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Air Layering - Is this progress?

Hi, I am trying to  repopulate broken Laurel hedges with air-layered plants from my existing stock.  I have  followed the process using online guides but none really state with any certainty how long the process should take. I started on 24 Sep and after 5  weeks I have this...                      


Something is obviously happening with the white nodules but no obvious roots  yet. 

It has been suggested that the nodules are actually some sort of fungus and not good!   

Can anybody help please?



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    That is definately fungus! air layering requires a closed environment around the cut, yours looks open.

    Why though you are doing this with laurel though mistifies me, hardwood/softwood cuttings take readily with laurel. 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,299

    layering into the soil works pretty well too. and seedlings come up all over my garden.


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Thanks for all the replies on this.

    Dave, the cuts are enclosed inside the plastic bottles and plastic / foil coverings.  All of the white stuff is outside the soil (but still inside the layer).  I will open a different one tomorrow and have a look in there.

    I have had some success with cutting and normal layering but I wanted to try all options (I have a lot of hedge to repair!).

    Thanks again.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,299

    You can never completely seal anything that's out in the rain. I agree with Dave that it's gone mouldy.  Worth experimenting but I'd go with something more reliable

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Try semi ripe cutting next spring Niscars very simple process. Try taking a few Hardwood cuttings now, and some soft wood in the spring. A mixture of all three should give you plenty to repopulate your hedge.

  • I opened up a further two of the air layers this morning to check on their progress and there is exactly the same thing so I have covered them back up and I will wait and see what happens - can't do any harm (hopefully)!

    On your advice, I have also taken some further cuttings. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,299

    It can do harm Niscars, it has. Fungus, mould, call it anything you like is not a good sign. Laurel is much inclined to die back from any damage and start going yellow, then brown edged, then die. I would cut back the branches that have done this to well below the damage. Ground level would be best.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Success!  I opened another one just now and found this...


     There are the same white nodules but I don't know why this one has come on so much further than the others.  Noting what you say Nutcutlet, I will keep a careful eye on all of them and maybe open this one again in a couple of weeks with a view to removal and potting on?



  • To be honest I wouldn't keep opening them up to have a peek - I wait until the roots are visible through the rooting medium. 

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

  • glenethonglenethon Posts: 1

    i know this is very late, but what you was doing was perfect. that was not mold. i have done the exact same withe the exact same plant for the exact same reason as you and thats how it should look. the white bits are the start of roots. im guessing you already know by now. but to all those saying its mold, please reconsider talking about things you dont know 100% because you could of made him give up when he was on a good path.

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