Air layering is a method of plant propagation. The general idea behind air layering is to get a plant stem to produce roots, then to cut the stem below the roots and plant it in soil. The cut stem on the original plant will then produce new branches at the site of the cut. Air layering is appropriate for almost all woody plants.

Air layering accomplishes two things:
  1. it produces ready-to-be-potted plants and,
  2. helps create branches on the existing plant
This is a very effective method of propagating plants. The area where roots are being formed recieve plenty of nutrients because the entire plant is well established and mature.
HOW TO: Choose a healthy branch no bigger around than your thumb. Using a sterile knife or razor blade, cut into and upwards along the plant stem. The cut should go about 1/3 of the way through the branch and be about 1" long, vertically. The flap created should be propped open with a toothpick and rooting hormone (such as RootOne, available almost anywhere plants are sold) should be placed inside the cut. Wrap the cut in moist sphagnum moss. surround the moss with clear plastic (i cut up ziplock baggies) and tape it to form a compact ball on the branch that keeps in the moisture (if you don't see condensation on the inside of the bag, open it and mist the moss). Within a few weeks or months you will see roots growing through the moss. Then cut the branch 1" - 2" below the new roots and pot it in a soil mixture appropriate to the plant. The remaining stem will most likely form new branches.


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