The introduction of plastic materials in the 1960's made marcottage worth while and it can be carried out by any gardener. Marcottage or air-layering is a method of propagation in which root formation is induced on parts of the plant which are above the ground while those parts are still attached to the parent plant, and the rooting medium is taken up to the portion of the plant you wish to propagate.

Marcottage is often used on plants that do not strike easily from cuttings, in the propagation of such plants as Hibiscus, Crotons and Bougainvilleas.

Select a terminal limb or branch no more than finch in diameter young growth is essential. It might be necessary in older shrubs to induce new growth by severe pruning in spring to prepare them for marcotting the following autumn.

First make a cincture in the bark of the limb about 1.5 inches wide, and about 18 to 24 inches back from the tip.

When the bark has been stripped off remove the cambium tissue either by rubbing it with sandpaper or scraping it off with a knife. It is important to remove completely this part of the stem.

Slip a 9-inch-diameter Polythene sleeve over the limb and cincture. Tie the bottom of the sleeve and then gently fill it with a rooting material, such as peat-moss.
Dampen the rooting material by dipping it in water and removing the excess. If possible use a rooting hormone in the water.
See that the rooting medium is evenly distributed in the sleeve and
then tie the top of the sleeve.

After three months the marcot can be separated from the parent, but during this time the contents of the sleeve should be kept moist. Care must be taken not to disturb the marcottaging process and, when the sleeve is removed, it must be carefully handled, for the young roots are very tender and easily broken.

Place the marcot in a pot containing a rooting mixture or some light loamy soil. Lift off the sleeve and avoid any disturbance of the rooting medium. Remove excessive amounts of foliage and place the new plant in a shady place. Do not let the plant dry out. When it has made sufficient growth place it in the selected position in the garden.

The principle involved in marcottage is that the downward flow of chemicals in the stem is arrested at the point of cincture, causing roots to grow at the upper ring.