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What is a Rooting Hormone?
Perhaps you’ve heard of rooting hormone and began wondering what that is. In this article, we will help you gain important knowledge about this root growth stimulant and how you can use them during propagation.
Plants produce substances that play a major role in the regulation of their growth and development. These substances are categorized as hormones or phytohormones. Interestingly, hormones act as signals that urge a particular process to take place such as root development. Even at a very low concentration, this rooting hormone will stimulate root growth.
The use of rooting hormones is particularly helpful to aid root growth in plant cuttings. We know that there are some plant species like fruit trees that are difficult to root. Thus, the application of rooting hormones helps promote the rooting process.
Types of Rooting Hormones
There are various rooting hormone products that you’ll encounter in the market. Regardless of what type, they all belong to the hormone class auxin. It can either be a natural rooting hormone or a synthetic one. A product that has an active ingredient like indole 3 butyric acid (IBA) or indole 3 acetic acid (IAA), means that it carries a naturally occurring hormone. If it’s 1-Napthaleneacetic acid (NAA), then it’s a synthetic one.
I know it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best choice. That’s why it pays to have knowledge of the different types of rooting hormones. So take note and remember the following information so you can properly weigh your options: Stay tuned and Plantly will provide you with the choices you’re most applicable to use.
Liquid Rooting Hormone
A liquid rooting hormone is a hormone-containing product that is in the form of liquid. This type is normally used in hydroponics, where the substrate used in growing new plants is a nutrient solution rather than soil. Since it’s in liquid form, you can easily mix it with the solution to promote root growth.
Some products contain the concentrated liquid hormone. Thus, you only have a minimum amount of liquid to attain favorable results. You will have to mix it with water for dilution. That’s the best thing about hormones. Even with its minute amount, it can regulate important plant processes.
Whether you’re using a concentrated liquid rooting hormone or a ready-to-use one, always follow the instructions that are pasted on the label.
Powder Rooting Hormone
A rooting hormone may also come in the form of powder. This is the most common type of hormone that you’ll encounter in the market. This rooting powder can be used simply in propagating plants. Once you obtain a healthy plant cutting, you have to moisten the bottom part. Do this so the powder will easily adhere to the stem.
Dip the moistened part to the rooting powder. After that, you can now plant the cutting to the moist soil for potting.
Gel Rooting Hormone
Aside from powdered rooting hormone and liquid rooting hormones, there’s another form of growth hormone that you can use in propagating cuttings. A rooting gel is also available commercially and you can buy it from garden stores or here at Plantly. Gel rooting hormones are by far the easiest and most efficient form of rooting hormone that gardeners can use. It’s also mess-free.
Since it’s in gel form, it easily sticks to the base of the stem, unlike the other root hormone products. You can dip the base of the stem into the gel and plant it directly on the potting soil.
Regardless of what type or form of rooting hormone it is, you can reap the same benefits from these rooting compounds. They will surely improve the root development of your stem cuttings thereby increasing the success rate of propagation.
As a tip, please take time to explore the commercially available rooting hormones out there. We know that each product differs in its efficacy. From your own experience, you can now decide which among them is the best rooting hormone.
Which Plant Needs Rooting Hormones?
Not all types of plant species need the aid of a rooting hormone. Normally, soft-stemmed plants won’t require additional help because they can easily root. Herbaceous plants like pothos are very easy to propagate even in water alone. So, in that case, you can rooting hormone a pass.
On the other hand, most plants such as woody cuttings or hardwood cuttings, require the help of rooting hormones. Since these woody plants have hard stems, root development can be a struggle. So it’s better to use root hormone to induce root growth.
Natural Rooting Hormones Already Available in Your Kitchen
Anothing good thing about rooting hormones is that they’re available even in your own kitchen. Yup, that’s right! You may even need not buy one. Just explore and check your cabinets for the following ingredients:
Apple cider vinegar indeed has many beneficial uses, among them includes being a gardening hack. You can use a teaspoon of apple cider to mix to 5 to 6 cups of water. Mix this solution well before you dip the cuttings.
As a word of caution, refrain from using excess vinegars as this may rather prevent root growth.
Not only is honey a sweet and healthy treat, it also helps in hastening the rooting process of a plant. It’s also a good bacteria killer making it helpful in the healing of the plant’s wound after cutting.
Coconut water is full of vitamins and minerals. It also contains another class of hormone known as cytokinin. This compound helps in the root growth of plant cuttings just like the other rooting hormones. This liquid is easily available and accessible.
Moringa Leaf Extract
Moringa leaf extract contains zeatin which also belongs to rooting auxins. This compound helps the cuttings grow roots. If you have a moringa plant at home, you can just collect the leaves and harvest its extract. You can dip your cuttings in there for 15 minutes.
These options provide an alternative way to help you in your propagation journey. At the comforts of your home, you can make your own rooting hormone. Just remember that the effect of each will vary depending on which species of plant you’re trying to propagate. A little experiment will help you figure out which among these options work best with the plant you’re trying to grow.
Proper Ways to Use Rooting Hormones
Now that we’ve gathered enough information about rooting hormones, let’s go about the process on the proper ways to use these chemicals:
Cut a healthy and vigorous stem
From the mother plant, find a stem that is healthy and cut it using a sterilized shear or scissor. Make a cut that is about 3 to 8 inches long.
Dip the tip to the hormone
Take note of how deep the planting will be and make sure that the hormone won’t go above that. Depending on the instructions indicated in the label, follow the time requirement indicated. However, dipping the tip will only take a few seconds or minutes.
Plant it in a growing media or water
Insert the tip treated with rooting hormone to the potting mix. Make sure that the medium is already moist.
Wait for the roots to grow
Roots shall develop within a week or two. Rooting hormone speeds up the process and increases the chances of success. Make sure that your cuttings is well-watered to support the growing plant.
Make sure to store your rooting hormone in a proper storage. And keep it tightly sealed as well. Liquid hormones normally require to be refrigerated. Just read the labels for instructions on storage.
What’s the Best Type of Rooting Hormone?
The best rooting hormone is the one that serves its purpose. It should successfully induce rooting in your cuttings thereby speeding up the process and helping you propagate more clones of your favorite plants.
Although rooting hormones appear in different types whether it’s a hormone liquid concentrate, a rooting hormone powder or a rooting hormone gel, they all have one purpose. Just choose the one the best suits your needs and budget.
Different gardeners have their own taste and what works for them wouldn’t necessarily work for you. So, it’s better to try different rooting hormones as a form of experiment. Later, you decide on your own preferred rooting hormone.