Aerial root encouragement 

A couple years ago I bought a couple s shaped ficus from Walmart. I tinkered around and did some experimenting on them. One has been pruned and wired for some initial branching. This is the other one that was allowed to grow last year. 

There were two sacrifice branches left coming from the base along with all the other growth. I’m hoping that these low sacrifices will create a very fat base. I also would like some aerial roots to form around the lower trunk and branches to start a banyan style progression. 

There are several ways I have been advised to grow aerial roots.

  1. Let the plant become pot bound. 
  2. Keep the plant in a humid environment, such as above a humidity tray.
  3. Share the area where roots are desired either with wet sphagnum moss or some kind of cling wrap. 

I have let it grow without pruning or repotting in an effort to get it pot bound. 

I sat the plant pot and all in this three gallon nursery pot. I can slip it out easily if needed. The top growth will stick out collecting light while also shading that bottom growth near the base. Hopefully encouraging aerial roots. When fall rolls around I can pull it out of this big can and slip it back on the shelf to overwinter. I’ll post an update further along with the results. 


Published by

Charles Willis


4 thoughts on “Aerial root encouragement ”

    1. Kaya, I just reported another f. Microcarpa into a tall pot like this. Adam Lavigne is the one who gave me the idea. I think he wrote a blog post on how to grow out ficus with a similar method.

      1. Yeah, the idea is adopted from Jim Smith I think. Originally called the “black plastic” method in which he would wrap the lower trunk in black plastic lightly to bump the humidity and give aerial roots the chance to form.

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