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How To Root Cuttings – Step by Step

One of the best ways to multiply a large number of plant species is by cuttings. It is much faster than multiplication by seed because, once the cutting is rooted, it continues to develop from seedling size with weeks or months of growth, and also ensures that we have an adult specimen that will be a genetic copy of the parent plant, with all its strengths and health. Learn all about how to root cuttings in this article.

However, knowing how to root a cutting is not always easy. Some plants have a great facility for this, while others require much more specific care for the cutting to succeed and grow. If you want to learn how to root cuttings, keep reading this article in which we teach you the best techniques.

Homemade Rooting Hormone for Cuttings

One of the most useful resources when looking for what helps rooting cuttings is the rooting hormone. These are products that stimulate the growth capacity of the plant’s roots, facilitating and accelerating the rooting of the cutting.

You should buy rooting hormone in most gardening establishments but, as always, here we recommend you to opt for the most ecological way and make your homemade rooting hormone with natural products. It’s very easy, and all you need is a little forethought to make it before cutting the plant. When it comes to how to root quickly, the plant hormones we look for are auxins. These are found in a lot of legumes and sprouted grains, so it is very simple to make them with lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, and a multitude of spices.

Here we tell you more about How to make a natural rooting agent.

Steps To Make Rooting Hormone

  1. Prepare the legumes to germinate. The most common is to use chickpeas, lentils, or soybeans. Prepare one part of legumes for every four parts of water, and immerse them in a container that you will then have to cover, either with a lid or with a cloth.
  2. Keep the container out of the way and away from light, the latter being very important.
  3. After about three or four days, your legumes should have mostly germinated.
  4. This is the best time to crush them together with the water in which they have germinated, making sure to drain and filter the mixture, which will be our homemade rooting hormone full of auxins.
  5. Dilute the concentrate in nine parts of water for each part of the hormone and you have your hormone ready.

How To Use Rooting Hormone

You should use the rooting hormone in two ways:

  • The first is, once the cuttings are ready to be planted, soak them for an hour in the mixture with auxins. Then, take them out of the container and plant them normally in their pots or the soil, since, soaked as they are, they will have absorbed the effect of the preparation.
  • The second is to plant the cuttings normally and use the diluted hormone to water the plants with it. The good thing about this method is that it is effective for a longer period, but it requires a regular supply of rooting hormone, as the mixture can only be kept in the refrigerator for about 15 days, after which it loses its beneficial effects.

If you do not have time to prepare your homemade rooting agent, we recommend this brand (Order it here).

Garden Safe Take Root Rooting Hormone, Promotes Rooting, Grow New Plants From Cuttings, 2 Ounce
  • PROMOTES ROOTING: Rooting hormone grows new plants from cuttings.
  • GROW CUTTINGS: Works with most popular home, garden and greenhouse varieties.
  • ROOT NEW FAVORITE PLANTS: Helps African violets, roses, poinsettias, philodendrons, geraniums, coleus, woody ornamentals and more grow from cuttings.

Drying Cuttings

Some plants need their cuttings to go through a drying and wound closure process before they can be replanted. This is often the case with fleshy plants, such as succulents or succulents.

When cutting a cutting from one of these species, leave it wrapped in absorbent paper in a dry, dark corner for 3 to 6 days, depending on the species. Some plants may shrivel and lose a lot of volume during this drying period, but this is a normal effect and, if the cutting process goes well, they will recover as soon as they take root and absorb the water they have lost. If this is not done, the open wound can be a way for fungi and diseases to enter the plant, which is very dangerous.

driying cuttings

How to Root Cuttings in Water

Another very simple and useful method for many species is to root cuttings in water. Simply submerge the lower part of the cuttings in clean water at room temperature, or slightly warm, and wait for the roots to appear. It is recommended to change the water about every 48 hours to avoid fungus or other problems.

how to root cuttings in water
How to root cuttings in water.

Proper Environment for Rooting Cuttings

Giving the plant to be rooted a suitable environment is as necessary as applying rooting hormone or allowing the cutting to close the wound. Once the cutting is made, the plant must have three basic pillars: warmth, light, and humidity.

Place the cuttings in a well-lit area, where the temperature is not too low and with adequate humidity, always without flooding with water. It is usual to cover the cuttings with plastic bottles or containers, which help to maintain the humidity of the soil and to conserve the temperature.

How Long It Takes for The Cuttings to Root

The time each plant needs to root depends on the species and environmental conditions, but if all goes well, any cutting will have roots in less than 15 days, although some do it much faster. If after two weeks your cutting is still not supporting itself with its roots, chances are that the process has failed and you will have to start over.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

2 thoughts on “How To Root Cuttings – Step by Step”

  1. I can’t wait to make my own rooting hormone. I received an Azalea cutting and hopefully it will be rooting soon so I can have a beautiful little bush. Thanks for the advice.


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