When air layering your favorite tree, you want to give yourself the best chances at getting those roots to grow. Even experienced gardeners can have a hard time getting an air layer to root. But what works best? Powdered rooting hormone or the newer rooting gel?
Rooting gel is a newer product compared to powders, yet it is just as powerful and provides many benefits over powders. Rooting gels like CloneX are thick in consistency, very slow moving, so it is very easy to apply to air layers. Using a simple swab, you can apply a generous coat of rooting gel to the air layer without making a mess. The rooting gel sticks very well to most plants and trees. Unlike powders, the rooting gel will not blow back into your face or fall all over your surfaces in windy conditions.
Very easy to use with excellent results. Thick gel will stick, is easily visible and can be applied with a swab. Beginner friendly and no more messy clean ups.
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Rooting hormone powder is very powerful and effective at getting results and roots to grow. Despite the effectiveness of the powder, there are several drawbacks that make this a trusty back up instead of the first choice. The biggest drawback with powders is that it just gets on everything and everywhere. The slightest breeze sends the powder into the air where you could possibly inhale it, get it on your clothing or simply drop on surfaces making it difficult to clean up.
Widely used by many gardeners, very affordable, can be difficult for beginners to use and possibility of inhaling or making a mess.
I had tried many times to get roots on a Japanese Maple Shishigashira with no success. By far the most challenging tree to get to air layer. I tried several times with powders and each time the air layer scarred over. Then I tried CloneX rooting gel. I didn't get my hopes up to high, then simply retried the air layer, wrapped it again and waited. As you can see from the picture below, I was very pleasantly surprised to find roots, lots of roots!
I can't say enough about CloneX rooting gel, it simply works! If you have a special tree and or have been unsuccessful using powders for air layering, try CloneX. It's very easy to use and just as powerful. Yes, it costs a bit more, but the results speak for themselves.