Have you ever had that one perfect plant that you wanted to grow over and over again, but its seeds didn’t product the same result? Does your favorite plant refuse to grow roots in a new pot? Did a large live branch fall off your plant and you don’t want to throw it away? Well, you can solve most of those problems by simply using a rooting hormone. With it, you can let a clipping of a plant, whether a branch or just part of the leaf, become a plant that can grow on its own.
Here, we will review some of the best rooting hormones that you can get right now and offer advice on how to buy the perfect one for your plants.
Why Buying a Rooting Hormone?
To start with, let us explain what rooting hormones are and what they do.
A rooting hormone is a substance that propagates root growth in plants; it’s as simple as that. Most plants secrete such substances naturally, but the ones you buy also stimulate the plant to secrete even more of them to ensure that roots sprout. It helps the plant cutting you’re using transition from making other cells to making root cells. This helps increase the chances that a cutting you took will develop into an independent plant. Of course, the success rate won’t be a 100% no matter what product you use, but rooting hormones still help make this happen. They can also speed up the process – what might take a month without a rooting hormone will happen in a matter of a week.
Rooting hormones are mostly used for cloning plants. No matter how good the plant is, plants grown from its seeds will not be the same. If you want an identical plant, you could cut off a piece of it, put some rooting hormone on it and place it in a rooting cube or just a glass of water until it sprouts roots, then plant it. That way you get the exact same plant once again, and you can do this almost indefinitely. It can be done without a rooting hormone, but it is much more difficult, and more of your clones will fail, wasting your efforts.
Another thing rooting hormones are useful for is propagating root growth in a repotted plant. When repotting, you might have to cut off some roots to fit the new environment, and the plant might have difficulty doing that. Rooting hormones help with that and will allow the plant to take to the new environment easily.
There are other uses, but these are the most prominent ones. Having a batch of rooting hormone if you’re a gardener could prove useful even if you don’t want to use it immediately.
Some rooting hormones aren’t all that great though, and others are downright useless. Since it’s difficult to tell whether one of these products will work without using it, which can take weeks, some companies cash-in by making low-quality, highly diluted products that don’t produce results.
Avoiding those can be hard, but we are here to help you do just that. We tested a ton of different rooting hormones, and in this article, we will review the three that we believe are the best ones you can get right now. We also lay out a lot of other useful information in this article that will help you choose the best rooting hormone. So, get ready and let’s get started!
Meet the Best Rooting Hormones
The Good: Effective root hormone powder that works quickly and is easy to use.
The Bad: Doesn’t work on some plants and you don’t get a lot of it for the price.
The Bottom Line: Overall, quite an effective powder though you don’t’ get much of it for the price. However, you don’t need to use a lot of it on single cutting, so it is still more than worth it.
The Good: Works on almost any plant and contains a lot of minerals and nutrients.
The Bad: It is exceptionally difficult to use and costs quite a lot of money.
The Bottom Line: This is a decent rooting hormone in gel form, but it is difficult to recommend due to the high cost and how difficult it is to use.
The Good: Comes at a low price, works on most plants and you don’t have to apply a lot of it.
The Bad: You don’t get a ton for the price, and it has been known to kill some plants. It also works slowly.
The Bottom Line: There’s a lot to like about this product, but there’s an equal amount of things to dislike. If you need something cheap, it is the best option, but otherwise, you should probably opt for another product.
This is just the short version of our full opinions and reviews, which you can read down below.
All of the Factors Considered
Choosing the right rooting hormone can be difficult, even for experienced gardeners who have done a lot of cloning or other work with them. The reason for that is that it’s hard to ascertain whether a rooting hormone will work without using it first and even if one was proven to work on a certain plant it might not work on others. It’s tricky business, but we tested tons of rooting hormones and got a handle on how to pick the right one. Here’s a list made by our experts that should help.
There are three distinct forms that rooting hormone can come in – it can be a powder, liquid or a gel.
Liquid hormones are the most common on the market, and they can come in two variants. There are those that can be used right after you buy them, and there are those that come in concentrated form and need to be diluted before you apply them to your plants.
