Azalea air layer question.

just.wing.it

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I started an air layer on an azalea in my garden in mid May. The branch looks good and has grown as well as the rest of the shrub.
I want to know when I should remove it?
Should I insulate it and leave it till next year?
Wait till autumn and take it?
Anyone done this successfully, any suggestions?
Thanks.
 

petegreg

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What kind of azalea do you mean? Satsuki azaleas are very fast to air-layer, it takes 4-6 weeks. The roots are very thin and soft. I air-layered in pure kanuma, separated AL in the summer, I keep Satsuki protected from frost in the winter.
 

just.wing.it

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What kind of azalea do you mean? Satsuki azaleas are very fast to air-layer, it takes 4-6 weeks. The roots are very thin and soft. I air-layered in pure kanuma, separated AL in the summer, I keep Satsuki protected from frost in the winter.
Well, I don't know exactly what type it is, it was in the yard when I moved in here....
It is definitely not a Satsuki, I can tell you that.
It is most likely some hybrid from Glen Dale, MD. Most of the azaleas around here are from there. There is a place there that has been working with azaleas for many decades now.
 

just.wing.it

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I made the layer in some "bonsai soil".
It's got a bunch stuff like Turface, Haydite, lava, and other inorganics, plus a little pine bark. Good free draining stuff.
The container is a small Tupperware type thing, with a layer of sphagnum moss on top. The container is clear, and I can not see any obvious roots yet.
It's been at least 9 weeks, and the growth never slowed down on the branch, as I said, it looks just like the other branches...
 

petegreg

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OK, it also can be sth native?
I've got only some Satsuki that are really easy to grow and one Rh. x 'Ramapo'. I always repot them after flowering, it's in June here...
Generally all trees can be separated as soon in the season as possible if they have enough roots + aftercare. I've never left any AL on the parent tree over winter. But yes, not tryed species difficult to AL.
 

petegreg

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I made the layer in some "bonsai soil".
It's got a bunch stuff like Turface, Haydite, lava, and other inorganics, plus a little pine bark. Good free draining stuff.
The container is a small Tupperware type thing, with a layer of sphagnum moss on top. The container is clear, and I can not see any obvious roots yet.
It's been at least 9 weeks, and the growth never slowed down on the branch, as I said, it looks just like the other branches...
Well, Satsuki are much faster . I prefer kanuma as substrate, then I can use tap water for watering. Separating mine I could see the roots, they were like spiderweb.
 

just.wing.it

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Well, Satsuki are much faster . I prefer kanuma as substrate, then I can use tap water for watering. Separating mine I could see the roots, they were like spiderweb.
I assume these roots won't be too bad to separate with this soil, hopefully anyway.
Thanks for the input.
 

petegreg

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You're welcome. One more thing that's just came to my mind. My Azalea sent out the roots when AL-ed from all impossible places - trunk, branches... that were covered by kanuma. I potted it knowing I will be be able to devide it into two trees on next repotting. Good night.
 

Eric Group

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As Pete said- azaleas grow roots pretty fast when layering in my experience... Much faster and more reliable than cuttings IMO.

The only way to know if it has roots and if you can separate is to check it! Take a look in there and see if there are roots.

They don't need to be that long, but if it took well you Should have a mass of small white roots above the section of bark you removed. Mine typically come on in a thick clump right around the trunk. When removed and put in a pot they grow fast and hold strong in the pot very quickly... Faster than Maples or Juniper... Which can be a little weak in how they hold up for the first couple months sometimes longer! Spider webs is a good description, but depending on the size of your container you probably won't see them circling the outside of it like long thick roots from the layers on other species. Just take the pot off, let the soil not attached to roots fall away and you should see the roots that have formed. If there is a decent ball of roots, go ahead and separate it!
Probably do want to protect from hard freezes this winter!
 

just.wing.it

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As Pete said- azaleas grow roots pretty fast when layering in my experience... Much faster and more reliable than cuttings IMO.

The only way to know if it has roots and if you can separate is to check it! Take a look in there and see if there are roots.

They don't need to be that long, but if it took well you Should have a mass of small white roots above the section of bark you removed. Mine typically come on in a thick clump right around the trunk. When removed and put in a pot they grow fast and hold strong in the pot very quickly... Faster than Maples or Juniper... Which can be a little weak in how they hold up for the first couple months sometimes longer! Spider webs is a good description, but depending on the size of your container you probably won't see them circling the outside of it like long thick roots from the layers on other species. Just take the pot off, let the soil not attached to roots fall away and you should see the roots that have formed. If there is a decent ball of roots, go ahead and separate it!
Probably do want to protect from hard freezes this winter!
OK, thanks.
I was looking at it yesterday, and I almost went ahead and did that...
Maybe after work today, I will take a close look.
I feel that, with the amount of new growth on the branch, it has to be ready...
 

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