Air Layering – How To

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:

air layering scrape

scrape the bark from a small limb using a dull knife

air layering rootone

put some rooting hormone (Rootone) on the wound

air layering sphagnum

wrap the wound with a fist-full of soggy sphagnum moss

air layering plastic

wrap the lump of moss with plastic wrap

air layering tape

tightly seal the ends of the wrapped plastic with tape


air layering oleander

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.


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