Fig. 3-13 Stem cuttings are made by cutting the stem into one or two node sections. One-half to two-thirds of each leaf is removed (A). Cut ends are treated with fungicide and the bottom cut of each stem cutting is treated with a rooting hormone (B).
the moss from drying out while allowing monitoring of root development without disturbing the air layer. Some growers like to cover the moss with opaque plastic to keep the light out. If plants are in direct sunlight then transparent plastic should be covered with black plastic or a piece of metal foil to keep out the sunlight and prevent heating of the roots. If the moss should dry out before rooting is evident, add water to keep it moist.
Rooting should take place in 2-4 months. When a good root system has developed sever the stem and carefully pot the removed plant. It is best to keep newly-rooted plants or cuttings in sealed plastic bags for a month or so to give the roots time to adjust. If the rooted cutting is placed in a low-humidity environment the root system may be stressed and the plant can die.
3. Ground layering: This method is similar to air layering except that the branch or stem must be supple or flexible enough so that it can be bent down to place the wounded area of the stem in contact with the medium. In this method the notch is cut on the side of the stem that touches the medium when placed into position or a ringing cut may be made as was suggested for air layering.
The wound is dusted with Rootone and fungicide. The stem is bent down into the medium and is covered in the area of the cut with a mound of medium. (Fig. 3-18) The stem must be secured by some means to keep it anchored. Weights may be used or a piece of string or wire that runs through the pot out the bottom and up around the side to the top and around the stem and tied to the other end. Occasionally check for root development by gently moving the soil away from the wounded area.
When adequate roots are formed, sever the stem to remove it from the mother plant and follow the procedures as outlined for cuttings. It is best not to transplant cuttings, ground or air layered, for at least one year after rooting to allow them to become well established.
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