Friday, 22 July 2011

Moss, Plastic and Tape

What is that in the tree? Many people have stopped and asked that question when looking at the Magnolia iolanthe. The answer is an attempt at air layering, a method of propagating.
Back in early spring, armed with damp moss, pieces of old compost bags and sticky tape, Ali and Joe went on a search for one to two year old stems perfect for air layering. A wound was made in the stem through a leaf bud to create a tongue that could be lifted. The damp moss was then placed in the tongue and around the wound, covered with the piece of plastic, sealing it with the tape. During the next year roots should develop from the wound into the moss, after which the stem can be cut from below the rooted section and potted up to create a new young plant. All we have to do is wait for nature to do the hard work for us.

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