Azaleas ?


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Kernersville NC
With species that ground layer easily like Azaleas, is it necessary to girdle for an airlayer or can I just just add the wet medium and keep it in place?
What I am thinking of doing is cutting a 3in pot and putting a hole in the bottom. Then place it around the branch and add some soil and keep it moist. I will hold it together and in place with some wire. Kinda like the pots made specially for taking layers. I have a couple of the 3in pots lying around. The branches I am wanting to layer are too tall and too thick to bend down to the ground to layer. I dont mind cutting a girdle but it seems like an extra wasted step.
Gonzales, in most everything we do in bonsai there are a multitude of ways to do things.Whatever you're doing, think of the priorities. If only getting roots is the objective, then most any medium will work without a ring and enough time. Branches that touch the ground will even root. If on the other-hand you want the roots to be concentrated to a spot and speed the process. Then a small ring has it's advantages.
Last year I air Layered a Satsuki. It worked surprisingly well.

Go for it, I've got roots all over the bottom of a plastic cooldrink bottle filled with sand on one branch of a Elm.
I had to use wire to stabalize the container, but it worked like a charm.
sastuski ground layer

I attempted to air layer a satsuki at the beginning of last season. I did exactly what you did by adding a pot around the branch i wanted to layer. I cut a ring however i didn't cut it deep enough into the wood for fear of killing it, therefore it didn't produce any roots by the end of the growing season. At the beginning of this year i did a little more research and attempted to layer it again. It appears to have increased vigor. I plan to let it go another year before removing it from the mother plant.
That depends on what you mean by "girdle." In most every case you will have to "girdle" the branch by cutting away the ring of bark to force interruption in the hormones. This will trigger rooting. Then there is air-layering a conifer in which most books site needing to loop a wire and tighten it until it cuts in, thus "girdling" the cambium and forcing it to set roots (same hormone interruption). This is also known as tourniquet method. An azalea may not need the tourniquet but any layer will need either it or a girdling ring of bark removal. Without either one, it will take a long time to produce roots like a typical ground layer.
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