bay area, Edible gardening, Limited space, Zone 9

Air layered plant success

Propagation via air layering for fruit trees…

Last year I wrote an article on air layering propagation method to propagate fruit trees that we had wanted to plant in our current garden. The lemons, mandarins, nectarine that were air propagated last year survived the winter. Much to our delight, the mandarin produced a couple of fruits as well. We found a permanent home in our current landscape, and planted the mandarin next to the Owari satsuma. In early January, we planted the nectarine next to our 3 year old Snow queen nectarine tree. The lemons went in pretty containers and are now full of flowers and small fruits. This lemon variety is perpetually loaded with lemons and are prolific. I cant wait for the abundance to continue.

I had read several articles stating that air propagation of pitted fruits has very minimal success. We probably got very lucky, as out of the 3 branches that we attempted to propagate, 2 successfully rooted and thrived. What had surprised me even more was the fact that the one that rooted fast and held on successfully was a thick branch of at least 1.5 inch diameter. I accidentally killed one of them in the pot, due to lack of consistent watering during the growing stage in summer months. The treasured nectarine tree delighted us with several flowers leading up to a few fruits, 4 precisely the first year. With the plant also came the peach curl disease, which we have to tackle this winter by spraying a copper fungicide and prevent it from spreading to our other trees.

Savoring the success of air layering, this year I plan to propagate the tasty pink guava and adopt other methods of plant propagation and grafting.


Successful air layering – results after 1 year of growth

3 thoughts on “Air layered plant success”

  1. Air layered or layered fruit trees will be ‘on their own roots’, which means that they are not grafted onto understock. That is probably unimportant, but you should be aware that some types might try to grow larger and more open than they would if grafted onto dwarfing rootstock like home garden trees typically are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very good point as they are not grafted on a dwarf or disease resistant rootstock. I’ll have to keep them aggressively pruned, and perhaps even try grafting to another nectarine already on a dwarf rootstock.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it may not be a problem. It is just something to be aware of, particularly with the citrus. The stone fruits will be pruned aggressively whether or not they are grafted, so you may never notice a difference. You may notice that the citrus trees are not quite so dense, but it might not be a bad thing.


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