auction day. Should I cut them off at 4 weeks (after checking for roots), and pot them up a week or so before the auction? What would you all do?:confused:

Ana
 
You could always cut them off the day before the auction & Just bring the air layers. Let the winning bidders pot em up themselves.:) I may have to do the same. It's better to leave the foil on & bring them that way, rather than not having them well rooted in pots.
 
Good idea,that should be fine

You could always cut them off the day before the auction & Just bring the air layers. Let the winning bidders pot em up themselves.:) I may have to do the same. It's better to leave the foil on & bring them that way, rather than not having them well rooted in pots.
 
Four weeks is a little tight for this time of year.I doubt they will be ready but you can always check and see.I put some layers on March 1 and none are ready yet even though they are starting to put out some roots.

Ha, Ha - if you started them on Jan. 1st, they would be packed full of roots. March was much cooler than Jan so the roots did not start to bud right away.

Definitely a weird winter. :eek:
 
Thanks Randy, but doesn't that look cheesy? I wish I would have known about the auction beforehand, I would've started them much earlier. If I do just bring them with the foil, won't they wilt? Should I bring them in a bucket of water with the foil on? I don't want them to suffer and drop leaves.:( Is it ok to peek to see if there are roots forming?
 
Before cutting an air layer off the parent plant, always check to see if there's a nice root ball inside the Al foil. If any of my air layers were ready, I'd bring them over unpotted since I can fit a lot more air layers than potted plants in the car. The cargo space on the Queen Mary is limited with a full complement of passengers ( 3 plus driver). Air layers travel or ship quite well if kept damp; just don't cook them in full sun in a hot vehicle.
 
Do you think there will be others who will bring them unpotted and wrapped in foil? Also, if I do this, do I stick the foil part in a bucket of water for the trip or just wrap the leaves/plants in a damp towel?:confused:

Anita - don't fret, air layers have made it to the auction before. When you pot up an air layer, it often takes a few more weeks to establish itself in the potting mix. Some may even prefer to get an air layer so they can pot it up with a special mix of their own choosing. Heck - there have been cuttings brought and auctioned off before.
 
I just took a peek at two of the air layers. One larger one has just a few (4 or 5) 1/4 inch roots starting. The other (Moose's small nervia) has a few 1/2 inch roots coming. Do you think they will be ready by next week to bring to the auction? We are actually leaving on Saturday to come down that way so they would be cut on Saturday morning. Should I put them in a bucket of water or between damp towels? Please advise. I wish I would've known to start sooner! I could just saturate the sphagnum with water and then wrap them in damp towels? Help! I don't want to show up empty handed to my first auction.

Ana:(
 
I just took a peek at two of the air layers. One larger one has just a few (4 or 5) 1/4 inch roots starting. The other (Moose's small nervia) has a few 1/2 inch roots coming. Do you think they will be ready by next week to bring to the auction? We are actually leaving on Saturday to come down that way so they would be cut on Saturday morning. Should I put them in a bucket of water or between damp towels? Please advise. I wish I would've known to start sooner! I could just saturate the sphagnum with water and then wrap them in damp towels? Help! I don't want to show up empty handed to my first auction.

Ana:(

They don't sound ready yet IMO. Leave them on and pot them up when the ball of sphagnum is full of roots. There will be another garden tour this season. They will be nice well rooted plants by then. Don't worry showing up "empty" handed. It will be good to meet you in person. I was at the Spring Sale at Fairchild Tropical Garden today. From the people I spoke to today, it appears that this Tour at Flamingo is going to have a nice crowd coming.
 
:cool:Hi Anna a word from someone who has taken more great plants from the meetings than I can ever hope to return just come on over and enjoy. This could end up as an all time great show, lots of people are (JONES) for this meeting. Happy, Happy, Happy.
 

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I just took a peek at two of the air layers. One larger one has just a few (4 or 5) 1/4 inch roots starting. The other (Moose's small nervia) has a few 1/2 inch roots coming. Do you think they will be ready by next week to bring to the auction? We are actually leaving on Saturday to come down that way so they would be cut on Saturday morning. Should I put them in a bucket of water or between damp towels? Please advise. I wish I would've known to start sooner! I could just saturate the sphagnum with water and then wrap them in damp towels? Help! I don't want to show up empty handed to my first auction.

Ana:(

Should be ready for the next croton garden tour. I heard a rumor that the Glocks in Ft. Myers may be hosting. Guess we will have to wait for the announcement. Has the potential to be the mother of all croton auctions! There are so many more cultivars available! :eek:
 
Anna, if I recall correctly, you are in Sarasota? What you need for optimum growth is to do air layers at that time of year when the nightime temperature is consistently 70 degrees or warmer (usually in May; this current cool spell is atypical)
 
Here's a few pics of the air layers I potted up yesterday. Note all the healthy roots in the rootball. One is a Tiffany and I forget the name of the other common one...Air layers went on in early April during a warm spell
 

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Another question. When you cut off the air layers, do you remove any of the sphagnum moss? I put quite a bit on and I'm afraid they might rot if I leave that much. However, I'm afraid to mess with the delicate roots. Thank-you.
 
Ana, I have always left the moss, as I did not want to damage the delicate roots.
 
This is my first one! It's a Claude Lorraine and it looks pretty good. It had almost eight weeks though, but I think it needed it. This air layer had a small plant growing out of an old inflorescence. When I cut it, it fell on the ground and broke off the plant. I'm going to pot it up and keep it moist and see if it grows. I did several other air layers too. Ron, I finally did your nervia. It is tiny but looks good. I will try to speed it up now.:) Thanks for your help and advice, everyone. Phil, thanks so much for your pictures. They helped me see what I should look for.:D Darn, it, I wish I knew how to rotate photos so they wouldn't be sideways. Anyone know?
 

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I have done this with Stoplight and it did ok but it was in a very sheltered location with little direct sun.I am sure that most crotons would survive a direct planting if they had roots ,but you would probably lose most of the leaves while the plant is getting established.

Have any of you been successful at planting air layers straight in the ground? Maybe with a little staking? Just wondering if the middle step could be avoided. Thanks.
 
Have any of you been successful at planting air layers straight in the ground? Maybe with a little staking? Just wondering if the middle step could be avoided. Thanks.

I've done it before & the plants do fall behind in growth compared to a short potting session. Depending on the variety, it could only be a few weeks. When you see roots in one of the drain holes, their ready. :D
 
Thanks, Mike, Toby and Randy. So your experience has been that it really doesn't pay. The plant ends up falling behind instead. Toby, I agree that it's fun to 'try' them in different areas. I'm still at the point where I want to thicken up a planting by placing two stems close to each other to get a fuller showing. Some of my plants are one leader or air layers full on top, but leggy on the bottom. Just trying to take advantage of the warm season to its fullest. Thanks all.

By the way, is it better not to put two stems close together and just wait longer for the one stem to develop? So many questions! So sorry.

Ana
 
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