Gardening

Margotta

Vegetative reproduction techniques: layering

How many times have you wanted to make new plants from a particularly appreciated specimen? Being able to keep the beauty, the often suggestive colors of its flowers unchanged? Some vegetative reproduction techniques allow to obtain new plants starting from the original one, which have the same characteristics. Among these techniques the most used is layering. With this technique, the branch chosen to give life to the new plant is first engraved with a sharp knife, and then wrapped in a mixture of moistened peat and sand and enclosed inside a sleeve, or a plastic bag. The sleeve has the double task of retaining the mixture around the carved branch and ensuring the maintenance of humidity inside.

Layering step by step


To reproduce a plant by layering it is first of all necessary to identify the branch to be used. The latter must be healthy and lignified. Start by removing the leaves that are at the tip of the branch, as well as any side branches. At this point, make an incision on the trunk, using a well-sharpened and sterilized small knife. The cut must be about 6 cm long and have a depth that corresponds to 1/3 of the diameter of the stem. Insert a wooden spacer to hold the incision just made open. The part affected by the cut must now be wrapped with a mixture moistened with sand and peat. Press the compound to penetrate the cut, then remove the spacer. Close the part with a plastic sleeve, which you will tie with raffia at both ends. Make a small incision on the sleeve, in order to facilitate ventilation and facilitate the operations of humidification of the substrate.

Margotta: planting of the new plant


Over time, new roots will form inside the sleeve, coming from the branch you have chosen for the reproduction of the plant. The period of time required for root formation varies from plant to plant, also depending on the state of health, the woodiness of the branch and the climatic zone. Generally, to have sufficient roots for the new plant to grow independently, it takes between two and six months. To speed up the times it is possible to use specific rooting products, to be sprayed or spread at the base of the branch used for the layering before closing it inside the sleeve. As soon as the new plant is ready to be planted, cut the branch with the help of well-sharpened shears, take the new plant and place it in a pot or in the ground.

plants indicated and best period


Although almost every vegetative species can be reproduced through the layering technique, there are some species that lend themselves more than others to this operation. Layering is used for all species that have branches that are difficult to bend and face upwards, for which reproduction through offshoots would be particularly complex. Maple, ficus, azalea, cedar, mulberry, olive and citrus are some of the species that are usually reproduced by layering. Conifers, on the other hand, do not root with this technique. A great use of reproduction by layering is in the bonsai field. For most species, the best time to intervene is spring (April and May). For some species it is possible to intervene until the end of the summer.

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