If you’ve been a good parent to your Brugmansia plants, they’ve grown tall and have produced many flushes of beautiful, sweet smelling blooms. You’re a success! Now, after reading all about this hybridizing stuff, you’re interested in starting your own hybridizing program. You’ve studied the Brugmansia cultivar history, you have some ideas about what kind of results you’d like to achieve and you’ve selected the Brugs you want to use for setting pods. There’s only one problem. You can’t reach the flowers! They’re up there, and you’re down here! The solution to the problem is air layering.
Air layering is a process used to produce roots at a given place on a plant’s stem or trunk. When the process is successful, roots will have formed where you did the layering, and you can prune the stem just below where the new roots appear. The next step is re-potting the newly rooted plant in it’s own pot. Voila! You now have two mature plants; a short one with the ability to continue blooming (which you can more easily pollinate) and another short one with the ability to re-sprout side growth. Pretty nifty.
Air layering allows you to continue using the plant’s blossoms for pollinating while the rooting progresses. If you were to simply lop your trunk in half, you would have to prune the top severely before rooting it in a separate pot. The opportunity to either pollinate or collect pollen from your Brug’s blossoms would be lost. You would lose a full season of opportunity to hybridize with the selected Brug. We don’t want that now, do we? Good luck!
We’ve posted a video demonstrating our method for air layering Brugmansia. Take a look!