This can make them a bit more difficult to use for inexperienced people and failing to dilute them properly can lead to disaster. They are cheaper than most other types, however, especially in concentrated form.
Powdered hormones are the type that can last for the longest time on the shelf and are quite easy to apply. They require you to dip the cutting into the water before you dip it into the powder, but that’s it.
Last, but not the least, are the hormones that come in the form of a gel. They are the easiest type to use since you only need to dip the cuttings into the gel before putting them into the growing medium and you’re done.
Choose the type depending on what you need – do you want something that can be used sparsely and last for a long time, something cheap or maybe something that is easy to use? It is up to you in the end.
There are a lot of different ingredients that a rooting hormone solution, powder or gel could contain. Various chemicals or natural ingredients can be used, and they can have varying effects on different plant species. Some might contain additives or preservatives that you might not want near your plants, and so on.
You should always read the label and check what the product contains before making your final decision about purchasing it.
Ease of Use
Some rooting agents are easier to use than others, and they can be applied properly with less effort. This might not seem like an important thing at first, but when you get into a situation where you need to apply some to a hundred or so clippings, you realize how important this aspect is.
There are various things that might make a hormone easier or more difficult to apply, one of them being the form it comes in, as we already discussed. However, even different products of the same type can differ. For example, some gel products might be harder than others or have less ability to stick to the plants.
Some powdered products might be full of hardened clumps from standing on the shelf too long, and so on.
Some products might also come with additional brushes or other tools that make them easier to apply to different plants without damaging them or risking infection. That is always useful, and it can make a huge difference.
Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, having a rooting hormone that is easier to apply is always a plus.
The amount you get for the money is important, and depending on what you need the rooting hormone for and which type you’re getting, the right amount may differ greatly. For example, if you only need a bit of it for one batch of clones, you might want a small bottle of gel.
If you want to use it constantly, but in smaller amounts, you might want a large pack of the powdered hormone. You don’t want to buy too much since it might go bad on the shelf by the next time you need it, but you also don’t want to buy too little, because you won’t have enough of it for what you need.
Consider everything carefully before purchasing.
Now that you know all that we’re ready to show you how the top three products measure up.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Rooting Hormones
Good Hormone Powder
This is quite a nice hormone powder, and it works well and quickly. You also don’t need to use a lot on the plants to get it working. It works for most plants, but not all, so be careful. It doesn’t work on most berries, for example.
The main active ingredient here is the most common one, Indole-3-butyric acid, and it works well. It also has some additional nutrients in the mix but not a ton of them.
Mostly Easy to Use
It’s easy to use, however, more than most hormone powders – unless you’re a complete beginner since the instructions aren’t good. However, you should get the hang of it quickly even without the instructions on hand.
You don’t get a lot of this powder in the packaging, only 2 ounces. The good thing is that you don’t have to use a lot of it to get results, so that should still last you for a good while.
Who Should Buy This Product
In case you want a rooting powder that is easy to use and gets results in record time this is the product you should get since it works fast and you don’t need to apply a lot of it. It will also work on most plants that you might be growing in your home or your backyard garden.
What to Watch Out For
The worst part about this powder is that it doesn’t work with some plants that are quite popular, like most berries. It just won’t produce any results if used with them, which is a shame. You also don’t get a lot of it for the price, but since you only have to use a little that is mostly fine.
In the end, this is quite a good hormone powder that works well on most plants and works incredibly fast, which is probably the most important part. Sure, it won’t work on some plants, but that is given with most hormones. It is worth the price due to its effectiveness, even if you don’t get a lot of it – however, you also don’t have to use a lot to get it working, which is another benefit.
Clumpy Rooting Gel, Difficult to Use
This is a rooting gel that is more difficult to apply than it should be. Usually, gels are the easiest to apply, but that is not the case here. It’s often in huge, tough clumps and doesn’t stick well to the plants it’s used with. The jar is also quite narrow, so it’s difficult to take it out, especially since it’s so clumpy. Luckily, it works on most plants, but you do need to apply a ton of it.
