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Grey
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Air-wrapping

With Fall just around the corner and the weather about to cool, September is probably a good time to start taking cuttings of your plants for next year.

Air-wrapping was shown to me by the most knowledgeable old gardener I know while still living in FL. She initally showed it to me on roses, but said it has worked on fruit trees (and had the proof in a pot right there), flowering shrubs and various other plants.

What you need:

Sharp, CLEAN knife
Bucket of water
Spagnum moss
tinfoil or
plastic wrap & wire ties

Drop your moss into the bucket to start soaking. Choose a section of stem that has last Spring's growth on it (not brand new growth, must be a little older, but not so old as to be woody). Take your knife and gently score around the branch, and again about an inch/inch and a half below your first cut. Gently peel the bark/outer skin off all the way around that 1" slice.

Take a handful of the wet moss, squeeze it gently - you want it wet but not dripping - and wrap it fully around the cut. Wrap the moss gently in place with tinfoil (my preference, since I don't have to use ties) or the plastic wrap.

Occasionally check the moss to ensure it is still damp. In a month to 6 weeks, there should be enough root developed that you may cut the branch free from the parent, and set it into potting soil.

(it's kind of like layering, only it's done above ground - I've found this works on Rose of Sharon & Crepe Myrtle, neither of which you're going to get a branch in the ground from!)

grandpasrose
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Sounds cool! I'll have to try it! 8)
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Yeah, I 've heard it called air-layering as well. I have a bonsai I started from a friends houseplants that way...

Scott

JPIXI
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Hi Grey,

I wonder can I use aluminum foil for cooking purposes instead of tinfoil? I intend to poke some holes after I wrap the cutting to allow occassion watering.

Is hibiscus suitable for air layering too?

Cheers,
Pixi

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Grey
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Hi JPIXI - Aluminum cooking foil is what I use, I just called it tinfoil. You don't need to poke holes in it - I just unwrap an end every so often to see if the moss is still damp.

I've successfully air-wrapped Rose of Sharon, which is in the hibiscus family so it should work.

I even experimented a few months ago with an English boxwood. I thought for sure it wouldn't take, since it was so hard to get the bark off evenly (very knobby), but it did and my neighbor is happy.

JPIXI
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Thanks a bunch Grey!

I will keep you update with what I discover along the way too.

Cheers,
Pixi

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Grey
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Please do!
Actually, if we wanted to keep this thread alive with what we have successfully air-wrapped, it would be a good resource for folks who may not have considered it before.

grandpasrose
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So Grey, do you think it's too late to try it on my birches? I lost so many trees on my property this year to pine beetle kill that I need to get some other trees going in their place. Thanks. :wink:
VAL
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Grey
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It will absolutely work on the birches. I would chose a newer branch about the width of your pinky finger.

JPIXI
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Hiya Grey,

I did a quick search on what you mentioned "Rose of Sharon", I have a few in my garden too, they are white, pink and deep purple in color.

They are all above 2.5meter tall, and leggy due to lack of care by last owner.

[img]https://img383.imageshack.us/img383/5008/roseofsharon2au.jpg[/img]

I intend to propogate them and plant the propogated new branch to the mother tree, to make them look more bushy next summer. I wonder do you have any tips of air-layering this plant? Can I choose old branch to air-layer?

Cheers,
Pixi

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Might try ground layering, JPIXI. Even easier; cut a slice in the side of the branch and pin the slice down to the ground, covering the pinned area with soil. Often roots in a matter of weeks!

HG

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