I air layered this ficus. I think it is a microcarpa. Its an s-type they sell in nurseries. I am using it to make lots of smaller trees.

The image shows the roots that have developed. I would like to know if this is ready to be cut and potted or shall I leave it for longer?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • I'm confused - I'm seeing roots on an old, woody trunk, but air layering is usually done on a particular, smaller, leafed branch which you then sever once roots have formed - your pic doesn't show any branch, green or otherwise, it looks like the main trunk from the little that's visible. Please clarify – Bamboo Aug 7 '16 at 10:34
  • @bamboo i added a before pic – JonathanC Aug 7 '16 at 10:54
  • @bamboo Its my first air layer. I read about it and gathered that the ficus would be a good candidate. I wrapped in moss and this is the result after 8 weeks. I am not sure though if its ready to pot. – JonathanC Aug 7 '16 at 11:01
  • So is your intention to cut through that large woody trunk and grow the upper parts off the roots you've air layered? Or did you have other ideas? – Bamboo Aug 7 '16 at 11:11
  • @bamboo yes. The section below the cut has buds that I expect will push through and the bottom will continue on. – JonathanC Aug 7 '16 at 11:12

I'm not sure is the answer - air layering is usually done on smaller branches with green leaves present, not on a large and woody main trunk. Ficus bleed profusely when cut, so bleeding from such a large area (once cut below the new roots) may be so excessive the plant doesn't cope, and that applies to both halves. I'm also pretty sure that the new roots formed (even if there were twice as many) will not be enough to support such a large amount of trunk and topgrowth once severed. It would have been better to air layer one or two of the upper branches instead, quite honestly.

Info here about the method and choice of growth to air layer



A couple of weeks later, I cut the trunk and potted in a mix of vermaculate/organic potting mix.

Here are both bottom and top. I have started a new layer on the top piece.

Last time, I did not use any rooting hormone, this time I have.

The original question was whether I should leave it for longer. I can partially answer it. I waited 10 days more and the cut it. 2 weeks later new growth is occuring on both plants and its looking healthy..

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.