It's easy to create large plants for little cost by a propagation technique called 'air layering' -- using wet sphagnum moss held in place around the woody stem or branch of a live growing plant or tree with plastic film and tape.
Start a new fruit tree orchard... or get a hedge full of azaleas or holly... almost for free... by the method of propagation known as 'air layering'.
Air layering is a way both amateur home gardeners and professional growers alike can easily and successfully create 'free' plants from plants that are hard to grow from cuttings or seed.
Air layering is also a great way to take advantage of a house plant that has become too 'leggy' to be attractive by turning it into several new plants instead of just pruning it.
Furthermore, air layering is an excellent way to get "mature" new plants which are of substantial size without having to wait the years it would take for a similiar size plant from seed or a small cutting.
All it takes to air layer is a tree or bush that's still growing in the dirt, some moist sphagnum moss, a bit of transparent plastic film and tape to hold the film in place around the branch. In anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the type of plant and diameter of the branch, you will start to see roots developing in the moist moss. Once these roots have developed enough, you can cut the branch from the plant and plant it in a pot or in ground.
Below is video on the basics of air layering which, once learned, can be applied to ANY plant, tree or shrub.
Recommends These Books on Plant Propagation
"... This book is a must for anyone interested in the propagation of just about any botanical-from herbs to vegetables to exotics. As an avid seed collector and gardener, this book has been indespensable and reigns as king of my botanical library!! ...." "... This book has excellent pictures of techniques for alternative propagation methodologies and a extremely wide treatment of many species. I cannot imagine anyone who would need any other book. I've read five other propagation books but this book has it all, written in well thought out descriptions and illustrated with great pictures. Highly recommended!!!..."
".... If you want the best info on greenhouses that was written in this country and is very up to date, this book is for you. Info on hydroponic tomatoes was the latest available (very important). The info on getting customers is the best that I have read. Real good ideas on building a greenhouse and the many extras you can get for this wonderful business. Suggestions on what to grow first for new growers and how many. Even what to say to prospect buyers. A buyers list that has real buyers! Just a great book and will save you many years...."
If you have friends which have mature fruit trees... or an orchard owner who is willing to give you access to his fruit trees before he prunes them, you can create an "almost free" INSTANT ORCHARD or PERMACULTURE FOREST just for your time and the cost of some plastic, tape and spagnum moss!
Instead of waiting years for trees or berry bushes to grow from seed, you can easily air layer a sizeable upright branch in just a month or two using the air layering technique... and have a fruit bearing orchard in just a couple of years... for practically nothing!
How to Air Layer Fruit Trees"Fruit trees provide a beautiful and delicious addition to your garden. By using a technique called air layering, you can propagate trees such as citrus, apple, pears, plums, peaches and pecans. Air layering encourages roots to form on a branch of a mature tree. You can then remove that branch for planting. The new air layered trees are virtually identical genetically to the parent tree. The best time to do this is in the spring, when new growth is emerging..." CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story
Here's a video on how the owner of a lychee orchard in Florida propagates new lychee trees. The same technique can be applied to virtually ANY fruit tree or plant.
Learn to Air Layer Even
The Most Difficult to Root Plants
Air Layering for Difficult to Root Plants "... The procedure was to wound the stem or branch of a plant and enclose the wounded stem with moist sphagnum moss or similar rooting medium until roots develop from the wounded area. Success was dependent upon the ability of the propagator to keep the rooting medium moist until the roots were formed and large enough to support the new plant. Only since the development of polyethylene film has air layering become a practical method of propagation for the home gardener and amateur horticulturist.
Air layering seldom is used on plants that root easily by other less complicated methods, but it is useful for rooting ornamental plants such as ornamental figs, dieffenbachia, croton and others of a herbaceous nature. Woody plants frequently propagated in this manner include magnolia, holly, camelia, azalea and many of the fruit and nut bearing plants such as citrus, apple, pears and pecans.... " CLICK HERE for the complete article.
Propagating House Plants by Air Layering
Why and How Should I Air Layer a Plant? "... There are number of houseplants that either are difficult to root or
have become leggy and very tall over time. This is especially
associated with such houseplants as rubber plants,crotons,corn
plant,and fiddle-leaf fig to mention a few.These plants and other
plants which primarily exist in the house and grow as a result of a
central stem can over a period of time loose all of their lower leaves.
This gives the appearance that the plant is in its last days before
expiring. However you need not fear because the plant can be
rejuvenated by a method referred to as air-layering...."
How to Propagate Plants by Air Layering "... a great way to propagate many types of plants, especially woody plants. It’s also about the only way to propagate plants that don’t root from cuttings or produce seed. It’s an easy process that will create a whole new plant for your usually in about six weeks, but some plants can take several months to form roots. For the best results stems should be at least the size of a pencil or even as large as your finger...."
Air Layering This article tell how to propagate a house plant like a Dieffenbachia by making an L-shaped cut and wrapping the damp moss with a bread wrapper, then tieing it with string. Talk about ubber-cheap!
• You can choose stock that displays desirable traits i.e. small leaves, good ramification, colour or size.
• Your new plant will be an exact genetic copy of the parent material (unlike seed)
• You can produce a large tree quite quickly.
• You can begin trimming and even wiring while you are taking the cutting.
• You can reduce the size of existing trees and produce a second plant.
• You can create several plants from one tree.
• Air-layering can be used to shorten a trunk and create a new root spread...."