Use aloe vera gel as a magic rooting hormone instead of commercially available rooting hormones to propagate cuttings with success.
The main role of a rooting hormone is to promote root formation if you are propagating plants. Propagating plants is one of my favorite ways to start new plants here at home for my garden.
Rooting hormones act as a prevention against fungi and bacteria while increasing the success of grated plants – whether tropical, cuttings, orchids or even trees.
Cuttings of plants can form roots if they are kept in the right environmental conditions. Many of the most popular plant species will form roots when taken care with rooting hormones (which will stimulate the formation of roots).
History of Rooting Hormones
Rooting hormones were first developed way back in the 1930s. Dutch scientists wanted to regulate the growth of a plants leaves, shape, and fruit. Those qualities are naturally produced in plants.
Fungi and bacteria work together to produce chemicals that can help propel new plant growth.
Rooting hormone can be used for a variety of cuttings – new growth, aged stems, woody or brittle stems. When I propagate using aloe as a rooting hormone, I find that the new growth (soft cuttings) root much faster.
As amazing as rooting hormone can be, there is one caveat!
However amazing rooting hormone is, it will never force a plant to root that doesn’t have the ability to root. If anything, rooting hormone will help increase the number of roots, decrease the rooting time and help propel the success of roots.
Commercial Rooting Hormone
Commercial rooting hormone is available at most garden centers and hardware stores with plants. They are composed of chemicals auxins (IBA – Indole-e-butyric acid). IBA is a plant hormone in the auxin family. It can be used in gel, liquid or powder and applied to the cut tip of the plant or as a spray.
Commercial rooting hormones seal and protect the cutting while encouraging the development of new roots through a blend of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Those things will help promote fair root development while also preventing disease from setting in.
When using commercial rooting hormone, you always want to make sure you avoid contact with eyes and skin.
Natural Rooting Hormone
Rooting hormone can be made naturally at home with simple ingredients that you may have on hand. Aloe Vera is a wonderful and yet simple rooting hormone. Use fresh aloe gel from inside the aloe vera leaves.
Simply cut a thick aloe leaf from one of your plants, and scrape out the gel. Blend the gel in the blender with a little water to form a thick slurry and use it for rooting or cloning.
There are several ways you can use aloe vera gel to root a plant cutting:
- Mix the blended gel with a small amount of water. Rest the propagated plant in the solution for up to one week, until you see roots start to emerge on the propagated plant. (Depending on the weather/temps, it has taken up to 10-12 days for some).
- Simply dip the tip of your propagated plant in the aloe/water slurry. Prepare your plant pot by mixing equal parts soil and sand then pushing your finger in to make an indentation for the plant to go.
Transfer the plant from the aloe solution carefully to the hole without disturbing the aloe on the propagated root. Pack the soil lightly around the cutting and water as needed (avoid over-watering).
The cutting should root over the next 30 days when given the proper environment and care.
Have you ever used aloe vera to propagate cuttings? And if so, have you had a great experience?
I poked a wilting, tiny, crooked cutting of a Genovese basil plant with 4 tired leaves still on into a 1 inch long piece of aloe vera, and planted them straight into garden soil. 24 hours later the little guy was standing up strong and it has kept growing and has made some new leaves ever since.
Ursula, that’s amazing! I love using Aloe as a rooting hormone… it works wonders!
Basil root very very easy, no rooting hormone needed.
Jane frances says
4 have learnt alot thanks, let me practice and see
If you prepare Aloe Vera gel for rooting, then how long does it last? Can you keep in the refrigerator for several months? Or should you use it all within 30 days?
It should stay good for up to a year
William Brown says
I have just started to use aloe vera as a rooting hormone. I did not blend the gel. I scraped the gel out and dipped the cutting in. Will this still work.
It should still work!
Thank you for this helpful tip. I will first start growing Aloe Vera and then try this out.