CREATING AERIAL ROOTS!
Bill Snyder of Indiana was a recent visitor who took a workshop here. His workshop plant was shipped to him and on March 2, 2006, I received an email from him that the plant arrived in fine condition, that the workshop was a highlight, and he's enjoying replaying the video! HEY! I want to see it too! So Bill kindly sent me a copy and I got to relive that nice afternoon! Three months later, Bill emailed that he wrapped the tree with kitchen wrap and it's effective in forcing aerial roots. I asked him to write a short report and he did!
As a novice at growing Bonsai, I always refer back to the session in which David showed me how to plant and grow my banyan style bonsai. In answer to my question, he told me that the growing of aerial roots depended on my bonsai having both good genetics and the air being humid. Since David supplied the plant I knew that the genetics were good. It was suggested that an aquarium with a container of water inside would suffice to provide the humidity.
I live in northern Indiana and the summertime gets quite humid. I was to find out that the aerial roots soon dried out and withered. So now this "indoor Bonsai" was to remain inside.
|Not having an aquarium and still wanting the look of the heavily rooted banyan tree, I tented the plant from the branches downward with plastic cling wrap.|
|As you can see from the pictures that the plant has shown significant aerial root growth for only being tented for 2 1/2 weeks.|
|For those of you that are followers of the scientific method, the bonsai was misted 3or 4 times a day and fertilized once a week. The pot was soaked in water up to the rim twice a week.|
|The next experiment will be to try to induce aerial root growth from only selected spots on certain limbs. Instead of tenting the entire base of the plant, I am going to attach cling wrap "icicles" from selected spots. In a couple of months Iíll send in pictures of any successes that I may have.|
|If you want to contact me and compare notes or make comments, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org|
- Dwarf Schefflera will throw out aerial roots with high humidity. But genetics seem to be a factor too. We try to collect seeds from trees with aerial roots. We tend to chop down seed plants that do not have aerial roots. Some varieties throw out more than others. A few days after emailing Bill that his page was up, I received the additional "Part II."
JUNE 18, 2006 UPDATE
As you can see from the pictures, the number of aerial roots on my Bonsai has doubled in the last 12 days. But it seems that the roots donít find it easy to penetrate the rocky soil. They find it easier to run along the surface. I donít find this very appealing.
After consulting with David I found out that these roots will probably never anchor properly unless I bury them.
Since Iím fertilizing once a week, the aerial roots grow quite fast. Although I get enjoyment from checking the progress daily, I donít wish to become a slave to the plant. So you can imagine my joy when David suggested that I make cylinders out of aluminum foil to guide the Aerial roots to to their point of attachment.
If you follow the photos you can see the progression discussed above. Iíve experienced that the roots must be kept moist (misted) until the mini greenhouse is replaced.
At some point in time the shaping will be complete and I will leave the mini greenhouse off of the bonsai. At this time it will become a centerpiece for display. But it is so much fun that I wonder if the destination can ever match the journey.
~~~ Bill from Indiana
Bill tells me that he'll be visiting again in January and I'm looking forward to doing another workshop with him. Bill tells me that he's not much of a writer but he did just fine! His photos are great too. But the greatest thing is that he's very happy to share! It's been my experience that those that are willing to teach others often come to understand better than those who simply want to learn for their own enjoyment.
I invite those who are willing and able to learn while teaching others to also create a page and share the development of their trees. Those interested in participating are invited to contact: