Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Professional Seminar-Sample Speech, "Propagation By Air-Layering"

This speech was delivered at the BF Community Toastmasters Club in the November 8, 2014 Toastmasters Meeting.

Propagation by Air-Layering
(The Professional Seminar, Advanced Speech Project #4 in The Professional Speaker Manual, Nov.8,2014, BF Comm TMC, Kei Restaurant, Las Piñas City. Evaluated by Dulce Rañosa, ACS/ALS)


(put the plant on table) Good afternoon fellow Toastmasters. This is a dwarf hibiscus or gumamela plant. You can see some buds on the branches. This is how the flowers of the plant will look like when they bloom. (show picture of flower and then put it down)

Now, I will make a BOLD claim. What would you say, if I told you that I could produce THAT plant… in 2 weeks… using nothing…but scrap materials? (pause, smile)

I’m not saying I’ll make a tree. No, because only God can make a tree. But I will duplicate, recreate, clone this plant in 2 weeks using materials that you’ve discarded or materials we call waste.

Can? Cannot? Too big of a claim? Friends, it can be done with a propagation technique called Air-Layering. Air-layering and marcotting are the same and in this seminar they may be used interchangeably.

Before we dig into the seminar itself, I’d like a feel of the audience. Who among you here have tried propagating plants, by seeds by stem cuttings, by anything? (brief interview with respondents, how did it go?, still alive?) Has anybody tried propagating by air-layering or marcotting?


I’ve been practicing air-layering for over 3 years. Propagation by air-layering has some advantages over stem cuttings. One advantage is that you don’t need to cut a branch of the mother plant until roots have developed.

In air-layering, the air-layered branch continues to receive nourishment from the mother plant. When it has roots, THEN we cut it. So until then, there is no need to cut and the mother plant retains its shape and form.

Our main objective for today’s seminar is Propagation by Air-Layering. To manage our time wisely, I’ve divided the topic into the following objectives.

  1. Understand the Concepts and Theory (5 mins) – Why and How does it work?
  2. Learn the Steps for Air-Layering (10 mins)
  3. Identify Successful Air-Layers (5 mins)
  4. Harvest and Plant Air-Layers (10 mins)

Alright, let's go though each of the above objectives.


  • Xylem (uptake of water and minerals from roots) and Phloem (sugar and nutrients from leaves)

  • Two Major Tasks in Air-Layering
    1. Peeling the Bark
    2. Applying the Air-Layer

  • How Roots are developed in an Air-Layer


(Explain the contents of the air-layering kit and the propagation materials.)
See the link: Air-Layering Kit and Propagation Tips

See the link: Air-Layering Propagation Materials and Tips

Now it’s time to put the turn the theory into actual practice with a live demo plant.
(The actual demo plant used in the seminar is a dwarf hibiscus. Shown below in the pictures though is the Chinese Lantern plant. Same principles apply.)

  1. Choose the branch that is near old growth that is still greenish in color. Select a section of the branch 3 inches long that is clear of leaves or stems.

    If there are leaves in nearby stems or branches that impede air layering, trim them off. There's no need to cut off nearby branches, just the leaves.

  2. Make two parallel cuts (bottom cut and top cut) about 1/2 to 1 inch apart around the stem and through the bark and cambium layer. "Bottom" here refers to the part of the air layer wound closer to the plant roots.

    Use a sharp knife to cut around (ring cut) the branch's perimeter. Hold the branch firmly but not tightly to avoid breaking the branch.

  3. Make a ring cut at the top of the wound area as in the above.

  4. Using the knife, slice off the bark layer in strips. It is easier to make the cuts towards you. Remove the ring of bark, leaving the inner woody tissue exposed. Scrape the newly bared ring to remove the cambial tissue. This prevents a bridge of callus tissue from forming.

    This is how the air layering wound will look like after removing the ring of bark and the cambium. Notice the whitish color of the wound.

  5. Prepare a piece of coconut husk that is about 1 1/2 inches wide and around 3 inches long. This piece acts as the liner to hold together the coco dust as potting medium. There are other advantages in using coconut husk for air-layering.

  6. Take a small amount of coco dust enough to cover the air layering wound and put it on top of the coconut husk as shown below.

  7. Soak the husk and the coco dust in water so that it becomes moist. An alternative is to pour a little water on the coco dust.

    Squeeze out surplus water before using, since excessive moisture will result in decay and deterioration of the plant tissue. It is also difficult to work with the air layering materials with potting medium (coco husk and dust) that's dripping wet.

  8. Position the potting medium under the exposed wound, ensuring that the potting medium will cover the wound entirely.

  9. Wrap the potting medium around the wound with the coconut husk holding together the coco dust.

    When packing the potting medium material around the plant's wound, form the material into a ball with your fingers, so that the potting medium is mostly surrounding just the wound. This will allow you to have tapered ends at the top and bottom of the marcot ball.

  10. While maintaining the potting medium ball around the air layering wound with one hand, wrap around a clear thin plastic sheet with the other hand as shown below.

  11. Twist the ends of the air layer in the direction of the plastic sheet wrapping.

  12. With a couple of twist ties, tightly close the ends of the air layer. For consistency, I just twist the two ends of the tie wire in a clockwise direction. To prevent the spilling of the coco dust material, close the bottom end first.

(For the two objectives below, see the link: Identify, Harvest and Plant Air-Layers)



You noticed that I intentionally did not give hand-outs for this seminar. All what you've seen and heard in this seminar is documented in my website.

You only need to google search for the following words: Steps for Air-Layering or Marcotting and my article will show up first in your search results.

If you want to just see the steps in a video, I have uploaded a video tutorial that you can search in Youtube.

Just use the same search words, "Steps for Air Layering or Marcotting", and Youtube will play it for you. It is only 3 minutes long. This same video is also in the article in my website.


We’ve covered all the specific objectives so far, in this seminar. And now, I open the floor for the Q&A portion. And while we’re doing that, I’ll be distributing evaluation forms for your written feedback. There are just a few questions in the form and shouldn’t take long to accomplish.

(open the floor for questions)

As a parting shot, Toastmasters and friends. We as gardeners are mere custodians of God’s creations. Propagating plants by air-layering is easy.

We don’t make trees. But we certainly could propagate and perpetuate what God has given us so that these will still be available for more generations to come.

Toastmaster of the Day.

Sample Speeches in The Professional Speaker

Sample Speeches in the Old Program

Sample Speeches in Pathways