Planting a Garden

Layering Plants

Layered stems develop roots while still
Layered stems develop roots while still

The process of layering is typically used to propagate hard-to-root shrubs like azaleas. Layering also works well with shrubs that have low-growing or creeping branches, like creeping rosemary. Layered stems develop roots while still connected to the mother plant, which helps encourage the rooting process.

Follow these steps for layering:

  • In the spring, select a low, flexible branch that will bend down to the ground easily.
  • Prepare well-drained but moisture-retentive soil where the stem will touch the ground.
  • Nick the bark off the side of the stem that will touch the ground and remove the leaves near the nick. Dust the cut with rooting hormone.
  • Cover the barren and nicked stem with soil. Top it with a rock, or pin it in place with a stake or metal pin.
  • The branch tip will become the new plant. If it is an upright grower, stake the tip upright to give it a good shape.
  • Keep the rooting area moist for several months, until roots develop and become large enough to support the new plant.
  • Cut the new plant free from the parent branch and transplant it to a pot or new site in the garden.

Looking for more information about gardening? Try these:

  • Gardening: Learn the basics of successful gardening.
  • How to Start a Garden: Even beginning gardeners can get a healthy garden in the ground and growing.
  • Annuals: Plant these beauties in your garden for bountiful blooms all summer.
  • Perennials: Perennial plants grace your garden year after year.