Full of Nutrients
This gel uses Indole-3-butyric acid in copious amounts, but it is also filled with a ton of useful nutrients and minerals that will feed your clippings well until they grow proper roots.
You get 3.4 fluid ounces in the packaging, quite a good amount. The issue is that you have to use a lot of it on each cutting for it to function, so you will go through it quickly. It also costs quite a bit more than most similar products.
Who Should Buy This Product
This is the ideal rooting agent for people who don’t want to worry about whether the product they get will work on the plants they want to use it with – this gel will work on almost anything. It will also feed your plant well and propagate the root growth with nutrients and minerals.
What to Watch Out For
There’s a lot that’s wrong with this gel, but the worst part is how difficult it is to apply. First off, it comes in a jar that has quite a narrow hole, so it’s difficult to take out. It is also quite clumpy, and it won’t stick to most plants. The worst part is that you need to use a ton of it for it to work as well. It’s also expensive.
The largest upside this rooting gel has is the fact that it will work with almost anything, which is great, and it also contains more nutrients in it than most other rooting hormones. It also costs more and is exceptionally difficult to use, which almost undoes any benefits it offers. If it was a bit cheaper, we could readily recommend it despite the flaws, but that’s difficult to do at this price point.
Slow-working Powdered Hormone
This is a powdered rooting hormone that works on most plants, and that can work with only a small amount applied. However, it takes quite a while to start working and get the plants to sprout roots, more than other products.
This rooting hormone uses mostly Indole-3-butyric acid as its crucial component, and it also adds in some nutrients and minerals, though not a lot of them. It might kill some plants, though the reason for that is not obvious when you look at the components.
Relatively Easy to Use
It’s about as easy to apply as any other rooting powder, and the instructions it comes with are fairly clear so even people new to cloning can reliably use this product.
You only get 1.5 ounces of this product for the price. You do only need to apply a bit for it to start working, and it doesn’t cost a lot which remedies this issue a little bit, but if you want it for a larger project, you will have to buy multiple packs.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you don’t need a lot of rooting powder and you want to get it for a fairly low price, this is a product you should check out. It doesn’t cost a lot and can work with most plants you could think of. It functions fairly well, and you don’t need to apply a lot of it to get it to work.
What to Watch Out For
The issue with this product is that it takes a while to start working and it might take weeks for your cuttings to sprout roots, so if you need to get them done in quick fashion, that won’t happen. You also get only a small amount of it for the price. It has been known to kill some plants as well, so be careful with it.
This is quite a mixed bag. Yes, it works for most plants, but it also takes quite a while to start working. It works in small amounts, but you also don’t get a lot of it to work with. It does come at a low price which excuses some of its faults, but you still need to be careful with it since it might kill some plants. It’s a hard sell, even at this price.
The Best Pick – Garden Safe HG-93194
What you consider to be the “best” rooting hormone can vary, depending on a lot of different things. Depending on what you want to use it for and which plants you want to use it on, the qualities you look for in a product like this can vary a lot. One hormone that might work wonder when cloning marijuana might be terrible when used with roses – it’s tricky.
This is by no means an exact science, so choosing just one product above all others is difficult. We still tried, and for us, the best product here is the Garden Safe HG-93194.
The reason for that is simple – it doesn’t have any major downsides to it as most other products do. Sure, it won’t work with some plants, but it will still work on most, and it will work quickly and reliably without the risk of killing them. It comes at a fair price as well. Because of all this, we chose it as the best rooting hormone out there right now.
Our best pick this time might be a bit controversial due to how adamant some people can be about what works and what doesn’t, but we stick by it. However, that doesn’t mean we are disparaging the other products presented here – quite the contrary, we consider them to be almost as good as our top pick, and you never know what might work for you. Because of that you should consider everything we presented here and weigh all your options carefully before purchasing. Our only hope is that we were able to help you with that. If we have, feel free to share this article and potentially help others by doing so. Have a good day and good luck with your gardening efforts.