Monday, March 11, 2013

Air layering was practised in China centuries ago...

Air layering in its original form was practised in China centuries ago and here I am with all the inherited genetic make-up from my farming ancestors, could only produce a single successful result from my past numerous propagation attempts. Motivated by the recent success of my air layering propagation of my calamansi plant, I could n’t wait to have a go at it again, this morning.
I was told many times that this method was the easy and sure way of propagating a number of flowering and fruiting plants to ensure that they are the same as the parent plants. Layering occurs naturally in many plants such as the “runners” of strawberries and the tip rooting of loganberry and blackberry are the well known examples and is the term used to describe the rooting of a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant.

 Let me briefly described what I have done this morning. I chose a one year old stem and partly severed by making an upward cut from just below a joint and afterwards a toothpick had been inserted to keep the cut open. I brushed and treated the cut surface with a root hormone powder before peat moss was wrapped around the cut with a freezer bag and binding the lower end of the freezer bag with a wire twist. The top of the bag was sealed after more peat moss was packed into the wrap. It was again wrapped with aluminium foil to strengthen it into a ball and to reduce necessity for constant damping. But I still have to make sure regular attention is given to syringing and watering to keep the ball moist until roots eventually grow out into it. Keeping my “green” fingers crossed.
A one-year old stem is chosen.
Making an upward cut
A toothpick is inserted to keep cut open.

Treating the cut surface with hormone  powder.
Peat moss is wrapped around the stem .

Aluminium foil is wrapped around to strengthen  the ball.
The top of the ball is sealed.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Successful Air Layering from my Calamansi in the backyard.

I was thrilled to see roots on one of my air layer propagated branches on my calamansi plant this morning. I couldn’t wait to try my luck again; even it’s the only successful one out of the three propagations. It has been a long 6 months wait and after the record breaking summer temperature and floods, I just couldn’t believe my luck (certainly not my reward for so many failed attempts to propagate new plants from this popular plant in my garden). I have received a long list of request for this plant since I blog about it. Once I have this precious cutting potted, I have to go and find out who is the lucky recipient on the top of my waiting list. I wish I can have more successful propagations to give them away. Wish me luck for the next try.