Although florists now rarely resort to propagation by layering, yet now and then it may be desirable for amateurs to increase the number of some favorite plant during the summer season, where no other method of propagation can be practised. The only difference between a layer and a cutting is, that the cutting is entirely detached from the parent plant, while the layer remains partially connected with it. Although layering may be done with the ripened wood of vines or shrubs of the growth of the previous season, yet it is preferable to use the shoot of the present year in its half green state; for example, a rose or flowering shrub is pruned in the usual way in spring; by midsummer it will have made strong shoots one, two, or three feet in length from or near the base of the plant. Take the shoot then in the left hand, (after having stripped it of its leaves for a few inches on each side of where it is to be cut), keep the fingers under the shoot, and make a cut on the upper part, an inch or so in length, and to about half the thickness of the shoot, then slightly twist the "tongue" or cut part to one side, as shown in the engraving, Fig. 15; having opened a shallow trench, fasten the branch down with a hooked peg, and cover with earth; it is a good plan to place a flat stone over the layer to prevent the soil from drying out. This plan of cutting the shoot in layering is rarely shown in illustrations on the subject, the cuts usually being represented at the under side of the shoot. When cut at the lower side, the shoot can not be laid down without danger of breaking it.
Fig. 15. - Propagating By Layering.