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Friday, May 23, 2008


Friday... gardening tips?

It's Friday, so I don't have to keep it technical. But what the heck, I've got a little bit of tech. was exactly what I needed yesterday when I realised I had an n-squared problem with accumulating strings into one long string. It's a complete newbie mistake, but I found it at least. Anyhoo, it was so good I decided it needed another vote.

Okay, so gardening. I'll make it quick. I read in my bonsai book that if you have problems propagating from cuttings, you can grow roots on the original plant in a process called air-layering:

I tried that with my dwarf schefflera (at least I think that's what it is). Here's the parent plant (it's in a pot with 2 chillies and a mint):

But the air layer failed. No roots grew. And as you probably guessed I failed with cuttings, too. But I don't like giving up, so I stuck the cutting in some water:

It has done well. It's in a tall thin jar half full of water, in a pot that's backfilled with pebbles. This keeps the rooting part warm, which I understand is important. It is now finally growing roots:

By the way, there was no sign of those roots when it was being air layered - they've all popped out since it has been in the water. I had it outside, but a couple of the roots died and I decided it was too cold out there so I bought it inside. And today I noticed there are lost more roots starting to stick out through the bark (from cracks that run in the direction of the stem, not from those popcorn-looking bits).

So here's my conclusion about air layering schefflera (umbrella trees). There's nothing to be gained from cutting a ring of bark off. The roots don't grow out of the cut bark - they just grow out of normal bark. In fact, they grow out of the brown ~2mm long cracks you can see on every part of every branch.

In summary:
Enjoy your weekend. I'm taking a week off and spending it on vacation on Long Island in the Whitsundays, to celebrate my partner and my 10 year anniversary.

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Anonymous Charlotte said:
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Anonymous Charlotte said:
Thank you! Your gardening tip saved me, pictures were crucial. I now know exactly what to do and you have likely saved my plant. It wouldn't have survived if I had to wait six weeks with no progress from air layering. Somewhere else someone advised air layering because it was fun! Patience is not my strong suit. Thanks again...
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