Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Air Layering: First Attempt

A rose this ridiculous needs to be shared with the world. It's colour is exceptional, it's scent is pure nostrilisation. Also, the bush itself is about a hundred years old and looks a little worse for wear. As I find nurturing cuttings time consuming, I thought I'd have a go at 'air layering'. Its a nifty little trick where the cutting continues to grow on the bush while it gets busy making new roots. If all goes well I should have a new rose, ready to plant in about 8 weeks.
When gardening it's always sensible to have more tools and implements than necessary. I did however use every one of these including the feline claw cutters which took the tips of the rose thorns.
I have been eyeing of this shoot for quite some time. It ticked all the boxes for air layering as it was straight, vigorous and minimally thorned. It was just a matter of waiting for the massive rose on top of it to do its thing so I could lop it off and get on with it.
The first step was to remove the excess lower leaves and de-claw the stalk. The cut takes place below the first five-lobed leaf.
This device was a moment of brilliance if I do say so. Its a frame to hold the layering material cut out of some 70mm pvc tubing.
Now this is the business bit. Two parallel cuts around the stem, about an inch apart and half an inch below one of the buds. Next a long cut down the stem and the bark/cambium layer just peels off! I am following instructions but I do find it odd that you're supposed to remove the outer layers the whole way round. Its my understanding that its the outer layers that supply water and nutrients and without them how does it continue to grow? Time will tell.
A dusting of rooting hormone follows, to get the stalk in the mood.
The device in action. Definitely helping to maintain a uniform cylinder shape.
The air layering podule is complete. The filling is sphagnum moss thoroughly soaked in water.
The final coat was added the next day. The aluminium foil will keep things nice and dark, the way things tend to be underground. Also it should provide a measure of insulation.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this. Looks awesom.! I particularly like your innovation with regards to the PVC mold/support! I'm going to get some tomorrow.... lol. Thanks for making the effort to blog this.