Types of layering: Discover the four most used forms of layering

reproduction by layering

You might know how you might not, but Reproducing a plant is not only limited to cutting cuttings, stem, roots or through seeds. There is a method that very few people use and it is known as elbowing.

Elbowing is nothing more than a procedure that consists of catching a stem of a plant and make it develop roots without having to resort to cutting cuttings as is usually done. It is a practical and simple way that can be used to reproduce a plant without having to cut it. Of course, there are different types of layering where each of them has a different procedure.

Different types of layering

method of layering the branches of a tree

method of layering the branches of a tree

Simple layer

This type of layering adapts perfectly to creeper type plantsas well as for a great variety of shrubs. Of course, its implementation for reproduction purposes will depend on whether or not the branch can be bent without being damaged.

Among the types of shrubs that you can propagate using this method are:

Now, this procedure cannot be done at any time. You have to wait for spring To start with the elbow and for this, you have to select the dormant branches that are approximately one year old. However, it is not obligatory to wait for spring to carry out a simple layering, since in areas with climates similar to the Mediterranean, it should be done during autumn.

Procedure to follow

  1. Choose a stem that is long and flexible, preferably low to the plant.
  2. Proceed to make a small cut in the area where it tends to curve, specifically in the lower or external part of it.
  3. The cut has to be 2.5 cm long and the direction must be diagonal.
  4. Cut the leaves that are on the branch that will be buried without removing the leaves completely.
  5. You will need to use a hairpin to fix the branch that you have bent.
  6. Irrigation must be in dry seasons and the surrounding weeds must be counted (if it grows).
  7. In the following winter, the branch of the mother plant should be cut, cutting just where the roots are growing.

Aerial layering

air layering in tree

air layering in tree

Surely the air layering be the type of layering that you will mostly see on the Internet and on platforms like YouTube in the many tutorials that exist. And the reason for this is understandable, it can be used to multiply climbing-type plants, shrubs, and even houseplants.

As for the time of the procedure, it is recommended that it be done during the spring. Once the twig is rooted, you will have to wait until next fall or next spring (depending on the process speed in each plant).

In the case of hot climates that resemble the Mediterranean, layering should preferably be done in early autumn and then wait for the following spring to proceed with the separation of the layer.

It is essential that if your method is this, you have to know that you are forbidden to do the whole procedure during winter or summer. These are periods when the plant is in a state of inactivity and if you intend to have a high success rate, you will understand that autumn or spring are the most recommended times.

Now, if the procedure you will carry out is on an indoor plant, you should know that you can do it at any time of the year except winter. This is because the growing conditions are different than those facing those outside.

Multiple or compound layered

This layer is also known as serpentine or serpentine layering and the reason for this is because as such, it is a more elongated or extended version of the simple layer. That is, instead of having a single bush or plant in the growth process thanks to the layering, you will have several of them.

We cannot tell you the exact amount since depends on the type of plant you are trying to layer. Vine-type plants tend to be the most ideal for this type of layering thanks to the length of their stems, just like climbing plants, they are perfect for this method of layering.

In theory it is the same procedure as simple layering, only instead of making a fold and planting it in the ground, you will make several of these with the same stem. It is a way to double or triple the results.

Mound or cut layer

layering in grapes

layering in grapes

This is a method that is somewhat special, especially for plants such as:

Now this is a type of layer where the plant is cut down to ground level during winter. Then proceed to pile the plant with soil, substrate, mulch and others, around those new shoots in order to stimulate the growth of their roots.

To do this (as you can imagine) the branches are covered with earth. Of course for this procedure you should place your mother plants at a distance more or less 40 cm away from another. This should be left there for about a whole year and then in late winter, a cut is made at ground level.

As more time passes, the mother plant will begin to develop new shoots. Once these shoots are over 18 cm high, the base is provided in such a way as to create a mound where new shoots have a greater chance of generating roots.

Once the shoots reach a height of 254 cm, the same process is repeated and once again when they reach 40 cm tall. In late fall you will have a long stem with multiple branches at different heights.

At this point you will begin to make a cut. The number of cuts will depend on the height that the stem has reached and the number of times you repeated this process. The good news is that if you take good enough care of the mother plant, the species can easily take care of you for just over 20 years.

On the other hand, the substrate that you should use for this layer has to be peat, earth, or sawdustIn this way you will be guaranteeing your plant that it will not have waterlogging, much less will it have problems with humidity.

Types of layering: Discover the four most used forms of layering

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