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Nepenthes air-layering photo guide


gardenofeden
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I don't have much luck with taking cuttings of Nepenthes, but I do find air layering works well for me. So here is a brief photo guide on how to do it:

The reason for layering can often be to increase the number of plants, but for me it is to stop the plants outgrowing the terrarium where they live, and having spare plants as a result is a bonus which I can then swap for other specimens. Choose the stem you want to layer. Cut off a leaf at the point where you want to do a layer, as in this photo:

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Nepenthes air layering 01 by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

Then make an angled cut upwards through where the leaf attached to the stem using a clean sharp knife, as so:

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Nepenthes air layering 02 by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

Press a few stems of Sphagnum into the cut. This is to keep the cut open and stop it from healing up. I have tried doing notches before, but find this "wedged cut" works much better. Some people like to use hormone rooting powder, although it never seems to work for me. There has been a recent suggestion that rooting powder may work better on layerings done towards the top of vine because of the particular hormone balance near the shoot tips... I tend to do mine towards the bottom of the vine, which may explain why hormones do not help:

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Nepenthes air layering 03 by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

Next wrap some damp Sphagnum moss around the cut. You do not need very much, a ping-pong ball size is as much as you will ever need and usually much less than this. Wrap a piece of clear plastic (e.g. cling film) around this Sphagnum, and secure top and bottom with ties. Leave the top tie slightly loose to allow water in, you do not want the moss to dry out. You may need to water the moss occasionally with a syringe or pipette to keep it damp:

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Nepenthes air layering 04) by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

Several weeks later, you may see roots growing under the plastic, Nepenthes roots are black. In this picture you can see Nepenthes roots growing in the crease of the plastic at the bottom of the wrapping. When you see the roots, you know the layering has rooted and you can cut it off:

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Nepenthes air layering 05 by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

And here is the finished article with roots sprouting ready to be potted up. The stem has already been cut.:

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Nepenthes air layering 06 by gardenofeden67, on Flickr

Any handy hints or useful pearls of wisdom please do share...

Edited by gardenofeden
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Guest SarraceniaScott

Thanks for posting that.

I have some cuttings from my N x coccinea which haven't really taken off. They're still green, but it's been weeks, and no trace of new growth.

I tried this method with one of my Nepenthes... we'll see if I have better luck this way!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for that great guide, Stephen. I've just layered my N. x gentle on its two main stems (2 different layerings, in other words).

Fiddly old job though, eh?

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  • 9 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Hello!

I would like to do the same with my Neps but they don't have any upper part of the steam without pitchers. Can I airlayer it with them?

And second...what if I don't have steams of Sphagnum, can I use something else??

thank you

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Hello!

I would like to do the same with my Neps but they don't have any upper part of the steam without pitchers. Can I airlayer it with them?

And second...what if I don't have steams of Sphagnum, can I use something else??

thank you

you can airlayer any stem. any dap compost will do, vermiculite or similar may work.

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  • 2 months later...

I used your guide and tryed my own little spin on it. When slicing the stem, I went further "in", pretty much in the middle of the stem, and I made the cut at a very shallow angle (probably about 5° from the horizontal), about 1" long. I also dusted the sphagnum that went in the cut with rooting hormone. This did not speed up the rooting process any, though it did create wayyy more roots. A side effect of this though, was that the roots were only about 1" long, though there were probably 30 +/- of them

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Prozac, this way, the plant itself already has roots, but new roots are gorwn out of where the cut is made. It takes shorter, due to the cut area still having some sort of vascular system still attached. Also, if you make a cutting and it dies...sucks for you. If you make an airlayering (sp?) and it doesnt work, all that happens is the stem heals up and the plant continues as it was

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Guest Daa Shaaman

I love photos they talk a 1000 words and the info is very useful , it will work great too , with instead sphagnum moss you can use Jiffy 7 peat pellets , no hormone needed , take care.......

Sincerely ........................////////////////////////

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