What are the methods of layering in hydroponic gardening?


There are five basic methods like Tip, Simple, Compound (Serpentine), mound (stool) and air. For tip, simple, mound and compound layering methods, a particular part of the stem is buried to form the new roots and for air layering, new roots form above the surface of the soil.

  1. Tip: A stem or cane of the present season’s growth is bent to the surface of soil. The shoot tip or a section just beneath the shoot tip is buried in a hole, which is pegged with stakes if required and covered with media or soil. Few examples are blackberries, raspberries, raspberries, dewberries, loganberries, and other members of genus rubus L.
  2. Simple: It is similar to the tip layering method. Only difference is a 6 to 12 inch section with the shoot tip is left above the surface of soil. You can try this with the plants like climbing roses, forsythia, rhododendron, honeysuckle, boxwood, azalea, jasmine, Abelia, Pyracantha, and wax myrtle
  3. Compound: This is based on the same principles of tip and simple layering methods. But in this method, burying of a section of stem at several points along its length takes place leaving the stem uncovered. You need to make sure that at least one lateral bud is buried and one is exposed at each section. The best plants which can be chosen for this treatment are vine-type and trailing ground covers. You can try with this is other plants also like heart-leaf philodendron, pothos, wisteria, clematis, grapes, rambler, roses, Vining honeysuckle, willow, viburnum, dogwood
  4. Mound or stool: The process of mounding occurs in several steps throughout a growing season. The substrates if soil such as mulch are placed around the base of the plant for a few weeks or months until the development of root on shoots which develop from buds located in the mainstream. Soil should be placed around the plant up to half of its height. Once the roots are developed on the lateral shoots, you need to cut the shoots from the main stem right underneath the newly developed roots. The rooted cuttings will be ready for plantation. If desired, the mounding process can be repeated. This method will be often used by plant nurseries to propagate dwarf understocks for fruiting trees and can be used on ornamental plants like spirea and flowering quince.
  5. Air: You need to first find a branch midway up to the trunk, within reach, which is about one to two inches in diameter. It is better to go to a branch which is bigger than to go with the one which is smaller to ensure the success of layering. Next, make a vertical cut in the upper parts of the stem along with two horizontal cuts at the top and bottom of the one which is vertical. Then, you need to peel off the bark around the entire circumference of the area of stem. You can apply Auxins for fast rooting if available. Then the cut area is wrapped with peat moss and plastic wrap, and secured with twist ties or rubber bands. After roots have penetrated, the peat moss is visible from all sides and now it is time to plant the cutting. The cutting can be done just below the roots by making sure that they are not damaged. This layering method can be tried with plants such as Croton, dumb, cane, Dracaena, Norfolk Island pine, rubber plant, schefflera, azalea, magnolia, roses, and Oregon grape holly.
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