Propagating Plants: Layering Shrubs and Climbers

The stems of climbers and shrubs sometimes root when they touch the soil, and you can harness this tendency to make new plants.

Pink Rhododendron Blossoms

Pink Rhododendron Blossoms

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plants to Layer


aucuba
flowering quince
smokebush
Erica
fothergilla
honeysuckle
magnolia
passion flower
skimmia
lilac
viburnum
weigela
wisteria

Make a Slanting Cut

In spring, from the base of the plant select a flexible stem that bends to the ground. Remove side stems and make a shallow slanting cut on the underside, 12 inches from the tip. Dip the cut in rooting hormone compound.

Angled Cuts for Flexible Stems

Angled Cuts for Flexible Stems

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Peg Down Stem Into Soil

Use wire staples or a large stone to firmly anchor the wounded section of stem just below the soil surface. To aid rooting in poorer soils, pin the stem into a shallow depression filled with moist potting soil.

How to Salvage Damaged Stems

How to Salvage Damaged Stems

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Other Layering Techniques

Basic layering works for a wide range of shrubs, and by varying the technique, you can also use it to propagate woody climbers and fruit bushes.

Ivy and Honeysuckle

Climbers, such as ivy and honeysuckle, often root where their stems are in contact with the soil. Either pin stems down yourself in fall or spring, or check your plants for any stems that have rooted naturally. Use a hand fork to lift any stems with roots, and cut them between each rooted section to make new plants, which you can then grow on.

Blackberries

In summer, propagate blackberries and their hybrids by burying the tip of a healthy, young stem in a hole 4 inches deep. In a few weeks a new shoot will appear; transplant it the following spring.

Bury Stem of Blackberry Plant in Soil to Propagate

Bury Stem of Blackberry Plant in Soil to Propagate

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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