Learn how to do air layering on indoor plants with this comprehensive step-by-step guide. Discover the right plants to select, prepare your materials, make a wound, apply rooting hormone, wrap the wounded area with moss, and more. Multiply your indoor plant collection with ease and create new, thriving specimens.


Have you ever wanted to expand your collection of indoor plants without purchasing new ones? Air layering is a propagation technique that allows you to do just that. By following a few simple steps, you can encourage indoor plants to develop roots and create new, independent plants. In this article, we will explore the process of air layering on indoor plants, providing a detailed step-by-step guide and tips for success. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, air layering can be a fun and effective way to multiply your houseplant collection. So, let’s dive in and learn how to do air layering on indoor plants!

Understanding Air Layering

Air layering is a propagation technique that involves creating a small wound on a stem, encouraging the development of roots, and ultimately creating a new plant. This method is particularly useful for plants that are difficult to propagate through other means, such as cuttings or dividing. By air layering, you can take advantage of a plant’s existing root system and leaves, avoiding the stress and potential failure that can come with other propagation methods.

Selecting the Right Plants

Not all indoor plants are suitable candidates for air layering. It is best to choose plants that have mature stems, as these are more likely to produce successful air layers. Additionally, selecting plants that have lost their lower foliage and have become “leggy” can increase the chances of successful root development. Some popular indoor plants that can be air layered include ornamental figs, dieffenbachia, croton, and rubber plants.

Step-by-Step Guide to Air Layering on Indoor Plants

Now that we understand the basics of air layering let’s explore a comprehensive step-by-step guide to performing this technique on indoor plants:

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

To get started with air layering, gather the necessary materials. You will need:

  • A clean and sharp knife or scissors
  • Sphagnum moss or peat moss
  • Plastic wrap or a plastic bag
  • Garden twine or floral ties
  • Rooting hormone (optional)

Having these materials ready will streamline the air layering process and ensure a successful outcome.

Step 2: Select the Stem and Remove Leaves

Choose a healthy stem on the plant that you want to air layer. Ideally, the stem should be about 12 to 18 inches below the desired location for root appearance. Remove any leaves from the vicinity of the selected stem area, creating space for roots to emerge.

Step 3: Make a Wound

Depending on the type of plant you are air layering, there are different methods for creating a wound:

  • For plants with thick stems (e.g., rubber plants), make a notch in the trunk. Use a clean knife to create a small, diagonal cut, removing a piece of bark.
  • For other plants, make an upward, diagonal cut into the stem. The cut should be about one-third of the stem’s diameter.

After making the cut, use a toothpick or a similar object to hold the wound open. This will ensure that the rooting process can occur without obstruction.

Step 4: Apply Rooting Hormone (Optional)

If desired, you can apply rooting hormone to the exposed surface of the wound. Rooting hormone can help stimulate root development and increase the chances of successful air layering. Use a toothpick or a similar object to apply a small amount of rooting hormone to the wound.

Step 5: Wrap the Wounded Area with Moss

Take a handful of moistened sphagnum moss or peat moss and wrap it around the wounded area of the stem. Ensure that the moss completely covers the wound and extends a few inches above and below it. The moss will provide the necessary moisture and support for root development.

Step 6: Secure the Moss and Cover with Plastic Wrap

To keep the moss in place, wrap it tightly with garden twine or floral ties. This will prevent it from shifting or falling off during the rooting process. Next, cover the moss-wrapped section with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Secure the plastic at the top and bottom using electrical or medical tape, leaving a small opening at the top. The plastic wrap will help retain moisture and create a favorable environment for root development.

Step 7: Monitor and Maintain Moisture

Regularly check the moistness of the moss and add a few drops of water if it starts to dry out. It is important to maintain proper moisture levels to support root development. Use a spray bottle or a small watering can to moisten the moss as needed.

Step 8: Wait for Root Development

Roots typically start to develop within several weeks to a few months, depending on the plant species and environmental conditions. Be patient and monitor the air layering site for signs of root growth. Once the roots have grown to a couple of inches in length and become visible through the moss, it is an indication that the air layer is ready for separation from the parent plant.

