Q: I have heard you mention air layering as a good way to propagate shrubs. Can you describe it for me?
A: Air layering is a great way to make rooted cuttings from your favorite rose, camellia or azalea. The process involves wounding a limb and wrapping the wound with sphagnum moss that’s kept moist for eight weeks. It’s pretty simple to do and you can get several rooted starts from the same plant.
Here’s an excellent YouTube video on the subject.
Here are pictures:
scrape the bark from a small limb using a dull knife
put some rooting hormone (Rootone) on the wound
wrap the wound with a fist-full of soggy sphagnum moss
wrap the lump of moss with plastic wrap
tightly seal the ends of the wrapped plastic with tape
wrap aluminum foil around the lump to exclude light. Check for roots in eight weeks. Clip the cutting from the mother plant, below the root-filled lump, and plant it in a bright shade spot until next spring, when it can be planted permanently.