Air Layers ?

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Moose, Nov 2, 2009.

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  1. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    I am anxious to start some air layers. It has stayed unusually warm so far this fall. My question is if I start air layers now, how long does it typically take to get a nice root ball established. I was thinking of doing them now and then "harvesting" in March or April. The next big concern is if I start air layering now, the tender roots being established are above ground getting exposed. If I get a pretty decent cold front for a few days say in the upper 30's F to low 40's F, will this kill back the roots? I don't want to waste my energies (time) and also stressing the crotons if this would be the case.

    Also, which cultivars are slow to establish via air layering? I am sure there are quite a few. :confused:

    Some input from you old timers is most welcome here! ;)

    Ron. :)
  2. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Esteemed Member

    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Most of us start air layers in the spring time when the plant is growing vigorously - and will continue to grow through the summer once the air layer has been removed. See the defintion of spring in Dr. Brown's book (even if he was talking about cuttings). i have rooted cuttings over the winter - pot them up andput them in a plastic bag and let them sit... FWIW, if I lose or forget to remove an air layer (just found two from springtime and potted them up quick), they seem to winter over with no problems and then get potted up in the spring.
    in summary, I don't feel it is worth the risk to the parent plant to get an air layer in three months when I can get one in one month if I wait until spring.
    Yellow Duke of Windsor is glacially slow in setting roots in an air layer for me.
  3. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    South Florida, USA


    I agree with Phil's comments. It's just not worth the risk and prolong wait. The only thing I will add to Phil's comments is, if you want to throw a few airlayers on for kicks, put a few on some really common varieties. They are usually the ones that root the quickest and if they don't root because of some severe cold, you really have nothing to loose. I would do a few on some common ones just to "get your feet wet". I look forward to some pictures of your methods and final "wrap-up". Lol!!

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