Layering and aerial cuttings

Layering is a technique that you can use to take a whole branch of a plant with roots intact. It is kind of like taking a cutting, it will be well ahead of the game with a lovely set of roots to get it started.

It is a great technique for obtaining a well established plant but it does take some time so is not widely used commercially. Some plants do this naturally so with a little encouragement they will layer really well

My basic technique for herbs is to strip back a few branches and bury them. In a few months (depending on the season) the buried section will form roots and can then be cut off from the parent plant and off to its new home. Wonderful.

We had an awesome lemon tree at my old house and we took some great air layering (which is a type of layering where you can’t bend the host branch down to the ground) these cuttings are now lovely little lemon trees.

The basic technique is this: Cut two rings around the branch. Your branch doesn’t want to be too big so choose a branch with some nice green bark for best results. Apply some rooting hormone to the wounds cover in something absorbent (sphagnum moss works well) encased in clear plastic. Cover the whole thing in tin foil to exclude light. Wait until you can see some roots forming inside the plastic then cut the branch just below the roots. Boom, one lemon tree. Plant it, love it and wait for lemons.