Question about air layers

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by annafl, Apr 10, 2013.

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  1. annafl

    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
     
  2. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    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.

     
  3. palmisland

    palmisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    West Boca Raton 10b
    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.
     
  4. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    Good idea,that should be fine

     
  5. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    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:
     
  6. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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?
     
  7. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    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.
     
  8. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    I've started air layers at this time of year before. I've had better success starting them in late May/early June when the rainy season is already underway or about to arrive.
     
  9. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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:
     
  10. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    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.
     
  11. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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:(
     
  12. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    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.
     
  13. Native son

    Native son Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    869
    Location:
    10a
    :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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  14. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Thanks for the reassurance Ron and Lamar. I will see you next weekend then.

    Ana:)
     
  15. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    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:
     
  16. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Ron, I'm sure the airlayer will be ready pretty soon, but Nervia grows so slowly for me. Colors are great, but soooo slowwww. I will do my best to speed it up for you. Tiny thing. Ana:eek:
     
  17. Perry Edge

    Perry Edge Active Member

    Messages:
    124
    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)
     
  18. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Understandable. I've had Black Beauty take 3 months to get a good rootball on an air layer. :eek:
     
  19. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Not the air layer itself, Ron, the plant is so very slow. It's very tiny and doesn't seem to be moving hardly. Healthy, though. Ana
     
  20. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    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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  21. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Thanks, Phil! So good to have a picture as a model. I am going to leave my few on a couple of more weeks and then I'll have to show you! They will be my first.:eek:

    Ana
     
  22. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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.
     
  23. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    Ana, I have always left the moss, as I did not want to damage the delicate roots.
     
  24. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Leave the moss on; the air layers weill do just fine if you keep the soil moist but not soggy. High humidity alos helps in establishing roots.
     
  25. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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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  26. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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.
     
  27. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    By middle step I meant planting them in pots. I realize that placing them in areas with a lot of sun could mean wilting, and needing a lot of watering, but could it be done by watering once or twice a day for a while?
     
  28. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    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.

     
  29. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
    It's fun to have them in pots so you can move them around, experiment with location, trading, and gifts.
     
  30. palmisland

    palmisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    West Boca Raton 10b
    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
     
  31. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    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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