Air Layering Citrus Trees: A Comprehensive Guide

Air Layering citrus trees (marcotting) r/gardening
Air Layering citrus trees (marcotting) r/gardening from


If you’re a citrus lover and want to grow your own trees, you might have heard about air layering. It’s a propagation technique that allows you to grow a new tree from an existing one without having to start from scratch. In this article, we’ll discuss how to air layer citrus trees in a step-by-step guide.

What is Air Layering?

Air layering is a technique that involves creating a wound in a tree’s bark and exposing the inner stem. This stimulates new root growth, which can then be used to propagate a new tree. The process is relatively simple and can be done on a variety of trees, including citrus trees.

Why Air Layering?

Air layering is a popular propagation technique because it allows you to create a new tree that is genetically identical to the parent tree. This means that you can replicate the same fruit quality and tree characteristics that you love.

When to Air Layer Citrus Trees?

The best time to air layer citrus trees is in the spring, when new growth is starting to emerge. This is when the tree is most active and able to produce new roots.

Materials Needed

To air layer a citrus tree, you’ll need a few materials, including a sharp knife, rooting hormone, plastic wrap, and sphagnum moss. You’ll also need a small container to hold the moss and a rubber band to secure the plastic wrap.

Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have your materials, here’s how to air layer a citrus tree:

Step 1: Choose a Branch

Choose a healthy branch to air layer. It should be at least 1/2 inch in diameter and have no signs of disease or damage.

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Step 2: Make a Cut

Make a cut around the branch, about 8-10 inches from the tip. Use a sharp knife to make a 1/4 inch deep cut all the way around the branch.

Step 3: Apply Rooting Hormone

Apply rooting hormone to the cut area. This will help stimulate root growth.

Step 4: Wrap with Moss

Wrap sphagnum moss around the cut area, making sure to cover it completely. Secure the moss with plastic wrap and a rubber band.

Step 5: Check Progress

Check the moss periodically to make sure it stays moist. After a few weeks, you should see new roots growing.

Step 6: Cut and Plant

Once the roots are about 1 inch long, you can cut the branch below the moss and plant it in a pot or in the ground.


Air layering is a great way to propagate citrus trees and create new trees that are genetically identical to the parent tree. With the right materials and techniques, it’s a simple and effective way to grow your own citrus trees. Happy propagating!

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