Question: How do I make an air layer?

Answer: Air layering is done on stems that are above the soil line. You would select a branch that is healthy and vigorous. Work 6 to 8 inches back from the growing tip of the branch. Strip the leaves off a 4- to 5-inch segment of the stem, and cut a shallow flap through the bark of the stem. Use a toothpick or small twig to hold the flap away from the rest of the stem, then dust the freshly cut surface with rooting hormone powder. Use sphagnum moss as your rooting medium. Soak it for an hour or two before you start the layering, then wring it almost dry before you place a handful of the moss around the wounded stem tissue. Use fine string to hold it in place around the stem, then wrap polyethylene plastic film around the moss to hold in the moisture. Seal all the seams with electrician’s tape to make them air-tight. Roots will form in the moss, at which point you can sever the stem and pot the new plant up. You may want to cut the mother plant back to reshape it.

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