Rooting cuttings with honey – Is it the bees knees?
Ooh, I love plants and want so many plants that every space I see needs a plant in it. preferably an edible one too. This could get expensive or take a long time to establish from seeds so let’s talk about rooting cuttings.
What are cuttings
Cuttings are a piece of the plant either the stem, leaves or root could be used. Certain plants do better-taking cuttings from certain parts of the plant so it’s worth reading up on the specific plant you want to take cuttings from.
Basil cutting in a pot of water hoping to grow some roots
Why use a rooting hormone.
Just to be clear many of the plants you would look to clone in the garden may do just fine without using rooting supplements. However, if you’ve tried you’ll know that rooting cuttings isn’t always easy. When I first started gardening it was common for my cuttings to shrivel up and die which is never fun. This can be down to a few things but its often an issue of disease or infection due to the cutting process.
One things the rooting hormone often contain are ingredients aimed at stopping this bacteria while the plant has a chance to recover.
Another key ingredient is auxin. This hormone is what influences water absorption as well cell division and other things.
Why not just buy a commercial rooting hormone
I have done in the past, i tend to use an organic one by westland but man does it smell and as i learn more i like to work with less and this is where the super properties of honey may come to help this quest with plant cuttings and sustainability.
This stuff may be great for plant cuttings but it smells like death!
What makes honey a good substitute.
Honey has some great natural anti-septic and anti fungal properties that could really help protect those plant cutting during this process.
its also much more readily available to people and has so many more uses than the specific rooting hormones available to growers
I use half a tea spoon of natural honey mixed in to a cup of warm water till dissolved then allow to cool, ill then leave the cutting in for a few hours to hopefully let them absorb the goodness.
Some people use the honey neat and dip the cuttings in but i want to stretch my honey as far as possible as its so so tasty, and i don’t have my own bee’s (i’m wish i could find a space for a hive or two)
My rooting cuttings with honey experience!
Its been a bit of a learning curve, one thing I’ve noticed as it doesn’t contain auxin its much slower. previous experience of plant cuttings and commercial rooting hormones have seen roots start to grow in a few days. With honey this can be 7+ as its main benefit is to stop the things that would harm the plant.
However the success rate seems higher than just water alone, maybe i need to do some controlled tests and actually work out if this is fact or my wishful thinking.
5 days in the honey water mix and new roots are growing.
A close up of the healthy root growth.
Have any of you had success with honey or other home made rooting solutions?
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