Best Soil for Air Layering Japanese Maples


Air layering is a great way to clone your favorite tree, but what is the best soil to use to promote root growth? What if I told you that the best soil to use is not actually soil at all? The best results have come from using non-traditional medium to help promote strong root growth.

Sphagnum Moss Peat Moss
SuperMoss 22301 Orchid Sphagnum Moss Dried Natural 8ozMiracleGro VB00007 Sphagnum Peat Moss 8 qt 2 Pack

BEST: Sphagnum Moss

By far the best medium to use when air layering is sphagnum moss, hands down the winner. Sphagnum moss is harvested as it grows on top of water and dried whole. It kind of looks like braided rope a bit, because of that, the sphagnum moss is great at absorbing water. Air gaps easily form allowing air to flow, so it's the perfect combination of airflow and moisture for root growth. Combined with rooting hormone gel, sphagnum moss is really the perfect medium to use for air layering.

SuperMoss 22301 Orchid Sphagnum Moss Dried Natural 8oz


How To Use: Sphagnum moss is dried out, so open the package and place what you will use in a bucket to rehydrate. Place some water in the bucket and squeeze the sphagnum moss to help rehydrate and soak up the water. The sphagnum moss will turn darker in color as it absorbs water. Go ahead and apply rooting hormone gel on the wound. Now you can begin wrapping the air layer, take handfuls to fill the plastic bag and seal.

SuperMoss 22301 Orchid Sphagnum Moss Dried Natural 8oz

Sphagnum Moss is hands down the best medium to use when air layering Japanese maples. Great combination of thickness to retain moisture and gaps to create airflow to promote root growth.

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SECOND BEST: Sphagnum Peat Moss

When you can't get your hands on good old sphagnum moss, you can look to use peat moss. Sphagnum peat moss is much finer, still fibrous but with a ground down feel to it, like ground coffee. Because it is finer, it tends to become rather solid when over watered, not allowing great airflow. It is best to keep an eye on the moisture of the air layer when using peat moss, that is really the only drawback on using peat moss.

MiracleGro VB00007 Sphagnum Peat Moss 8 qt 2 Pack

How To Use: Peat moss is very light and fluffy, be careful on windy days as it can blow all over the place. Take a bucket and fill it with the amount of peat moss you need for your air layer. Slowly add water to your peat moss to prevent it from blowing all over the place as it can be extremely dry. Use your hands to squeeze the peat moss to help it absorb water. You can use vinyl gloves to prevent small fibers from getting on your skin. Add your rooting hormone gel and begin wrapping your air layer. Scoop out the peat moss you will use for your air layer and gently place it in the plastic and seal it.
MiracleGro VB00007 Sphagnum Peat Moss 8 qt 2 Pack

Peat Moss is a great back up to Sphagnum Moss. Excellent at retaining moisture, very easy to use and a great back up to use for air layering.

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EXAMPLE: Sphagnum Moss Air Layer on Shishigashira Japanese Maple

Pictured below is an air layer on a Shishigashira Japanese Maple that failed several times until using Sphagnum Moss. Some Japanese Maples can be very hard to air layer. Potting soil and peat moss were used before trying Sphagnum Moss and ultimately producing roots.



SuperMoss 22301 Orchid Sphagnum Moss Dried Natural 8oz

Sphagnum Moss is hands down the best medium to use when air layering Japanese maples. Great combination of thickness to retain moisture and gaps to create airflow to promote root growth.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

Free Shipping Available

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