What is a rooting hormone for propagate succulents?
A rooting hormone is a chemical you apply on a leaf or stem cutting of a plant to boost a new plant’s growth and get fast results.
It will speed rooting of the plant easing the way to propagate. You may find rooting hormones in liquid, gel, and powder forms in the market.
The plants also have natural rooting hormones like auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins produced within the plant to stimulate root forming.
Types of rooting hormones
Most of the artificial and commercial rooting hormones in the market include Butyric Acid, Indole Acetic Acid, or Naphthalene Acetic Acid.
You may find them available in the market in liquid, gel, or rooting powder forms. The most common form of rooting hormone is liquid. There are two types of liquid rooting hormones in the market.
One is ready to use, which you can directly use on the cutting end, whereas you have to dilute the other in the water, which comes as a concentrated solution.
The latter could be a cheaper option compared to the ready to use solution. Most gardeners’ favorite pick is the rooting powder hormone as it stays longer and usage is easy.
The gel could be the most popular and convenient type of rooting hormone as applying gel on the wound end is easy.
The gel sticks to the wound end quickly, and there’s nothing much left for you to do rather than dipping the cut end in the gel.
You can even use Aspirin as an external root boosting. Mix one crushed tablet in 1 gallon of warm water and soak the cut end in the mixture before potting.
· Natural or organic
Cinnamon powder, aloe vera gel, honey, apple cider vinegar, willow juice or water, and turmeric can be used as organic rooting hormones.
You can even mix a few of these elements and make a paste. For example, you can mix turmeric and honey or aloe vera and honey.
They are not real rooting hormones as they don’t form roots.
But because of their antiseptic nature, they will protect the cutting from any bacterial or fungal issues, which will help the roots to thrive.
As all these ingredients are easy to find in the kitchen, you can even prepare an organic rooting hormone at home.
How to Use Rooting Hormone on succulents
You can apply rooting hormone on stem, leaf, and root cuttings of succulents. Here are the steps to follow in using a rooting hormone ;
Stem cuttings –
Use a sharp tool (a pair of scissors, pruning shears, or a knife) and cut a stem of about 2-3 inches long from a healthy succulent.
You can take any healthy succulent for propagation. A well-grown, mature plant is ideal.
The succulents with a central stem or several hard stems and branches are suitable for propagation through stem cuttings.
The succulents with healthy colored, thick fleshy leaves are ideal for propagation through leaf cuttings.
You may also use your leggy succulent, which has stretched out to take sunlight.
You will see a very long stem that you can cut and use for propagation in such cases.
And also, if your succulent has shredded some considerable amount of leaves or started to look less attractive, you can use a part of it to propagate succulents while nurturing the mother plant back to good health.
If the succulent is blooming, you will have to wait until the blooming is over to propagating succulents.
After sorting the leaves
After sorting the leaves or the stem by removing the lower leaves and clearing up the stem area, dip the cut wound end in the root boosting material.
A commercial or an organic rooting hormone. Always read through the instructions if you are using a liquid rooting hormone.,
If it’s a powder, make the cut end moist by dipping it in water and then dip the stem or leaf end in the powder and slowly shake to remove the excess.
If it’s a liquid, make sure whether you can use it straightly on the cut or you need to dilute it in water and use it. It’s a gel, directly dip the cut end in the gel so that the gel will stick to it.
Always remember to pour a sufficient portion into a separate container to prevent contamination of the whole mix.
Do not leave the leaf or stem to harden and callous over like in normal propagation if you apply rooting hormone.
If you apply it after the callus is created, the boosting material’s effectiveness will be less.
After applying the boosting gel, powder, or liquid, you can lay it on a potting mix.
You can also take a container, add stones to the bottom, keep tissue paper on top of the stones, and wet it.
Then you can place your stem or the leaf.
Keep it under partial sunlight with some shade or indirect sunlight and in a warm environment. You can even use a grow light for this task.
Mist it every 2-3 days.
After 2-3 weeks, you will see new roots forming or the little plantlets that spur.
