A while back I touched on the subject of taking cuttings showing you all an amazing succulent garden I stumbled upon and my own succulent cuttings rooting in a window sill. Not all plants root well from cuttings so today I'm going to show you a great technique for taking a cutting of a fruit tree that will up your chances of success.
This process takes a bit longer and requires more work than just taking a cutting but for some plants it is much more successful. The idea is to create a cut on a branch but still have it attached to the tree to receive nutrients. You simulate it being in the ground so it begins to grow roots out of the cut in the branch. Hopefully after enough roots have grown you can fully cut it from the tree and plant it with its new roots already ready to take over.
This is my first experiment with air layering so you'll be learning with me on this one.
The plant chosen was the wonderful Strawberry Guava I found in my neighborhood awhile back.
Air layering is best done during the spring when the tree starts showing signs of new growth.
Choose a good size branch at least a couple of feet long. Cut two parallel lines around the branch roughly one inch apart. Make sure to only cut deep enough to go through the bark. Make sure you make this cut below a node.
Make a single cut connecting the two lines and peel away the bark. If you have a rooting medium brush it on the exposed branch. (I did not do this so we'll see how it turns out)
Gather a recycled piece of plastic around the branch a few inches under the cut and attach with a twist tie or something similar.
Fill the entire area a few inches below, a few inches above, and all the way around the cut with sphagnum moss or coconut coir (I used the coir). Make sure to wet the moss or coir really well then wrap the plastic around it tightly and seal up the other side again with a twist tie or something similar.
I haven't found anything online that gives exact amounts of time to wait for roots to begin growing so I plan on checking back after about a month and a half. When I do I'll post an update and let you know how it is working out.