Have you ever seen a plant that you feel so in love with you simply HAD to grow it at home? Well, that is a perfectly normal feeling and you can definitely do it very easily. This method of reproduction or cloning is called “cutting” and basically consists of – you guessed it – cutting a part of a plant to create a new one. Today we are going to discuss how to use a rooting powder in water to reproduce your own or other plants!
You could use this method to create another plant to gift a friend that lives far away or to reproduce a beautiful flower you found at a park. Remember, though, to always ask permission to take a cutting from a private location and NEVER! do this in a store. That would actually be stealing!
What is Rooting Powder?
You may have heard the name at your local specialty garden or hydroponics supply shop. Powder rooting hormones are commercially available supplements to help with exactly that – rooting!
Plants use hormones just like our bodies do. They tell the plant what to do: root, bear fruit, flower, grow leaves. We are particularly interested in auxins, the type of hormones that tell the plant to root.
There are a couple of synthetic chemicals that can replace the effect of auxins on plants. They can help promote the growth of new roots.
Although they are best used when you are cutting a part from another plant to clone it in a new pot, they could also be beneficial in other growth stages.
If you use them, the root of the new clone will develop quicker and be of better quality than if you had not used any kind of supplement. This makes it easier to propagate any type of plant, not just those that root easily.
Rooting hormones come in different presentations like gel or liquid, but today we are going to discuss their powder form.
How to Use Rooting Powder
Dosage is the tricky part of it all. If you use too little, it will be as if you had not used any. But if you overdo it, you could have the opposite effect and actually make the plant yellow and wither.
To use the powder, put some of it in a small container. Grab the cutting and dip the end into the powder. Make sure the bottom ½ inch is free of any leaves before doing this. Then shake off the excess and place it into a glass of water to start it.
You should have a thin film of powder that does not exceed a quarter of an inch from the base of the stem. Keep in mind that if the cutting is wet or has little hairs it will pick up too much powder. Make sure it is dry and you double tap it in case of little hairs.
As a general tip, if you are doing this on more than one cutting at a time, replace the powder each time so as not to transmit any diseases from one cutting to the next.
How to Create a Cutting
You will need a clean, shark knife or scissors. Do not use blunt cutters as they will hurt the plant.
Plants that root in water usually have nodes, like vines for example. They will root more easily in water, so you should maybe try them first! In any case, with the help of the rooting powder you could try any plant.
First, identify where you are going to cut. Aim for ¼ of an inch below the node. Then dip your cutting into the rooting powder as described above.
Afterwards, put your cutting into a clean glass. Pour enough room temperature water to make it so that it covers the cutting’s nodes.
You should switch the water every 3 to 5 days. Keep it fresh! We recommend using tap water at room temperature. If there are tiny roots already, clean the slimy film off them before placing them back into water. Also, always remember to keep the forming roots under water.
Depending on the plant, rooting can take from only a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The powder will definitely help but be patient!
Once the roots reach 5 inches in length, you can place the cutting into some soil. Congratulations! You have reproduced a plant!
Put the cuttings near a window where they do not get hit by direct sunlight but are still in a bright area.
Some Tips on Cuttings
Some cuttings need to be aired out or “hardened” a few days before being placed in water. This is true, for example, for geraniums. You should do this in an area without direct sunlight over newspaper or paper towels in a place with a steady 65 to 75°F temperature.
Make sure your cutting has enough leaves on it to perform photosynthesis. It does not need a lot, just a few so that the cutting can benefit from the sunlight. This ratio is also dependent on the season. In Winter you will want more leaves on your cutting than in Summer.
Why Use Cuttings and Not Seeds?
Although growing a plant from a cutting takes serious patience, it is really much easier and a shorter wait than doing it by growing a seed. Also, some seeds are difficult to germinate.
Growing cuttings in water is much easier and yields more consistent results, as you are cloning the plant from which you took the cutting in the first place.
Choosing to grow them in water is also great for plant health, as it reduces the risk of the plant contracting some fungus or soil gnats.
What do you think? Will you try growing your own cuttings in water using rooting powder? Tell us below what have been your experiences with this product and post a picture of your favorite plant you have propagated using this method. For us it has worked wonders!