Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Tropical Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: JDNeessen on January 10, 2012, 01:33 PM

Title: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: JDNeessen on January 10, 2012, 01:33 PM
I recently got a new schefflera and would love for it to be a nice banyan some day.  I was wondering if anyone had any tips/tricks to encouraging aerial roots. The tree is kept in a nice south facing window during the winter, but will eventually go outside during the summer for some better sunlight. 
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Oliver Muscio on January 10, 2012, 05:20 PM
High humidity is the key.  I got arial roots on mine by enclosing it in a plastic bag (indoors).  Outdoors, be sure a bagged tree is not in direct sun--it will cook!
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: JDNeessen on January 10, 2012, 10:04 PM
Thanks.  Would it also work to put either soil or sphagnum moss up around the current trunk and aerial roots and then wrap it with plastic wrap? 
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Larry Gockley on January 10, 2012, 10:07 PM
High humidity IS the answer, and I don't see that happening without a plastic tent and/or an added source of humidity. When aerial roots appear, they may dry up without help. Get some big soda straws and a smaller diameter straw that fits inside the big ones. When a root appears, cut a big straw to the length needed to reach that root to the soil. Split the straw lengthwise to ease removal after it roots in the soil, and insert the root in the top of the straw, with the bottom of the straw placed where you want it to root. The smaller straw is used to insert into the bigger straw every couple of days to keep the roots from sticking to it. Good luck. Larry
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Mike Pollock on January 16, 2012, 05:53 PM
Add my voice to the high humidity crowd. Bag the tree in plastic and keep the humidity over 85%. You'll have more roots than you know what to do with.

Once they reach the soil, then you can bring the tree out of the end and develop it normally.  No straws or sphagnum needed.
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: nathanbs on January 16, 2012, 06:32 PM
IS THERE A TIME OF YEAR THAT YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE THAN OTHERS?
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Mike Pollock on January 16, 2012, 06:38 PM
You can do this whenever the tree is actively growing.

If they're under bright lights inside for the winter, then that's fine. Otherwise do it as soon as it starts to grow in the spring. If you do this outside, be careful not to cook the tree under powerful spring/summer sun
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: JDNeessen on January 20, 2012, 12:27 PM
Thanks all!
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Treebeard55 on January 20, 2012, 05:15 PM
...Would it also work to put either soil or sphagnum moss up around the current trunk and aerial roots and then wrap it with plastic wrap? 

Yes, this would help even more. I'd allow 8 months, at least before you took off the sphagnum. Be sure the plastic is one that lets oxygen and CO 2 thru.

But frankly, if you can keep the humidity up, I don't think you really need the sphagnum-and-plastic with a scheff.
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: Rkovo on March 03, 2012, 02:39 AM
Hello, I am new to the site and this is my first post.
I didn't want to start a new thread, and this one seems the most appropriate.
I have a dwarf schefflera I bought about a year ago, it has been growing vigourously during the summer and slowed during the fall/winter, my hopes for it is to combine bayan and root over rock style. it had one seemingly strong aerial root which i have been nursing since june, i just repotted last week in a much larger pot with the rock. the main root structure for now is buried (for at least a year) but im afraid the shock made the aerial root die off. its gone and it makes me quite sad. i keep humidity up through misting several times a day.
any ideas on how i can get them come back even stronger.
thanks and i look forward to keeping up with this awesome site
Title: Re: Encouraging Aerial Roots on Schefflera
Post by: edro on April 11, 2012, 09:39 PM
I went on vacation for 2 weeks and put all of my tropicals in trashbags while I was away.
When I returned, many of them had numerous aerial roots.
After unbagging, the roots were shriveled up and dead the next day.

If you do use the bag method, make sure they are well established before returning to normal humidity.

FYI-The first time I did the bag method, I used black bags. I had some leaf mold and some of the trees dropped tons of leaves. The next few times, I used clear plastic, cut slits in the plastic and used a few less fluorescent tubes than normal. I had no mold or leaf drop with that method. (gone 10 days)
I have not used the bag method solely to get aerial roots... I was just doing it because I couldn't water while I was on vacation.