In September 2016 I removed the plant, made some horizontal cuts in the bark on the coil nearest the bottom (closest to the tile), and dabbed-in some rooting gel in the wounds.
Planted it upright with pumice nice and high to allow plenty of coverage (and some moisture)–all tidy:
As you might also be able to see above, I decided to wrap two branches/trunks around the cone instead of the single leader that I had been doing to this point. The thinking here is that double the branches might mean double the places where backbudding will occur later when I want to focus on growing branches.
For now, though, it’s all about the trunk. Fast forward to the end of January 2017 …
Today I pulled the plant out of its pot, which by the way is so wonderfully easy (and clean) when you have only pumice for soil. I wanted to see how the root formation on the coils had progressed over the past three-to-four months.
Pretty well, I think, considering it’s “winter” here in coastal Southern California:
Nice and flat along the tile, too, just as planned. Oh, and this Clonex rooting gel is amazing! Roots appeared everywhere that I applied it.
The roots are definitely radiating out from the trunk at an angle:
In other circumstances this might bother me, but I think I’m going to just roll with it here. It definitely stays true to the coiled concept, anyway. All these roots might fuse together, anyway, which could be interesting.
You may recall from earlier posts how I zip-tied the original cutting to the tile through two drilled holes:
This is what it looked like today:
And a close up of the zip tie area:
If I were to do this over again, I would just thread a ficus cutting through a hole in the tile close to the cone. Anyway …
Since the roots are looking so good, it was time to separate the original trunk and roots
I applied more rooting gel on the coil above the cut so roots will cover where the trunk was cut below. I also applied more gel on the cut area. We’ll see what happens there:
Placed deep again in the pot:
Covered it up again, placed the pot in some bright shade, watered; now we wait. I’ll probably wait until summer to dig it up again.