Monday, February 15, 2010
Asexual Propagation by Layering
Layering is a great way to produce more plants. The process involves developing roots on a stem that is still attached to the parent plant. When the stem has rooted, it is separated from the parent and is a new plant. Often plants will do this by themselves. Simple layering happens when you bend a branch of a mature plant to the ground and cover it with soil, leaving the terminal end exposed. Wounding the side of the branch that is underground will help root development. When the branch is adequately rooted, detach and transplant. Compound layering is similar to simple layering, except that you alternately cover and expose a flexible branch, wounding each stem section that is covered with soil. Separate each plant after roots have developed and transplant. With Tip layering, the tip of a current season shoot is planted in the ground about 3 or 4 inches deep. The tip of the branch will begin to grow down and then change directions to curve upwards. Roots will grow at the bend. Remove the plant from the parent after one season and transplant. In Mound layering, you cut the plant back to the ground in the dormant season and then mound soil around the base. The newly developed shoots will form roots and become new plants. Air layering is a good choice for thick-stemmed plants. Choose a well-developed shoot and cut a wound in the stem exposing the cambium layer. Wrap the wounded area with moistened sphagnum peat moss and tightly cover it with plastic securing top and bottom with tape or rubber bands. Check frequently and do not let the peat moss dry out. When the roots can be seen in the peat moss, cut the new plant off just below the root ball and replant. Good Luck!