creating aerial roots on a ficus

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creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  steve-thailand on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:31 am

i want to create some aerial roots on my ficus retuse and benjamina. (note that i plan on separating the branch below the girdle and using the branch as a peg graft)

i have started air layering where i want the aerial roots but i'm wondering what to do when they sprout? should i keep them in soil or moss and let them grow? should i leave them in air and let them find their own way to the ground?

i realize that aerial roots start out life very differently to normal roots. the plant sends out a very thin, wiry feeler and only when it finds a water souce does it start to plump up and create feeder roots. an air layered root in moss is like an underground root, it makes feeders right away. but i wonder if i let it grow and keep pruning away the feeders on the upper portion and keep the lower in soil, i can get the same effect as a naturally forming aerial root?

is there any fundamental difference between an aerial root and a ground root other than the fact there will be no feeder root on an aerial root until it hits soil?

thx steve

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creating aereal roots on a ficus

Post  john5555leonard on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:09 am

hi steve, well i can answer one of your questions, once the aereal roots have sprouted and you take off the pot/bag what i do is cut a length of plastic pipe and fix it between the roots and the pot , fill it with soil and let the roots grow down to the soil, then once the roots are established remove the pipe. cocopeat works well for the soil . john

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  steve-thailand on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:51 am

john5555leonard wrote:hi steve, well i can answer one of your questions, once the aereal roots have sprouted and you take off the pot/bag  what i do is cut a length of plastic pipe and fix it between the roots and the pot , fill it with soil and let the roots grow down to the soil, then once the roots are established remove the pipe. cocopeat works well for the soil . john

thanks john, then i assume you cut off all the little feeder above ground and let the air part of the root dry a bit?

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:23 am

Hi Steve

I am not sure what kind of arealroots you want to create...are they roots like the them i made on mine 3 ficus?...see...http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t4687p90-ficus-in-the-cold-north-denmark?
Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  steve-thailand on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:14 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Steve

I am not sure what kind of arealroots you want to create...are they roots like the them i made on mine 3 ficus?...see...http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t4687p90-ficus-in-the-cold-north-denmark?
Kind regards Yvonne

yes, but i want to put them in very specific places. they occur naturally here because its hot and humid but not always where you want them

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  leatherback on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:44 am

Admittedly having very little experience with ficus, but hearing this complaint more often (The roots sprout too high up in the canopy)..

Would it be an idea to just thet the roots that do sprout grow, and once they almost reach the ground yu lift them a few cm, giving them more growing. The, once they almost hit the ground, you drill a tiny hole in the branch where you do want the root to be, and tread-graft the root? As you have let the root grow too long, you can thread it through the hole, and directly let it set root in the right spot, resulting in a quick thickening of the root, and grafting to the lower branch?

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  nickalpin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:54 pm

Steve, your climate is similar to mine (I'm in Florida). Aerial roots will easily push in both of our climates, if you'd like them to push from a specific location, you can increase chances by applying moist sphagnum moss to the location and wrapping with plastic (some folks use aluminum foil). The direct moisture on the bark surface should induce roots, you should be able to then choose from a number of roots to then guide to the soil using the pipe/straw method.

Using a fertilizer which induces more root growth may help strengthen the 'keeper roots'.

Grafting is another (pain in the ass) way:

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

Post  steve-thailand on Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:59 am

thanks everyone, lots of great ideas. i posted the same question on bonsainut forum and got no replies.

will definitely try the thread grafting idea and the moss idea

thanks again, steve

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Re: creating aerial roots on a ficus

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