A Simpler Way to Make New Plants

By Charlie Nardozzi

Air layering is a gardening propagation technique where new roots are encouraged to grow on a stem or branch of an herbaceous or woody plant in order to create a new plant. It's a convenient way to propagate shrubs such as holly, camellia, and azalea; indoor plants such as dieffenbachia and croton; and trees such as citrus and apple, without harming the mother plant.

While air layering is a proven horticultural technique, it can be difficult for some gardeners. Now a new product makes air layering a little easier. Rooter-Pots clamp around 1/4- to 1-inch-thick stems of your favorite tree or shrub to help new roots form. Here's how they work.

Make a 1- to 2-inch-long wound in the bark completely encircling the stem you want to propagate. Stems less than 1-inch diameter are best. Remove the bark around the cut and dust the wound with a rooting hormone powder. Enclose the Rooter-Pot around the wound. Fill the pot with moistened potting soil, peat moss, or coconut fiber mulch. Attach the lid to seal the pot, and check the pot periodically to make sure the rooting medium stays moist. Once roots form, cut the branch below the pot and you have a new shrub identical to your old one.

Rooter-Pots come in two sizes for small and large diameter branches. For more information on the Rooter-Pots, go to: Kinsman Company.

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