Step 9: Separate the Air Layer

Carefully cut the stem just below the bottom twist-tie, ensuring that the newly rooted section is separated from the parent plant. Use a clean and sharp knife or scissors to make the cut. Be cautious not to damage the roots during this process.

Step 10: Pot the New Plant

After separating the air layer, it is time to pot the new plant. Fill a pot with a suitable potting mix and create a small hole in the center. Gently place the root mass into the hole and cover it with additional potting mix. Ensure that the newly potted plant is stable and upright in the pot.

Step 11: Provide Proper Care

Place the newly potted plant in a location with bright, indirect light and away from direct sunlight. This will help the plant establish itself in its new pot. Keep the plant well-watered, but avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Regularly monitor the plant for any signs of stress or issues, and adjust care as needed.


Air layering is an effective and straightforward propagation technique that allows you to multiply your indoor plant collection with ease. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can successfully air layer your favorite indoor plants, creating new, thriving specimens. As with any gardening technique, practice and patience are key to achieving successful results. So, gather your materials, select the perfect stem, and embark on a journey of air layering indoor plants. Enjoy the process and watch as new roots emerge, transforming your beloved plants into robust and independent individuals.


  1. Air Layering Is an Easy Way to Multiply Houseplants—Here’s How: <a href=”https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/air-layering-plants/“>https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/air-layering-plants/](https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/air-layering-plants/)
  2. How to Propagate Houseplants by Air Layering and Simple Layering: <a href=”https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/how-propagate-houseplants-air-layering-and-simple-layering“>https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/how-propagate-houseplants-air-layering-and-simple-layering](https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/how-propagate-houseplants-air-layering-and-simple-layering)
  3. Air Layering Makes Propagating Your Favorite Plants a Cinch—Here’s How: <a href=”https://www.bobvila.com/articles/air-layering/“>https://www.bobvila.com/articles/air-layering/](https://www.bobvila.com/articles/air-layering/)
  4. Air Layering Propagation – How To Air Layer Plants: <a href=”https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/propagation/layering/air-layering-plants.htm“>https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/propagation/layering/air-layering-plants.htm](https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/propagation/layering/air-layering-plants.htm)
  5. Air Layering: Propagating Difficult-Rooting Plants: <a href=”https://www.epicgardening.com/air-layering/“>https://www.epicgardening.com/air-layering/](https://www.epicgardening.com/air-layering/)
  6. The Complete Guide to Air-layering For Beginners: <a href=”https://planethouseplant.com/the-complete-guide-to-air-layering-for-beginners/“>https://planethouseplant.com/the-complete-guide-to-air-layering-for-beginners/](https://planethouseplant.com/the-complete-guide-to-air-layering-for-beginners/)
  7. What To Know About Air Layering Your Indoor Plants – House Digest: <a href=”https://www.housedigest.com/1119269/what-to-know-about-air-layering-your-indoor-plants/“>https://www.housedigest.com/1119269/what-to-know-about-air-layering-your-indoor-plants/](https://www.housedigest.com/1119269/what-to-know-about-air-layering-your-indoor-plants/)
  8. Air Layering For Difficult-To-Root Plants – Earth-Kind® Landscaping Earth-Kind® Landscaping: <a href=”https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/air-layering/“>https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/air-layering/](https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/air-layering/)
  9. Air Layering Propagation: [Difficult-To-Root Woody Plants]: <a href=”https://myindoorflora.com/growing-propagation/techniques/air-layering/“>https://myindoorflora.com/growing-propagation/techniques/air-layering/](https://myindoorflora.com/growing-propagation/techniques/air-layering/)
  10. Air Layering Is the Plant Propagation Method You Need to Try: <a href=”https://www.thespruce.com/air-layering-plant-propagation-method-need-to-try-5188727“>https://www.thespruce.com/air-layering-plant-propagation-method-need-to-try-5188727](https://www.thespruce.com/air-layering-plant-propagation-method-need-to-try-5188727)

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