Air Layering Made Easy

By Amber | Posted in: Propagation

Published: January 22, 2013

Air layering is a propagation process where roots are grown out of a branch- while the branch is still attached to the tree.  It allows you root a very large cutting.

There are products like the clamshell air propagator that make this process easy and effective. Each propagator package comes with 2 disks of compressed growing medium (a mixture of peat moss, coconut powder, dry hydro gel and other ingredients).

Add one soil disk to each half of the shell and water thoroughly.  The disk will expand.

Decide where you want to place the shells on your plant.  Use pliers to remove a one inch strip of  bark and cambium layer.  Brush on a rooting compound.

Position your clam shell.  You can use a rubber band to temporarily hold it in place while you secure the ends with zip ties.

Place a zip tie below your clam shell to keep it from sliding.  You may need to stake your plant.  The shell can get heavy when filled with water.

Water the shell weekly.

The amount of time needed to root will vary for each variety of  plant.  It might take 2-3 weeks.  It might take 3-4 months.  When you see roots poking out of the sides of the clam shell, then you know its time to remove it.  Simply snip the zip ties and remove the shell.  Cut your newly propagated tree below the root ball to remove it from the parent tree.


Buy a clam shell air propagator here!



This post was written by Amber.

Info Slinger & Human Farmer: I grow people. Oh yeah, and plants too.

6 Responses to “Air Layering Made Easy”

  1. tommy cowett says:

    Like your blog, mike m. Sent me.
    Thanks to you both
    Tommy cowett

  2. David Stoud says:

    Hi Mike:

    I’ve done this many times using long fiber sphagnum moss soaked in water & plastic to hold it in place secured by twist ties at the top & bottom of the area stripped for the roots to go. I have many gardenias done this way & crepe myrtles but have had little success with azaleas for some reason.

    It’s a good method to propagate!

  3. Art Gettys says:

    Great blog. I just knew ole MIKE knew what he was doing.

  4. Jeff says:

    love your enthusiasm
    Now that you have the clam shells attached to the last two leafing branches, what happens to the rest of the fig tree after they’ve rooted and you cur them off?

  5. Peg says:

    Can this method be used on trees? I have a small tree that has a branch just itching to be on it’s own. Thanks!

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