In the past few days, however, the temperature has all the more risen and I'm finding wilting air-layers or marcots almost everyday. Although the nozzle bottle technique is effective, it takes a while to perform.
It also has the risk of breaking the air-layered branch because of the need to untie one end. The thought of having to do this in the coming hot days will be too time consuming.
The photo below shows the drooping foliage of an air-layer that resulted from the drying up of the medium (coco dust). The air-layer is seen just under the foliage.
Here's a detailed view of the drying air-layer.
Injecting Water to the Marcot with a Syringe
The first solution I wanted is to be able to put in water into the air-layer or marcot without having to fiddle it. And the only way I could get water into it without actually opening the air-layer is to inject the air-layer with a syringe.
Shown below is an ordinary disposable syringe with needle that's cheaply available in most drugstores and some supermarkets. It has a capacity of 5 ml. but you could use something bigger especially if you have many air-layers to inject.
How to Revive a Dried Air-Layer by Injecting Water
- Dip the needle of a disposable syringe into water. You may want to add a few drops of liquid rooting hormone to aid the rooting process.
- Pull up the plunger top so the syringe sucks up the water solution into the syringe barrel. Fill the syringe with the solution but be careful that the plunger seal (black rubber) doesn't come out of the barrel.
- With the syringe filled up, pierce the syringe needle into the plastic sheet of the air-layer. The sharp needle should go in to about 1/4" to 1/2" deep.
- With an injecting movement, slowly push the syringe plunger top with your thumb. The water solution will start flooding the inside of the air-layer.
If at first you feel a bit of resistance, pull back the syringe by about 1/16". The reason may be the air-layer's medium being tightly packed.
By pulling it back, you create a bit of space. This space will allow the solution to flow out of the syringe needle.
- Continue pushing the syringe plunger top until the water solution start to spill out from the ends of the air-layer.
- When finished, slowly pull out the syringe needle from the air-layer and cover it with its accompanying needle cap for safety purposes.
Overnight, you will already see a big difference. Here is now the foliage of the air-layer as shown below.
On the next day, the drooping leaves are now much perkier just like the rest of the Cape Honeysuckle plant. The lone orange flower bloom is now more erect as compared to its previously drooping state.