Spring is the perfect time of year for propagating plants. The pictures above are Hydrangea. The parent plant was damaged during a wind storm and a branch snapped and was hanging on by just a couple of thready fibers. I snipped it the rest of the way off  and got out my rooting hormone.

Rooting hormones were discovered in the 1930s by Dutch scientists. Today, the most common rooting hormone is a chemical called indole-3-butyric acid, or I3B. It is available in both liquid and powder forms. However, home growers rarely require the liquid form because their volume is so low. As a result, the most common product available in garden centers is the powdered rooting hormone.

Simply snip a clean edge on your cutting, dip in a little cool water, dip in rooting hormone, and plant in good organic loose soil. Give it a gentle water and in the next week or so it should take root!

Propagation with plain old water works great on African violet (Saintpaulia) Begonia Cissus (Grape Ivy) Coleus Cordyline terminalis (Ti Plant) Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig) Hedera (English Ivy) Helxine (Baby’s Tears) Impatiens Philodendron oxycardium (Heart Leaf) Philodendron pandureaform (Fiddle Leaf) Plectranthus (Swedish Ivy) Scindapsus (Pothos) Syngonia (Tri-Leaf Wonder) Tradescantia (Wandering Jew) Zygocactus (Christmas Cactus).

Use rooting hormone with:  

Abelia Flowering Quince Pittosporum
Aucuba Forsythia Photinia
Azalea Gardenia Pyracantha
Barberry Holly Rose
Boxwood Honeysuckle Spirea
Butterfly Bush Hydrangea Tea Olive
Camellia Hypericum Viburnum
Cotoneaster Juniper Weigelia
Crape Myrtle Ligustrum Willow
Elaeagnus Oleander Vitex

Use caution:

Rooting hormone is effective, but it is a hazardous material. Some manufacturers recommend against using rooting hormone on food plants, so check the label cautions to make sure the variety you’re using is safe for food plants. Also, do not dispose of excess rooting hormone in areas where it can contaminate water supplies or soil. It should be treated like any bioactive chemical and disposed of in a solid waste facility.

I love free plants!

5 responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    i,ve used it with moderate succes on hibiscus , you,re right though , love those free plants they make great gifts !!!!!!

  2. renovatedsilverladysailor says:

    I love free plants too especially ones like native dayliiies that grow along side the road in front of farm fields. They need to be divided to just stay healthy and that means more easy growing plants for me. Would rooting hormone work on the transplants? When is the best time of year to divide daylillies? Thanks!

    • I think any kind of bulb or rhizome is best done in very early spring or after they are spent in fall. I have never taken a cutting from bulbs before as they seem to multiple with no help (as you know!)

  3. evdeerly says:

    Dang! I just spent $40 at Lowe’s when I could have waited till midnight or so and “borrowed” some cuttings from around the neighborhood. 🙂