Propagation - Air layering

 


Air-layering is used propagate some indoor plants with thick stems such as; Draceana, Ficus, and Magnolia or to rejuvenate them when they become leggy.

It is a simple way to propagate a new plant as it encourages a plant stem to produce roots at any given point on the stem.

The method is often used when it is difficult to lower the branches of a plant down to soil level, or when the lower leaves have dropped off a plant exposing a lot of unsightly bare trunk.

Air-layering can be carried out all the year round, but is generally more successful if done in May-June.


Method:


In the case of Magnolia select healthy one or two-year-old side pencil thick shoots and cut a 20mm (¾") slit under a leaf node, approximately 150-300mm (6”-12”) below the growing tip.

Do not make the cut deeper than half the diameter of the stem being prepared.

If deemed necessary remove some leaves to create a clear section of stem to work on, then treat in the manner shown below.


Example for Draceana and Ficus.


Method 1


*2 parts sphagnum moss, 1 part peat and 1 part sand (parts by volume)

Normally if using 'tinfoil' there is no need to tie or tape the sleeve in place, but sadly you cannot see when the layer has rooted without removing the sleeve!

The polythene must be completely airtight so that drying out will not occur.


Method 2.


*2 parts sphagnum moss, 1 part peat and 1 part sand (parts by volume)

The polythene must be completely airtight so that drying out will not occur.


pic 1
pic2
pic3
pic4

Allow the plant to grow normally, and when the roots are visible* through the polythene film, sever the top section off the parent plant from a point just below the polythene.

*If using tinfoil you will have to periodically unwrap part of the sleeve to see if roots have developed.


Prior to potting up into a suitable sized pot of potting compost equivalent to Ji2, remove the polythene /tinfoil sleeve , but leave the rooting mixture undisturbed to avoid damaging the fine root system. (pic 4)

Finally, place the new plant in a protected shaded or semi-shaded spot, and provide adequate moisture until it becomes established.



Top of the Page