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InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
edited February 2021 in Plants
I was taught this technique by my gardener and thought it worth sharing. It is the quickest and most reliable way of propagating trees, shrubs, bushes and other plants with woody stems ( in the case of hybrids, the only way) and now is the best time to do it (early Spring). It's not for beginners and does require a certain amount of "green fingers", but the results can be spectacular. It is possible to take several "cuttings" from the same plant. The example used in the video is a lemon, but it works for any of the above. In the case of fruiting trees, they can be producing within 2 years.
You do not have to use a plastic cup. A very good alternative is sphagnum moss wrapped round with any kind of soft material to hold it in place, lightly tied and held by loose plastic. Video as follows:
Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.


  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
    I'm sorry no-one has commented on this, especially anyone who has already tried this technique. Let me tell you, you cannot reproduce the joy you get when you cut away a branch with roots already formed...
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,683
    It is a well known technique that has been around for a long time. From memory both Gardener's World and Beechgrove have shown it in the past.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,461
    edited March 2021
    Not very sure what you want us to say?

    You are extremely fortunate to have such a talented gardener, who has taught you how to do air layering of plants. 

    Air layering....
    Yes, a wonderful way to propagate rare/ unusual plants to keep them true to name.
    Often done in Botanic gardens to ensure the continued future of a rare plant...spread the material to others to ensure healthy, accurately named plants ..clones.
    Very useful in the nursery trade maybe.
    But most people here do not need/want/have room for more identical plants.
    If I want a special tree /shrub I have to go and buy it.
    Thanks any way.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,997
    It's a technique I used back in my teens and twenties to propagate some of the houseplants I surrounded myself with ... ficus and monstera deliciosa are two I remember doing it with.  It was useful when my original plants became too big for my room so I air-layered myself a new one of each.   I learned how to do it from a paragraph in The Book of Houseplants published by Octopus Books.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    Thanks for posting, I didn't know about the technique and really enjoyed watching it.  

    I might even try to get a twin for my Amelanchier this way in a year or two when it has really settled in. 
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 2,864
    Great video.  I have seen this done, but it has given me the idea of doing this with my lemon tree which suffered a serious mishap this winter due to a visit from Jack Frost!!   Thanks for posting.  Have a nice day.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,997
    edited March 2021
    It really is a useful technique as it can give you a semi- mature looking plant more quickly than stem or tip cuttings etc. 

    I used damp sphagnum moss (bought from a local florist in the 60/70s ... its endangered now but I think there are ok alternatives) and wrapped it in a polythene bag and taped it with electrical tape. 

    I certainly had no idea ‘it’s not for beginners’ and didn’t have many failures ... I thought everyone did it .... I suppose as a teenager  ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ 😂 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
    I didn't  mean to say beginners shouldn't try it. Just that it does require some skill, esp when you remove the bark, that you don't cut into the inner growth.
    And by the way, it is doesn't always work, I have been trying to get a cutting off my Carolina jasmine ( Gelsemium sp.) for several years and the bally thing just will not root! I just planted a lovely green and white bougainvillea and idied within a month. Plants can be so ornery.....Just like people I suppose. Good Luck!
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
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