Marcotting Citrus Trees
What is marcotting?
Marcotting is the method of propagating a mature plant in order to create a new plant . The new plant forms roots above ground until it is stable enough to be cut from the mother plant. It is then grown independently. Reasons for marcotting may include size reduction or increase in crop.
Over the years I have been developing my method of marcotting, also known as air layering. I found the conventional methods of propagation quite tricky and it often seemed like I needed an extra pair of hands. Trying to hold the soil and plastic whilst tying the string around the branch was often quite stressful and time consuming. After many attempts I found the soil falling out or the plastic bag slipping open. I tried many different ideas and even thought about buying some of those fancy pop on propagators that you see on the internet. One day I was working on some clippings from my lime tree and I realized that the same method could be used for marcotting with the addition of a few simple cable ties. Simply fill a food bag with coconut coir or peat moss, cable tie the top, make a slice down the bag and cable tie it to the desired branch.
Things you will need.
Firstly, choose a branch that is appropriate to make a cutting. A branch that is too old will look brown whilst a branch that is too young will be too bendy. Choose the branch that is green with lines down it.
Planting the New Cutting
After you have followed all these steps it is time to plant your new tree in a pot or directly into the ground.
It is important that the new cutting gets the right nutrients from the start. A good potting soil or home made compost is perfect to get things started. Place the cutting into a pot no smaller than twelve inches deep until the roots take and new growth is clearly visible. It is important at the stage to keep it out of direct sunlight and choose a more shaded area. Once the roots have taken to the new soil it can be transferred into a bigger pot or directly into the soil in the desired area.
Remember! Citrus trees are heavy feeders and they prefer soil that is slightly higher in nitrogen. It is essential to keep the plant moist but not flooded with water and to fertilize regularly.