This technique is handy way to propagate plants that are very difficult from cuttings. It is like doing a cutting but it is left attached to the plant. Thus it still receives the benefits of being attached (ie food and water) but is stimulated to form roots by wounding the stem at the base of the aerial layer.
A step by step demonstration of how to aerial layer-
Choose a small branch on the plant 30-60cm long that looks like it would make a good young plant if it was potted up as is.
Find a section of stem about 10cm long on the stem and remove any leaves and smaller shoots in this region.
Make a cut in the stem a couple of cm long.
The stem section is then wrapped in a wad of peat moss or coconut fibre that is contained in aluminium foil.
Handy hints to increase success rates of aerial layering
- It will generally take a few months for the new root system to develop and it is important not to let the medium in the foil dry out completely during this process.
- The cut on the aerial layer can be painted with a rooting gel or powder and can be stuffed with peat moss or coconut fibre to wedge it open allowing oxygen around the wounded tissue thus stimulating better root development.
- Ensure the parent plant is in top health.
- Spring time is a good time to aerial layer, as the plant is putting on new growth.