best rooting hormone

Best Rooting Hormones for Indoor Plants in 2022

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There are multiple ways for gardeners to grow new plants such as starting from scratch by planting seeds or bulbs. However, an other method is to take cuttings from an existing plant. This is often the simplest, cheapest and quickest way of doing it, especially if you are unable to source seeds or bulbs.

As the name suggests, a cutting is the process of cutting a stem from an existing plant. By placing the end of the stem in water, this encourages roots to grow which is essential for the survival of gardening plants. However, not all plants root easily, which is where the aid of rooting hormones come into play (chemicals designed to stimulate root growth from cuttings).

Sourcing the best rooting hormone isn’t difficult and the difference between products may not vary that much. However, there are some subtle differences, with some working better than others depending on your requirements.

Best Rooting Hormone Products

This is why we have put this list together recommending our 10 best rooting hormones based on researched customer experiences and all of which can be store-bought.

❶ HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel, 100 ml

Clonex rooting gel is among the most popular rooting gels gardeners use. Its success rate in most plant varieties such as woody, herbaceous, and flowering ornamental species is very impressive and besides those, you can use Clonex for vegetables and fruits as well.

It has lower concentrations of the active ingredient, which may cause it not to work successfully on hard to root plants, however, with most others plants it will preform favorably.

This hormone product has a thick gel consistency which will stay on the plant longer, making it suitable to use in aero cloners or plant starter cubes. Since it is a gel, there is no danger of inhaling it during the process.

It is quite easy to use, just dip the cutting in the gel and place it in the desired growing medium. Make a small hole in the soil beforehand to ensure that you will not wipe off the gel.

What we like
  • Clings firmly to the plant
  • EPA approved in 50 states
  • Suitable for edible and medicinal plants
  • Easy to use
What we don’t like
  • Loses effectiveness when the package is left open

❷ Bonide BND925 – Bontone II Rooting Powder

This hormone product is among those with the most versatility. It is a powder rooting hormone, and it isn’t water-soluble.

If you use this rooting hormone as specified on the package you will ensure maximum coverage and effect in promoting root growth. It can be used with cuttings by dipping them (about a quarter of it) in the powder and placing it in some moist soil directly. The moisture helps the roots form quickly.

If you want to use it on bulbs and seeds it will also promote root growth. To coat them with the powder, pour the powder into a zip bag containing the seeds or bulbs. Completely cover them by shaking the bag slowly and gently to avoid damage to the seeds/bulbs.

The versatility of this product is shown in the fact that it works great with softwood and hardwood cuttings. You can use it for ornamentals, as well as edibles (fruit trees, berry bushes, and vegetables).

Species of plants it is compatible with are azaleas, mums, geraniums, pachysandra, poinsettias, and many others. This means that you do not need a specific type of root growth hormone for each plant species.

When you want to repot or transplant a plant, use the product on the stems to diminish the shock to the plant.

What we like
  • Versatile use – cuttings, bulbs, and seeds
  • Trusted manufacturer with over 90 years of experience in pest control in gardens, lawns, and indoor plants.
  • Simple usage – no preparation
What we don’t like
  • Some customers reported the packaging being unsealed.

❸ Garden Safe Rooting Hormone

Garden Safe rooting hormone is the best choice of rooting hormones when it comes to comparing price and quality. If you use it according to the instructions you are going to have happy and healthy baby plants in your hands.

Garden safe uses IBA (indole-3-butyric acid) in small concentrations as an active ingredient. IBA is similar to indole-3-acetic acid that is a rooting hormone that can naturally be found in plants when they are in the process of rooting. As such, it is safe to use with edible plants especially in small concentrations.

It is simple and ready to use, you just need to dip a moist cutting into the powder and place it in a growing medium of choice (most preferably-potting soil).

Some users reported that the plant has died after using this rooting hormone, and this happened only if they did not remove the excess powder from the cutting. Do this by tapping the plant with your finger or on the rim of the container to allow only the powder that has actually stuck on the plant to remain there. The excess can be too much and harm the plant.

It is good for African Violets, Poinsettias, Philodendrons, Geraniums, Coleus, Roses, Woody Ornamentals, and other popular indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse plants.

What we like
  • Contains safe, organic substances
  • Suitable for a variety of plants
  • Suitable for edible plants
  • Easy to use
What we don’t like
  • Not very suitable for hard to root plants

❹ Miracle-Gro FastRoot1 Rooting Hormone, 1.25 oz

Miracle-Gro is one of the most commonly used brands for any type of additional plant care from growing mediums to fertilizers. It is versatile and can be used on indoor plants, ornamentals, and tropicals.

