Air layering question

gardenscents(8)September 7, 2011

I have an 8 ft plumaria that is just too tall to bring in. It was marginal last year. In mid to late July, I attempted to air layer about half way down the trunk. It hasn't rooted yet - I check it every few weeks. Now what? It'll be time to bring them inside in mid-October. Will it continue to try to root inside and while dormant? Should I leave it and continue to mist occasionally all winter? I can put it under lights but it will be so close it might burn. Uncover it and try next spring? Help! Anyone?

RuthAnne in SC

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dpolson37(7a VA)

Ditto. I have yet to see any roots form on my air layer attempt. I'm not sure anything happened and now I have this ugly area on the trunk which was stripped of the outer layer with a potato peeler. Hmmm what to do now? Here I was worried about killing my tree, but guess they are a lot tougher than I thought.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I tried to do an air layer this summer too, but I just didn't have the time to do it properly. (When you're chasing after a two-year old all the time, you can't get much done!)

Water kept seeping into the media/moss, so I ended up removing the baggie and media (didn't want to rot the stem). I'll have to try it again when I have more time, or maybe I'll do it again after I bring it in for the winter.

Has anyone had any luck air layering over winter? Or is that encouraging stem rot?

My guess is roots may try to form on the peeled portion over time -- regardless of whether there's any media on it. I had that happen on a damaged stem one summer.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:43AM
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Oh good Dave - I hope you're right. I'll take it off before I bring it in. I really wanted to cut this plumie in half - it's so huge! Beautiful snow white with a slight tinge of yellow in the center and fragrant. A NOID though - $5.00 cutting from a few years ago.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 2:28PM
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sunseeker53(10a CA USA)

Another option may be to cut it off as a cutting when ready to bring it inside, and root it on a heat mat.
I have 3 plants being air-rooted right now. I think I did this in June sometimes. A week ago I peeked and found no roots on 2 of them. But the cut area is just slightly moist from the medium around it, and no rot. The edges of the peeled portion have swelled a little, which tells me that some roots will come out. Because these plants are blooming beautifully right now, I will leave them alone for now. By October, if I don't see any roots, I will cut them off from the plants and treat them as cuttings and will root them indoors on a heat mat (by that time, the inflos may have finished blooming, so there will be no sacrifice - I'm a weakling when it comes to cutting off inflos :-)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:30PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

I removed the covering where I was trying to air layer. Kept hoping roots would form, but as I can see now they really didn't.
I think there is one place where they might have started, but it's getting cooler here in Virginia and I'll be bringing the plumie inside.
I guess I have to try rooting the cutting next year.
I am just glad I didn't kill the tree with all my potato peeling on the trunk. From Garden 2011

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:17PM
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