Then you can either keep it a few more days until the roots develop further to be perfect for planting, or else you can replant it in a new pot.
How to make a natural rooting hormone?
You can make a natural rooting hormone using aloe vera, turmeric, honey, apple cider vinegar, or willow water. Here are few DIY methods for you to make it at home by yourself.
· Natural bee honey
Add one tablespoon of natural bee honey into two cups of boiled water. Mix it well and let it cool down before using it.
· Apple cider vinegar
Mix a tiny amount, around ½ – 1 spoon of apple cider vinegar in 6-8 cups of water. Then, you can dip your succulent cut end in this mixture.
· Willow water
Get the green, fresh twigs of a willow tree and remove the leaves. Cut the twigs into small pieces and put them in a jar filled with boiling water. You can take 1/3 of twigs for 2/3 of water. You have to keep it for 24 hours and then strain the water to use as a rooting hormone liquid.
· Turmeric and honey
Mix turmeric powder in natural bee honey and make a half-liquid, half-solid like paste.
· Aloe vera and honey
Take out the fresh gel from an aloe vera plant and mix it with natural bee honey or water. You can use a blender to mix them well.
Can I use rooting hormone on succulents?
Using a powder, liquid, or gel version of rooting hormones, you can effectively speed up the propagation process.
The growth of a healthy plant is based on strong roots. You can use a rooting hormone on stem or leaf cuttings and fasten the root development.
It will make your succulent propagation easy, bringing you fast results.
But keep in mind always to follow the correct dosage instructions and apply the right amount to avoid harming the plant by overusing rooting hormones.
A powdered or gel hormone can be used directly on the cut wound, while you should check whether you can use liquid hormones directly or dilute in water and use.
Can you grow cuttings without rooting hormone?
Yes, you can grow cuttings without any rooting hormone. It is not compulsory to use a rooting hormone on your leaf or stem cutting for propagation purposes.
The plant itself produces natural hormones like auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins, which stimulate root growth.
Even if you don’t apply any rooting hormone, it will root but could be a bit slower than a plant with a rooting hormone on it. But success rate can go down.
Do you need rooting hormone?
No, you don’t have to use a rooting hormone to propagate succulents or getting new plants.
The plant itself can root naturally thanks to the natural hormones the plant produces within.
Using an external rooting hormone will help speed up the rotting process and form healthier and stronger roots.
What happens if you don’t have rooting hormone?
Even if you don’t have any rooting hormone, you can still grow your cutting on an appropriate potting mix after letting the cuttings callous over for a few days.
The plant will always root at its natural pace if you provide correct potting soil and water conditions.
The new plant itself can root naturally thanks to the natural hormones like auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins that the plants produces to develop the rooting system.
If you don’t have a commercial rooting hormone and if you want to speed up the propagation.
You can use a homemade solution using aloe vera, turmeric, honey, apple cider vinegar, or willow juice.
What can you use instead of rooting hormone?
If you are an organic gardener or very conscious of your gardening methods, you may not want to use any artificial or commercial boost on your new plant.
Instead of a commercial or artificial rooting hormone, you can try few homemade solutions such as aloe vera, turmeric, honey, apple cider vinegar, or willow juice.
You can even mix a few of these to get a paste to apply on the cut wound.
You can use natural honey to help the propagation as it contains natural disinfectant and anti-fungal bodies.
It will protect and boost the propagation and give strong roots. One of your favorite spices can come into help in the propagation of your succulents.
Can you use cinnamon as a rooting hormone?
Just like honey, Cinnamon also can prevent bacteria and fungus from harming the plant propagation process or afterward.
Thus, it will help your succulent to get healthy roots. You can also try applying a bit of apple cider vinegar on the wound end.
You may make the solution by adding apple cider vinegar to the water.
Also pick a piece of fresh aloe vera from your garden as it has Salicyclic acid, which stimulates rooting and works as an anti-inflammatory.
Willow water also has root boosting elements such as Salicylic acid and Indolebutyric acid, which will protect the plant cuttings from infections and make the propagation smooth and speedy.
Learn more on Succulent propagation