This rooting hormone product is designed to work regardless of the cutting type. You can use either leaf or hardwood or softwood stem and it shows the same level of success.

Containing only 0.1% of the active ingredient indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) – it is a very gentle rooting hormone. To use it correctly, dip the cutting into the powder (which you have previously poured into another container) about an inch in and place your cutting in a moist growing medium.

To avoid the powder falling off the cutting, use a pencil to make a hole in the soil and place the cutting there.

Some customers reported successful rooting even in water- just make sure that you do not rinse off the powder from the roots when you are changing water.

Some of the powder will dissolve in water.

What we like
  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Prevents bug and bacteria from harming the new plant
  • Easy to use
  • Good customer reviews
  • Versatile
What we don’t like
  • Comes with a pesticide warning

Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder #16

Hormex rooting hormone powder is one of the fastest there is on the market.

The faster the plant can form calluses from which the roots and the stems will develop, the faster it will become a healthy plant that does not require any additional care aside from the basics.

This rooting powder is great for woody cuttings, especially those that are difficult to root (strength #16). This brand produces this rooting powder in 5 strength varieties because not all plants have the same requirements.

To make sure that this strength is for you, find the plant on the list that comes with the product.

Hormex is suitable to use in any growth medium you use -Rockwool, coco, peat moss, clay, or soil. It is also a great choice for edible plants since it does not contain any dyes, alcohols, or preservatives.

What we like
  • It prevents root rot and sagging
  • Promotes fast root development
  • It is great for many plant varieties – strength #16 is perfect for hard to root varieties
  • Simple usage
What we don’t like
  • The roots form slower than indicated

❻ Hormodin Rooting Compound

Hormodin rooting formula is one of the strongest out there. It is so much stronger than any homemade rooting hormone which makes it perfect for species that are difficult to root from cuttings.

The powder contains 0.8% active ingredient (indole-3-butyric acid) which is perfect for many evergreen plants and dormant cuttings with no leaves.

Hormodin rooting compound does not need to be prepared in any way – you just need to dip about a quarter of the cutting in the powder that you had previously poured in a glass or a pan. However, before dipping the cutting into the powder make sure you moisten the cuttings with water or saliva to make the powder adhere better. Use your finger or the rim of the glass to tap off excess powder and place the cutting in soil.

Hormodin compound is water-soluble and as such can be used to water young plants to give them a needed boost. It is also able to successfully recuperate the cuttings that are almost dried – just soak them for a day or two in a mild dilution.

It has proven successful with rhododendrons, petunias, geraniums, and others.

Since it is strong, be mindful when using the powder according to the recommendation on the label and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

What we like
  • Perfect for hard to root cuttings
  • No preparation needed
  • Simple to use
What we don’t like
  • Users reported it does not work well on roses and plumeria

❼ Doff Natural & Organic Rooting Powder, 75g

Doff Natural rooting powder is made of the natural source seaweed. The substance Napthylacetic Acid that the seaweed contains significantly improves the speed and success rate of the rooting processes in propagating and transplanting young plants.

Due to its natural ingredients, it is suitable for all plants, including fruits and vegetables. Besides being very easy to use it is also very versatile, it can be used on cuttings (both indoor and outdoor), grafting, transplanting young plants, both brittle and woody stems, corms, and bulbs. You can also use it for dipping plug all year round.

The usage is slightly different for each, so you need to follow the instructions carefully for maximum success. For hardwood cuttings, dip them in water, shake off excess and dip into the powder. Place in the medium of choice right away.

When you are rooting young transplants, make a hole in the soil with a pencil and pour a bit of the powder in it, then place the young plant in.

What we like
  • Suitable for different types of plants
  • Easy to use
  • Organic
  • Safe for edible plants
What we don’t like
  • Less suitable for hard to root plants

❽ Technaflora Rootech Gel for Plants

Technaflora Rootech gel is great for those hard to root plants since the gel clings to the surface of the cutting allowing it to take all the needed substances that promote fast growth and a healthy plant.

It is suitable to use on the stem as well as leaf cuttings and can be used for indoor and outdoor plants of any type (except for edible plants).

Keep the product away from children and pets, and store it in a cool place. The gel structure prevents you from ingesting and inhaling the substance while you are working with it, which can happen with powders.

To make the most of this hormone product, cover the entire section of the cutting that will be placed in the soil with the rooting gel. You can use it as a liquid rooting hormone as well when you dissolve it in water. This goes well for any type of plant that is easily rooted and needs a little nudge and help to grow stronger, bigger stems and roots.

