Layering is the name given to the propagation method by which shoots form roots when they come into contact with soil. It consists of bending and pegging down a shoot into the soil so that it will strike. From the bent portion in the soil roots are sooner or later formed. When this happens the shoots are spoken of as "layers" and can be severed from the parent plant. Some plants will form roots if their shoots are bent and covered with moist soil, but usually shoots are either "ringed"  or "notched" to assist root formation

When a shoot is bedded, its contact with the soil will be enough to start root formation, but it is more usual to "tongue", "notch", or "ring" the shoots.

In tonguing, the shoot is slit open with a sharp knife in an upward direction. To notch a shoot a cut is made in the shape of a "V" half-way through the stem. In ringing, a 0.5 inch width of bark is cut into the stem as far as the cambium tissue this is the process most used for woody growth.

All these methods are used to retard the flow of sap backwards from the shoot above the ground and, as a consequence, products accumulate in that part of the shoot below the cut that tends to form roots.

Layering is often preferred to the use of cuttings because the number of good strikes is greater; many cuttings die off before any roots are formed. In layering there is
a portion of the stem in direct contact with the parent plant all the time and so there is a steady flow of plant-food and moisture assisting the production of roots.

There is no need to remove the new plant from the parent until it is apparent that enough roots have been formed. Carnations are readily produced by layering.