Layering is a method to propagate plants. By this technique, one can propagate their favourite plant/plants in many numbers. The basic principle of this technique is that stem or stems are capable of producing roots when they are in contact with moisture or any other rooting medium even without being detached from its parent plant. The medium which is using for layering has to provide airing and water content to the stem to grow new roots. This is a method that is widely using in nurseries all over the world.
Grafting and budding techniques are used to improve a tree’s qualities or resisting capacity. In these cases, a mother tree’s characteristics such as taste, smell, or colour may alter. But by layering, the new roots coming from the process give almost the replica of the mother tree as nothing being added or attached to the stem except rooting medium.
Studies prove that layering in plants or trees can be successful because the stems are not removed or being attached from other plants. In this method, water pressure will be low and minerals are high as the stem is not removed or disturbed from its mother plant. When new roots begin to come from the stem, one can cut the stem and burry under the soil and water. The total number of days for new roots to come may vary according to the plant or tree that had been done layering process.
There are different kinds of methods in layering. Air layering and ground layering are the commonly used layering techniques by nurserymen. Tip layering, compound layering, mound layering are other famous methods for layering. In some cases without the help of a propagator layering happens naturally. It happens when the stem of a plant or tree touches the ground and commences to produce adventitious roots.
Ground Layering / Simple layering
Simple layering is very often used for plants that have flexible stems. These stems have to bend to the ground and cover a part with the soil and make sure the tip at least 6 inches comes above the ground. Compound layering or serpentine layering is the same but instead of one layer will have more layers. The most important factor of ground layering is that there is no need for any special equipment so an amateur gardener can practice the method.
Air Layering is done by removing the bark using a layering knife and covers the space with a moisture-retaining agent. After roots come it is possible to cut the stem having roots and planted. Special equipment and utmost caution are needed when we are practising air layering.