Lemon layers: how and when

layer spread is a very easy way to get new lemon plants , all you need is a mother plant to get started. Those who grow lemons, in the open field or in pots, will be able to propagate the plants themselves and at no cost.

The layering technique is a feasible method of reproduction for different types of plants , including citrus and olive trees, which allows you to turn a branch into a new tree. This type of reproduction is asexual that is, it does not involve pollination and, therefore, preserves the characteristics of the original plant intact.

If you think citrus layering is hard not to scare, we’ll go to explain step by step how to do it learn what to use and when is the best time.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Lemon and its reproduction

  • what is stratification

  • How to make a lemon layer

    • When to put diapers

    • The choice of branch

    • floor and roof

    • Rooting and Separation

    • Layering in a jar

  • Alternatives to overlay


The lemon and its reproduction

The lemon ( lemon citrus ) is a tree native to India and Indochina, belonging to the Rutaceae family, and seems to have been introduced into the Mediterranean basin by the Arabs. Sensitive to the cold of winter, to the point of losing its leaves at low temperatures, this citrus fruit requires abundant watering from April to September. It is strongly recommended to keep lemons in a non-cold environment, or to cover the jar with suitable cloths during the winter; can be placed outside again when minimum temperatures exceed 5°C.

Its breeding like that of all plants, can be of two types: sexual (gaming) or vegetative (agamic).

The sexual reproduction of plants occurs with the fertilization of the female part of the flower. This process generates new seeds which, once planted, will grow into new plants. The latter will take on the genetic characteristics of both parents.

The vegetative reproduction instead, is produced after several cell divisions of the parent plant and the result will be a plant with the same characteristics as the mother plant alone .

One of the substantial differences between the two reproductions is in the " genetic variability ". In sexual reproduction, the traits of the parent plants will “mix” with each other. thereby creating new individuals; then time (or the experienced fruit grower) will naturally select the plants most resistant to environmental conditions and pests.

In vegetative reproduction there is no genetic variability and therefore the plants will be of exactly the same variety as the parent tree. This means that there is no evolution, but also no change : if we liked the type of fruit or the resistance characteristics of a tree, we can choose to reproduce it identically. Being lemon a hybrid if we plant the seed, we will get a wild plant, which may not even bear fruit, that is why we use stratification or grafting a lot.

Among the techniques of asexual propagation of plants that can be carried out in the domestic sphere, we retain the propagation by cuttings, by grafting or by propagation, in addition to the stratification that we are going to see in detail now.

What is stratification?

As we saw in the previous paragraph, stratification is a type of citrus spread i which generates new plants perfectly equal to the mother plant. The operation is carried out from a carefully chosen branch .

While in cuttings, the branch is immediately cut and the stem is buried in the ground, in layering the branch is not cut immediately . Part of the branch is rooted without separating of the mother plant.

Layering, in addition to citrus, is also commonly used for other fruit trees such as olive, cherry and pomegranate, as well as for ornamental plants.

How to make a lemon layer

When to put diapers

The best time to make a lemon layer is surely the one that goes May to June .

If we want that follow the phases of the moon it would be appropriate to do the work when the moon is half moon a few days after the full moon: it is at this time that the sap is thought to be most active.

The choice of branch

Let’s start by choosing a branch that has at least one year of life which is partially lignified but also healthy, robust, straight and with green bark.

Once the branch is selected, prepare it remove side shoots and leaves to a length of about 15 cm.

Bark cuttings and rooting hormone

On the defoliated part of the branch chosen for layering, make two parallel cuts , about 5/6 cm and a vertical one third of the depth of the stem. The latter will be used to remove the ring of bark between the two incisions. To prevent disease transfer from one plant to another, it is important disinfect instruments Before using them, it can be done with a 10% sodium hypochlorite solution or with household bleach.

So to stimulate rooting of our lemon tree branch it would be useful to wet the scratched part with a hormone which stimulates rooting. There are several types on the market, the most common being in powder or liquid form. However, be careful and avoid synthetic chemicals which would not be compatible with a natural culture, you can also use natural root stimulants What honey (We recommend, for example, the root honey that you find here). Using something that stimulates rooting allows you to greatly reduce the time needed for layering.

Territory and coverage

The part of the branch prepared for debarking should be placed in very moist soil (composed of earth, peat and little sand) and wrapped in a perforated plastic bag. The lemon branch thus treated must be well tied, above and below the sleeve, with raffia or string so that it looks like a “big candy”.

Remember to always keep the soil moist by using a water spray near the plastic holes, so that the soil is in optimum condition for the release of new roots.

Classification and separation

Time necessary for rooting of a layered lemon branch varies less than two months to eight months , depending a lot on whether or not a rooting hormone is used and how effective it is. Root honey has comparable results to chemicals.

Once this time has elapsed, you can cut the stem at the base of the scabbard, always using a well-sharpened and disinfected secateur. This section of the stem will be ready to start an independent vegetative life with its roots, planted directly in the ground or in a pot.

Stacking of bottles

As an alternative to the perforated plastic bag or foil, you can use an empty water bottle , previously cut to half its height then cut vertically to its length; keeping it open with the neck part held down (like a funnel), it is inserted into the previously skinned branch section. Once closed with tape, the half-bottle should be filled with the mixture of soil, peat and a little sand. The treatment will be the same as the previous one, and given the new roots, it will have to be cut and planted.

Investment alternatives

Layering is the easiest and quickest technique for propagating a lemon tree, alternatively this citrus fruit can be multiplied by graft . Grafting is the most suitable citrus multiplication technique because it is able to “create” more vigorous plants than the original rootstock, but it is less easy to implement than layering: it requires a lot of practice deeper ideas and specific tools .

On the other hand, in the particular case of the lemon not recommended , being a hybrid of other citrus fruits, the resulting seeds will produce plants with a different appearance and characteristics than the original plant. The same goes for citron, grapefruit and lime.

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