Aerial rooting on large Ficus

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Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Gentleman Jack on Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:53 pm

Last summer I wrapped the trunk in sphagnum moss, covered it with plastics, and at the end of summer took it all off. I got a lot of aerial roots, but few that had touched the ground and rooted. This year I will start much earlier in the hope I will get more rooting. But, here's my question. I had a lot of trouble removing the moss without destroying the tender roots. So could I build a structure round the tree, cover the entire trunk with a light potting soil, cover it with plastic, and gradually expose the trunk? I don't know if, in essence, burying the tree almost to the crown would harm the tree. Need advice here. Thanks, folks.


Last edited by Gentleman Jack on Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:05 pm


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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:23 pm

I used this material, veggie-storage bags, in tandem with some sphagnum moss on a Burt Davii fig years back. Wrapped moss around the trunk up to the bottom branches then wrapped with the baggy. Got plenty of aerial roots but ran into the same problem, the roots grow right into the moss! Then it's very hard to remove!! Maybe the key is to just get them started and then remove the moss before they get too long. Direct them where you want with drinking straws cut down the middle. Make sure to get some water in them to keep up the humidity. They should keep growing.

Smile

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Gentleman Jack on Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:35 pm

thanks Lance, the roots seem to develop little hooks that lock into the moss. Unless someone comes in and says don't do that, I'm going to do the same process as last year, only replace the moss with potting soil. I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  brian soldano on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:32 pm

I chop up the spagnum and add a handful regular old potting mix and some perlite... Works great for my airlayers, so I'd bet it'd work well. I had the same problems after I'd take and airlayer and pot it up. Even two years later id have a mess of roots tangled in the moss.... Not any more

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Gentleman Jack on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:40 pm

Now that sounds great! Thanks for the tip, Brian..

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Eric F on Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:16 am

Ive seen a couple of ficus that were set in a plastic bag up to the lowest branches. The bag gets loosely tied to the trunk. With regular water and misting you can grow areal roots with nothing around them. They must be moist, not wet. And the bag needs to be opened once in a while to avoid fungus. Ficus growing in humid places in the wild or outside often send roots down in mid air. Im doing it to a couple benjaminas and after a few months its working. I believe its air humidity that allows their formation. You might want to try it too. I hope something works out for you, good luck!

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Gentleman Jack on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:07 am

Eric F wrote:Ive seen a couple of ficus that were set in a plastic bag up to the lowest branches. The bag gets loosely tied to the trunk. With regular water and misting you can grow areal roots with nothing around them. They must be moist, not wet. And the bag needs to be opened once in a while to avoid fungus. Ficus growing in humid places in the wild or outside often send roots down in mid air. Im doing it to a couple benjaminas and after a few months its working. I believe its air humidity that allows their formation. You might want to try it too. I hope something works out for you, good luck!
It's still too cool here, but as soon as the nights are warmer I intend to get busy on those darned aerial roots. Your suggestion is gratefully received.

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Eric F on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:51 am

I didnt see where you live. But I should add that Im in Costa Rica, which is far different from your conditions. But I think warmth and humidity will work anywhere. There is a thread in the too threads about ficus in the cold north. She has lots of experience with ficus in northern climates. I remember areal roots is one of the subjects talked about. Sorry I didnt think of it earlier. You should read that thread, as I remember its got plenty of info on ficus. I bet it would help you, I enjoyed it even from the tropics..

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Gentleman Jack on Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:28 am

Eric F wrote:I didnt see where you live. But I should add that Im in Costa Rica, which is far different from your conditions. But I think warmth and humidity will work anywhere. There is a thread in the too threads about ficus in the cold north. She has lots of experience with ficus in northern climates. I remember areal roots is one of the subjects talked about. Sorry I didnt think of it earlier. You should read that thread, as I remember its got plenty of info on ficus. I bet it would help you, I enjoyed it even from the tropics..
My tree puts out a huge amount of aerial roots quite readily. Unfortunately, I'm not sure my summer (Virginia) is long enough for the roots to reach the ground and root (I want some roots from very high branches). Thus, I will be starting just as soon this year as I can. Still not sure what method I will use. Possibly the best one is to mound light soil or such up the trunk, cover it with plastic, and at the end of the summer uncover it, brush the soil off, and see what I have. I think I read the thread you mentioned, but I'll go back and re-read.

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Re: Aerial rooting on large Ficus

Post  Eric F on Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:13 am

Question- if you use soil or moss or whatever touching the trunk, wont the roots grow in all directions? It seems like maybe they wouldnt grow just down. Ive heard of people using a terrerium too keep up the humidity, and not needing to use soil or whatever. Whatever you end up doing, Id like to see how it works out. I love ficus more than any other big family of trees. Where I live the pines and junipers dont exist, or dont bonsai well. But its hard to kill a ficus from here. Good luck, please let us know how it goes..

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