2.5" Bougainvillea Air Layer Cut Too Soon? :0/

Aiki_Joker

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Hey everyone! I hope all is well. Looking for advice on this if possible. This was airlayered for only 3 weeks and I got impatient!! :0/ Does anyone have any tips for survival? I'm working and living in Oman and nights are above 30C here days are upto 40C in this shaded plant room where it is currently recopy rating from this drastic ordeal!

I cut the cambium that had sealed again and brushed on rooting hormone before potting it in a general compost (not much available here) with about 20% sharp sand and 10% grit, 5% lava rocks. I'm keeping it moist every day or two. I am I supposed to do this? It is quite dry here (RH 30 to 70). I never let the soil dry out completely.

I should have left it at least 6 weeks I'm thinking! Visiting it every 2 days for watering by syringe because it is so hot and dry here. As soon as I saw some roots I cut it. No hormone used when I airlayered. Just when potted.
 

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Thanks Sorce! How long have you been on the forum and where are you on this rock? :0)
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone, that is great! Some small roots about 1 inch max with some very fine roots too. A few roots each side of the cutting, hopefully this will give it a head start on cutting status ha ha ha. I left a lot on top, not sure if I should have. All sealed with heal and seal so the few leaves should be the only place it will transpire.

Is it a good idea to keep it moist and warm (30 to 40 degrees C)? And what about draughts?
 

Stickroot

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We are talking a cutting though...one needing to establish roots. I don't consider what it currently has for roots established. I'm not sure you want it totally dried out.
I have a friend that chopped a huge one to pieces in Florida and traveled two days back to Illinois with the pieces in his trunk wrapped in newspaper them burying all of the pieces in moist sand, they rooted with great success. I do agree with keeping them moist, but don't let them Rott.
 

Cadillactaste

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I have a friend that chopped a huge one to pieces in Florida and traveled two days back to Illinois with the pieces in his trunk wrapped in newspaper them burying all of the pieces in moist sand, they rooted with great success. I do agree with keeping them moist, but don't let them Rott.
I agree...there is a happy middle ground. Not a soggy mess for the soil area...I just wouldn't let it dry out once in the soil as I do my established bougainvillea. I stuck spaghnum moss with the soil to help keep it moist at first. And it's thriving. But I also didn't use sand. But used Wee Tree's bonsai soil which is slightly organic but not overly.
 

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Great advice everyone! Most appreciated. Do they cope well with drafts of air? This plant room is small and sometimes I go out and open the door. Cooler less humid AC air goes into the room for like 10 or 20 minutes a few times a day. The air coming in can decrease RH by 20% and cool the air roughly by 10C say 40C down to 30 or 30C down to 20C.
Thanks! :)
 

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I'm trying to figure out why you have it indoors...when the weather is ideal for keeping it outdoors. Which promotes smaller internodes than when indoors. When I winter my bougainvillea indoors before I added grow lights. I had to remove all growth that came on during the winter months. Because they get leggy and very long internodes. Something you do not want for bonsai...your defeating the purpose of taking advantage of keeping it outside...and the benefits it will offer your tree/now cutting.
 
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Thanks for the comment cadillactaste. Yes it is ideal outside, though full sun here is very strong and has burnt ficus, bougainvilleas and even cacti that I have (as the summer comes I have had to move these plants to partial shade). This plant room has a window with a permenantly open screen with one inch holes in it made of thin concrete. It is an Arabic thing I think! :0)

So it is kind of open to the air and the light levels are quite high. My reasoning is that if I put it fully outside in the heat and sun (upto 49C) it may not survive at this time. Im not sure on this, but when ever I have stressed a plant out by changing the growing conditions or pruning I keep it in relative shade until I see it starting to grow. Also, the water evaporates fast here and I want to keep the soil moist so that roots can develop on this specimen.
 

Cadillactaste

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Thanks for the comment cadillactaste. Yes it is ideal outside, though full sun here is very strong and has burnt ficus, bougainvilleas and even cacti that I have (as the summer comes I have had to move these plants to partial shade). This plant room has a window with a permenantly open screen with one inch holes in it made of thin concrete. It is an Arabic thing I think! :0)

