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.

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Pink Rhododendron Blossoms 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 StemsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-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 StemsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-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.

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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