Propagating by Soil-Layering

I really enjoy this type of propagating because it is usually successful but always a minor miracle. Not because I haven’t taken steps to ensure the cuttings success it’s more a set-and-forget type process than other types of propagating and seems to procure these wonderful results regardless of my intervention.

This technique, like any other propagating technique, doesn’t work for all plants but it will work for those that have leggy, pliable stems that grow leaves along them. Practise with some of your shrubs and analyse the results.

To propagate by soil-layering use the following steps;

    1. Locate a suitable stem as previously mentioned find a leggy, pliable stem that grows leaves along it.
    2. Make an underside incision find a place along the stem that can bend low enough to reach the ground. Make an incision on the part of the stem that touches the soil as at upward slant, taking care not to cut through more than 1/3 of the stem.
    3. Dust with hormone powder I have never used this with soil-layering and have nearly always had success but if you’re find that you don’t want to risk the result use a little of the powder or gel around the cut.
    4. Remove some soil scoop enough topsoil to create a small trench for the stem to lay along. Lay the stem down and then cover again with remaining soil.
    5. Hold the stem down use a metal “U” turned upside down to hold the stem in the soil. The only time you will fail with this technique is when the stem comes away from the soil and air affects the incision.

As an alternative, you can use a pot to grow the plant in by replacing the soil method with some potting mix in a container. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.