So it is kind of open to the air and the light levels are quite high. My reasoning is that if I put it fully outside in the heat and sun (upto 49C) it may not survive at this time. Im not sure on this, but when ever I have stressed a plant out by changing the growing conditions or pruning I keep it in relative shade until I see it starting to grow. Also, the water evaporates fast here and I want to keep the soil moist so that roots can develop on this specimen.
Where is your location? You should add that to your profile it will help ones address any questions you have a bit better. I would put it in shade...I recently repotted my bougainvillea cascase and it's in for the most part shade. It does get dapple morning sun but not the hotter afternoon sun. It's where I set all trees that are repotted for a time being...parital shade with only morning sun. Just watch for long internodes...I had a huge sunroom with windows and skylights...and I ended up with long internodes. Which will need removed...I just know...my trees always do better outside. I certainly would not put a cutting in direct sunlight...but under a shade tree so it gets dapple morning sun if anything. Just being outdoors...really helps plants. But, if your determined to keep it in the house...just realize the challenges you put upon it. If you want the soil moist...Put plastic over the rim and seal it with a rubberband. Or...spaghnum moss to help hold in the moisture...I did this when I had brought my cascade inside for the winter and had to turn it on it's side to direct the foliage closer to the grow lights. The plastic allowed the substrate to not fall out of the pot. You should have seen the amazing root growth that winter! The roots were falling out over the rim of the pot.
 

Aiki_Joker

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Great advice cadillactaste. I am in the middle east in Oman for now, no bonsai stuff here that I know of, there used to be a club, but now it seems to have gone (?). The plant room is attached to the kitchen and like a balcony with the concrete screen. It gets evening sun (similar intensity to morning sun) dappled through the 1 inch holes and moving across the room with the movement of the sun. I might use the plastic trick and put it outside. No trees here but I have plastic shelving that is kind of shaded. It sounds like a really good idea.

There are issues with dust in the air here though and mold growth if things stay too moist. I will check it out though because I notice mold does not grow if there is some direct sunlight on the soil for part of the day. The direct sunlight may also stimulate top growth faster. I will see how the cutting fairs on the next few weeks. And keep this thread updated for those who are interested.
 

Aiki_Joker

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Where is your location? You should add that to your profile it will help ones address any questions you have a bit better. I would put it in shade...I recently repotted my bougainvillea cascase and it's in for the most part shade. It does get dapple morning sun but not the hotter afternoon sun. It's where I set all trees that are repotted for a time being...parital shade with only morning sun. Just watch for long internodes...I had a huge sunroom with windows and skylights...and I ended up with long internodes. Which will need removed...I just know...my trees always do better outside. I certainly would not put a cutting in direct sunlight...but under a shade tree so it gets dapple morning sun if anything. Just being outdoors...really helps plants. But, if your determined to keep it in the house...just realize the challenges you put upon it. If you want the soil moist...Put plastic over the rim and seal it with a rubberband. Or...spaghnum moss to help hold in the moisture...I did this when I had brought my cascade inside for the winter and had to turn it on it's side to direct the foliage closer to the grow lights. The plastic allowed the substrate to not fall out of the pot. You should have seen the amazing root growth that winter! The roots were falling out over the rim of the pot.
For the internodes I am not sure but I recent grew a bourg in this plant room that I severely pruned (top and roots) and in 6 weeks it put on 16 sets of leaves! Could be the species of bourg though. The leaders great about 16 inches before I cut it back. Now it is out in the sun here. What do you think of this spacing from your experience. Is it an indication of low light levels?

I'm not sure if it is close or not as I'm not familiar with bourgs really :0/ the green shoots are the new ones near the top, these were solely grown in this plant room up to 16 inches, I didn't manage to get pics though.

This plant does not seem to be very apically dominant at all. Shoots come off all over the place. And loads of dormant buds everywhere!
 

Cadillactaste

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Internodes is the distance between the leaves on the branch. And yes, yours have long internodes. Your leaves if kept outside...should look tight and thick on a branch.

Your leaves also look like they are lacking something...and have a deficiency of some sort. They should be a solid healthy green. See where yours looks to have veining?

After a repot and partial defoliation...my leaves are coming back. This shows a branch and how thick the leaves look with smaller internodes. Makess for fuller canopy when said and done.
image.jpg
 

Aiki_Joker

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Brilliant! That is great advice. Yes, this cutting was very poorly looked after indeed. When I got it it looked very bad with poor soil and tightly balled unbalanced roots. The old leaves are yellowish with the green veining and they have not improved. I have a 10-30-30 fertiliser that I am using every 2 weeks or so. The water here is full of iron and god knows what so i am using bottles water (hardly and salts TDS is 111). New leaves are coming through green but I need to monitor the fertilising a bit better. Always scared of burning plants with too much chemical fertiliser. Currently looking for an organic one I can spread on the soil. This is better I think(?)

The new leaves are so different I thought that this was a graft with two different plants! This was how it looked when I got it :(20160507_160459.jpg
 

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