What we like
  • Gel form allows better adherence to the cutting
  • High cloning success rate (over 90%)
  • Good for a variety of plants
  • Versatile use
What we don’t like
  • According to the manufacturer, it is not suitable to use on edible plants

❾ MAXIROOT Organic Rooting Hormone Gel, 100ML

Although it still has not got the organic certification, MAXIROOT complies with the standards of organic products. As such, MAXIROOT is suitable to use on any kind of plant – trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. The active ingredient is Ascophyllum Nodosum that is harvested off of the Norwegian freshwater coastline.

Aside from promoting quick root growth it also minimizes stress caused in the process. The gel is quite runny it has a syrup-like consistency and has an unpleasant smell, but nothing too off-putting.

The use is quite straightforward although it differs when used on softwood and hardwood plants. For softwood plants collect cuttings in May or June, dip into the gel, and place in loose potting soil. Roots should form within 6 to 8 weeks.

For hardwood plants, make sure you make the cutting during the dormant period, before the buds show. Make small cuts on the bottom of the cutting to allow better absorption, dip in the rooting hormone, and leave for a few minutes before placing it into the soil.

Depending on the cutting, roots should worm within 3 to 10 weeks.

What we like
  • Completely organic and safe to use with edible plants
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
What we don’t like
  • It has an unpleasant smell even when it is fresh

❿ Quick Clone Gel, 75mL

Quick Clone gel contains indole-3-butyric acid as well as most of the other rooting hormones on this list. What makes it stand out is that the active ingredient is extracted directly from plants that are contained in nature.

The process includes brewing tea from herbs, leaves, and bark and adding other substances to make the tea thicker. On top of that, other materials are added that aid natural root growth.

The Quick Clone gel is thicker than many others which is why the cutting is exposed to it for longer. It is not suitable for all plants but those that respond well to it are trees, roses, orchids, cactus, bonsai, bamboo, peppers, and tomatoes.

After dipping the moist cuttings in the gel at a 45-degree angle, place the cutting in a growing medium such as an aeroponic cloning machine, soil, or peat. Expect to see first roots as soon as 5-10 days, just make sure that the cuttings are healthy and taken at the right time for the optimum cloning process to occur.

What we like
  • Organically made
  • Easy to use
  • Thicker than other gels
  • No artificial dyes

What we don’t like
  • The product does not last long after opening

Our Verdict

All the rooting hormones on this list do the intended job of protecting and boosting root growth from cuttings. Often it is not always the product at fault when the desired results fail to materialize, but rather the manner of which the product has been applied. For example, powdered products can be a little trickier to handle, which is why we recommend Clonex HydroDynamics Rooting Gel as the thick gel like product adheres to the stem for longer and there is no danger of inhaling chemicals as a result.


Types of Rooting Hormones

You can purchase a root growth booster or you can make your own rooting hormone. Usually, the homemade plant root stimulator is gentler than the store-bought one, and you can control which substances you use as a growth hormone.

The substances that you can use to make your own rooting hormones can mostly be found in your kitchen, these include:
1. honey
2. willow water
3. apple cider vinegar
4. aspirin

You can later soak or dip the cuttings in the desired solutions.
Aloe vera is also a natural, homemade gel rooting hormone that has proven very powerful, while cinnamon makes for a great homemade rooting powder.

This natural homemade rooting hormone is just using powder cinnamon and dipping the previously moistened cutting in it.
All these substances contain one or another active ingredient that is useful to promote root growth, and most of them are extracted and found in store-bought varieties only in much higher concentrations. This is especially important if you are growing edible plants like fruits and vegetables.

To that account, read labels on the store-bought rooting hormones to make sure it is safe to use.
Rooting hormones come in a form of powders, gels, or liquids –  it does not matter if they are homemade or bought in a store.

Can you use Honey as a Rooting Hormone?

Honey is NOT suitable to use as a rooting hormone because it contains yeast spores that can contaminate your cuttings. It also often has bacteria in it too. If you want to use honey then please research what type is best and how to sterilize it before adding to your cuttings.

How to use Rooting Hormones?

Even if you chose the best root stimulator there is your plant will grow healthy only if you use the product correctly.

Depending on the substance you pick as your preferred rooting hormone and its type you can dip it directly in it, you can soak the cuttings before planting, or use the liquids to water the plants with it.

The most important thing is to read the instruction labels and follow them exactly as it says. Using less than the recommended dosage will likely fail the stem growing roots and seem like the product is not working.

On the other hand, if you use more than is recommended you will probably end up causing more damage than good as too many chemicals can kill the plant cuttings you want to propagate and multiply.
You can be a bit more flexible with homemade root stimulators since they are more gentle and some of them can really do no harm.