Propagating plants by cutting is one of the best methods of planting because it retain the characteristics of the original plant. However, many of us are always disappointed when the result of our cuttings are not successful. One of the reasons why they died because they are not protected and fungus killed them before rooting.
Many farmers and gardeners, especially the big commercial farms are using rooting hormones for all their cuttings to have a higher percentage of success. Rooting hormones are made for rooting house, foliage, and hardy plants as well as leaf, greenwood, and softwood cuttings. But the problem is, rooting hormones are not cheap. The cost of rooting hormones is as much as P2,500 online.
The commercial rooting hormones contains chemicals and if you are an organic practitioners you will not buy them not only because it is expensive but it contains chemicals that might be harmful to our health.
Good news is we can do it naturally using available resources in our home. Here are the 7 natural rooting hormones that you can easily make and effective.
- Cinnamon. Dipping your cuttings in cinnamon powder will prevent the growth of fungus in the cuttings. While cinnamon acts less as a rooting hormone, the fact that it curbs the fungal growth means that the plants have a great chance to grow without any help.
- Willow leaves or branch. Willow trees have a natural indolebutyric acid, the hormone that encourages rooting. To make this as a rooting hormone, you will 2 cups of the young and small branches. Cut them into small pieces and soak them overnight. You can also use old branches but you need at least 3 cups. For the leaves, get at least a bunch and soak them for 2 nights and then use it as your rooting hormone. Never use dead branches especially those on the ground as it may be infected with disease.
- Honey. Honey contains enzyme that may stimulate root growth on plants. However, its most usefulness is as a sanitizing agent which provides sufficient cleanliness to give the cutting a healthy growing start to allow it to grow its own roots without needing anything else. Honey contains bot anti-bacterial and antifungal properties.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Vinegar has a lot of uses in our gardens and one of them as rooting agent. But be careful not to overuse the vinegar as too much can be acidic and might kill the cuttings. You will just need a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a 6 cups of water. Mix them and shake.
- Aspirin. Crushed into powder and dissolved in water is also said to be an effective rooting hormone. While this might not be technically “natural” is its something you probably have around the house that could be used in a pinch.
- Kelp liquid and water. Kelp is a fertilizer and add 1/8 in a cup then add water, you have your own rooting hormone. You can let your cuttings inside the solution which will also serve as food for the cuttings.
- Aloe Vera. I have seen this in a video where an Indian guy removed all the gel inside the aloe vera and used it as a rooting hormone. He even experimented with other rooting hormones, commercial and cinnamon. Guess what happened? The cuttings dip in the aloe vera gel gets new leaves first than the cuttings dip in commercial rooting hormones and cinnamon.
So next time you get cuttings, have one of those natural rooting hormones and Happy Planting!