In today’s post, we will look into 10 different natural rooting hormones or root stimulating substances that can be easily used for plant cloning – that’s multiplying plants from cuttings with great success rate! We will also show you how you can make the most powerful formula by mixing one or more of these substances.
In horticulture, Cloning means making duplicate plants out of branch or stem cuttings from a mother plant. It is a great way to multiply a plant, specially if it’s a rare variety or very precious to you or if you wanna gift some plants to your friends and neighbours.
The simplest way of cloning a plant is just pinching a small branch or stem cutting and inserting it into the soil. But, the success rate of this cutting is generally low. If you want to increase the success rate, then you need to follow certain simple rules to accelerate the root formation and increase the success rate of cloning.
Most plant cuttings will naturally produce their own rooting hormones after a short period of time. Actually, many plants can be easily cloned by simply placing the cutting in some clean water and following some simple rules. You can check a detailed article on the 10 Golden rules of cloning.
Rooting hormones can be natural or synthetic chemicals and contain Indole butyric acid (IBA) and naphthalene acetic acid (IBA). IBA is the natural plant auxin or hormone responsible for the stimulation or the formation of roots. If you are purchasing these commercial rooting hormone powders, make sure you check composition on the label to contain atleast one of these compounds.
Now lets list out the best 8 natural rooting hormones or agents that can be used to accelerate rooting in cuttings and increase the success rate of cloning.
8. Your Own Saliva: Not joking! Nothing advanced about this. Human or animal saliva is definitely an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal for plants. The main idea is to prevent the cutting from rot and stimulate the root formation. This very first step to prevent rot can be achieved by just dipping your cutting insertion end into saliva and then insert into the potting soil. This is definitely like Something is better than Nothing!
7. Apple Cider
Vinegar: This is another proven natural rooting hormone stimulant. Add 5
drops in half a cup of water and mix well. Do not use more than this quantity,
because it can have an opposite effect and may prevent rooting and also vinegar
is a natural weed killer in strong concentrations.
Just dip the cutting insertion end into this cup and then insert into soil.
6. Cinnamon Powder: Cinnamon is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent that will definitely double your cloning success rate. Make sure the cinnamon bark is finely powdered and just dip the cutting into this powder for about an inch and then insert into soil.
5. Willow Bark: The bark of willow tree contains two important compounds – salicin and Indole butyric acid. Salicin is chemically similar to aspirin (which is acetylsalicylic acid). And Indolebutyric acid (IBA) is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth as already discussed.
If you are lucky and have a willow tree around you, you can
make a willow tea.
IBA hormone is present in high concentrations in the growing tips of willow branches. So if you can take these cuttings and soak them in warm water, you can get enough quantities of IBA hormone into this water what we call Willow Tea.
4. Honey: Honey is another natural antiseptic and anti-fungal agent which helps these little cuttings to remain healthy and strong. Remember pure honey is said to have a more beneficial effect than the processed bottle honey. Do not directly dip your cuttings into honey because this can attract many insects and ants. So, the commonly used recipe for using honey as rooting agent is:
Add 1 teaspoon honey to 2 cups of boiling water or half teaspoon honey to 1 cup of boiling water. Do not boil after adding honey, just stir it well and allow it to cool down before dipping the cuttings.
3. Aloe Vera Gel: Fresh aloe vera gel contains salicylic acid along with other useful enzymes, amino acids and minerals. I have demonstrated this in one of my older posts. You can check that aloe vera experiment here.
Just take out the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf and dip the cuttings into it and plant them in soil.
2. Aspirin: Though not natural, but an inexpensive way is to use aspirin 350 mg tablet, either as crushed powder or dropping a tablet in a glass of water and then dipping the cuttings into it.
Now! If you want to make a more powerful and potent rooting agent, you can mix one or more of these things and try experiment each formula on few cuttings and see which one works best for you.
For example: Willow tea + Honey or Cinnamon + Honey or Aloe vera Gel + Honey and so on..