Many plants are very easy to layer. This shows how simple the procedure can be with an overgrown Moses-in-the-cradle that is flopping over the sides of the pot. 

Select a plant

Select a plant, such as, Moses-in-the-cradle (Tradescantia), that is growing over the sides of the pot.

Assemble materials

1. Tepid water
2. Pot
3. Potting soil
4. Container to hold soil and water
5. Wire coat hanger
6. Knife
7. Pliers or wire cutters (not pictured

Make wire pins

Cut a section of wire about 7-9 inches long and form into a pin. You could also cut a section of stiff wire from another source or use purchased landscape fabric pins if you didn't want to make your own.


Avoid watering mistakes

The potting mix needs to be thoroughly moistened. Simply placing dry potting soil into a pot and watering it does not work. The water will overflow the pot and the potting soil will remain dry underneath.

Moisten potting mix

Place the potting mix in a container and add water sparingly. Mix thoroughly. Continue adding water and mixing until potting mix is moist but not soggy.

Fill container with moistened potting soil

Place the moistened soil in the pot and gently press down to compact the soil slightly.

Select a layering point

Choose a low area on the stem where you want roots to form.


Wound the stem

Remove a thin slice from the spot where roots should form (layering point). This will encourage roots to form at this location.


Place layering point down in potting soil

Place the section of the stem where you want it to root down into the moistened soil. Usually this is done close to the tip.

Secure layering point to soil

Pin the stem down securly with the wire pins. In this case only one pins was needed to keep it down securely.


Leave the plant in its usual growing location

The plant can remain in its usual growing location.

After care

Keep the soil in the pot damp or rooting may be slow or not occur at all.


Checking for rooting

Check for rooting by removing the wire pins and gently tugging on the layered plant. When properly rooted, the plant will not come out of the soil.

Here, rooting has occurred. If it had not occurred (if the plant had come out of the soil when tugged), put it back in the soil and again secure with pins.

When rooting has occurred

When rooting had occured cut the the plant from the mother plant.

What to do with the mother plant

Trim back the long stem and dispose of it to encourage new growth from the stub back to the center of the pot.

You now have two plants

Return the mother plant to its usual growing location and do as you wish with the new one. If we had wanted, we could have layered several drooping branches on this plant all at once and had several new plants. The other branches could still be layered.