Can You Use Rooting Hormone In Water Propagation? Exploring Effective Techniques

Can You Use Rooting Hormone In Water Propagation? Exploring Effective Techniques

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The aim of rooting hormones is to supply the cut end of a stem with hormones that encourage the differentiation of cells into root tissue. The active ingredients continued within the rooting hormone are delivered in powder, gel or liquid form so that they remain in direct contact with the cut tissue.

If you have rooting hormone in a powder form, as most gardeners do, it is possible to mix it with warm water to create a rooting solution however by making your own mixture you risk diluting the concentration of the active ingredients to a point where they are rendered nearly ineffective.

Whilst it’s true that any help given to cuttings will improve the chance of successful propagation, if you are not in possession with a liquid hormone such as Dip n Grow, it’s going to be more effective to dip the cuttings directly into your powder or gel as you would normally do, before then adding them gently to the vessel being used for water propagation.

Using rooting hormone in water propagation

Effectiveness and benefits

Water propagation is widely used for plant propagation, and many plant cuttings root quite readily either in water or in a proper growing medium without the use of rooting hormones. However, the use of rooting hormone may provide an added advantage in promoting quicker root development and increasing the overall success rate of your cuttings.

Overall, while it is generally not recommended to use non-liquid (i.e. powder or gel) rooting hormone directly in water propagation due to the risk of the auxins being washed away, using rooting hormone that is designed to be delivered in liquid form such as ‘Dip’n Grow’ and ‘Dip & Root’ will significantly improve the chances of successful plant propagation.

Carefully following the instructions for the specific rooting hormone product you are using as over application of these products can cause more harm than good.

You don’t have to use rooting hormone

While rooting hormones can be helpful in plant propagation, there are some potential drawbacks and concerns that plant enthusiasts should be aware of.

Potential risks

There are various risks associated with the use of rooting hormones, particularly if they are not used correctly. Some of these risks include:

  • Overdosing: Using too much rooting hormone on a cutting can lead to inhibited root growth instead of promoting it. It’s essential to follow the recommended dosages specified by the product’s manufacturer.

  • Environmental Impact: The use of synthetic rooting hormones may have environmental consequences, such as soil and water contamination. Using natural alternatives could minimize this impact.

  • Health Concerns: Synthetic rooting hormones can sometimes contain chemical compounds that may be harmful if ingested or absorbed through the skin. It’s crucial to handle them with caution and follow safety guidelines outlined by the manufacturer.

Alternatives to rooting hormone

If you’re concerned about the potential risks of using rooting hormones, there are some natural alternatives you can consider. These alternatives can provide the benefits of synthetic hormones without the drawbacks:

Alternative Description
As a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal agent, honey can be used to encourage root growth by preventing infection and disease in cuttings.
This common spice has natural antifungal properties that can protect cuttings from diseases and promote root growth.
Willow Water
Willow branches contain natural rooting hormones called auxins. Soaking cut willow branches in water can create a natural rooting solution for your cuttings.

Remember that not every alternative may work for every plant species, so it’s essential to research which option is most suitable for the specific plants you’re propagating.

Chris Dosser

Chris Dosser

Co-Founder of Eden Indoors

Chris is a self-taught horticulturist with over a decade of experience caring for houseplants and creating lush, thriving indoor oases. He specializes in Monstera, and by self admission has a serious problem with buying and propagating rare indoor plants!

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