Popping cuttings in a pot is a common way of striking new plants. Another way to propagate is ‘air layering’, where a shrub or tree stem is stimulated to develop its own roots.
Step 1 Select a healthy tip of foliage on a stem of last season’s growth (we used a magnolia). Using sharp secateurs, make a cut halfway through on an angle. Dust wound with a little rooting hormone powder.
Step 2 Insert a small piece of matchstick into wound to keep it open.
Step 3 Wrap a generous wad of damp sphagnum moss around wound. Enclose moss in plastic wrap to keep it in place. Secure at both ends with soft ties.
Step 4 Leave in place for 2-4 months for plant to initiate roots at wound site. Check after about 2 months, by carefully unwrapping plastic so you can see. When roots have developed, cut branch from parent plant, remove plastic wrap, leave moss in place, then plant into a pot.