Layering is a form of rooting cuttings where adventitious roots are produced while the stem is still attached to the mother plant.

Some plants like raspberry (Rubus) and strawberry (Fragaria) reproduce naturally from layering.

The rooted layer is detached from the plant after it is well rooted. This is a simple form of propagation that requires very little specialized equipment.

Types of layering include:

  1. Simple layering
  2. Compound layering
  3. Serpentine layering
  4. Air layering
  5. Mound layering or Stooling
  6. Trench layering
  7. Drop layering
  8. Tip Layering

Layering is historically important propagation method prior to the twentieth Century.

Layering has been replaced by modern cutting and grafting propagation.

Some difficult-to-root woody plants are still propagated by layering.

It usually requires no special equipment, so plants can be propagated simply for the amateur gardener.

Historical engraving showing layering propagation technique.

Charles Baltet 1903

Layering is effective for rooting difficult-to-root plants for a number of reasons:

  1. Attachment to the mother plant is maintained
  2. Etiolation
  3. Accumulation of hormones, carbohydrates and cofactors in the rooting area
  4. Rejuvenation
  5. Seasonal patterns
  6. Girdling

Close up photo of a root bundle forming from a layered stem.