5 Best Rooting Hormones Every Gardener Should Have

We reviewed rooting hormones and chose our top 5 best plant growth-accelerating products, including gels, powders, liquids, and organics.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 30, 2021
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If you have ever wanted to jumpstart your seedlings so that your garden is the envy of all, then root hormone is your secret to cloning seedling flowers blooming and producing all season long.

Synthetic rooting hormones come in three different forms – liquid, gel, and powder. The liquid form is typically quite concentrated and must be diluted.  When using the gel or powder forms, the end of the cutting tip is dipped into the substance and transplanted

After vast research, we examined many rooting hormone agents on the market and reviewed them based on best powder, best liquid, best gel, and best organic choice and created this top 5 best list for you.

1.

HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting GelEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Type: gel
  • Composition: full spectrum of mineral nutrients and trace elements
  • Net contents: 3.4 fl.oz

Other features: 3% indole-3-butyric-acid, protects against pests, protects against infection

Our Editor’s Choice, HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel has a label that asks the buyer to use it in a manner consistent with federal law. This is because it is so effective at supplying plants with essential hormones needed for accelerated development.

HydroDynamics Clonex gel is part of the tradition, and we thought it was outstanding that it has been a choice for gardeners and agricultural experts since 1989. Its secret to success lies in its special secret formula of nourishing ingredients.

What are its best features?

  • It is our favorite because 3% Indole- 3-butyric-acid is the active ingredient. IBA is a plant hormone in the auxin family and used in agriculture for plant cloning and faster. It protects against pests and infection. IBA is also rapidly broken down in the environment to a naturally occurring substance that is ecologically friendly. It is simple to use, only requiring you to dip the cutting end in the jar.

What could be improved?

  • Clonex company produces their product only in gel and liquid format. After rating this product as the best among others reviewed under this article, we were eager to try out the powder version on our plants. Unfortunately, gel & liquid formats are all they offer.
2.

Hormex Rooting Hormone PowderBest Powder

Features
  • Type: powder
  • Composition: vitamin B1 and hormone concentrate elements
  • Net weight: 0.75oz.

Other features: for use in varying strengths, can be mixed with different growth mediums & soil, coat a cutting directly

Our second choice recommends Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder as the best rooting powder. It is also known as Hormex Rooting Powder #3. It comes with instructions on basic use and is recommended for easy-to-root varieties such as Blueberry, Camellia, Spruce, and others.

Hormex has been trusted by both pro and amateur growers for over 60 years and stands by its motto “Don’t buy new plants…clone the ones you have.”  The powder can be used in various strengths to suit different plant varieties.

Why did it make our list?

  • We love the good reputation of Hormel products as well as the versatility of the product’s exclusive Hormongenization process. You can mix it with soil, sand, pearlite, clay pellets, and many other growing mediums. You can also coat a cutting directly with the powder, using the provided directions for accelerating the growth of easy to moderately difficult to root plants, including Oleander, Privet, Ivy, Chestnut, and others.

What is not ideal about it?

  • We have next to no criticisms of Hormel except that their boasting comes with a bit of a disclaimer about the success of the product, citing that variable factors such as location, plant type, weather, season, and other matters may affect accelerated growth. The product also comes with the upselling of companion products, such as a Hormex Rooting Cube, and the process requires speed (from cutting to planting) to guarantee growth.
Features
  • Type: liquid
  • Composition: vitamin B1 and hormone concentrate elements
  • Net weight: 4, 8, 16, 32, 128 oz.

Other features: it can be mixed with soil & growth mediums, it can be used in a hose on lawns, it nourishes plant cuttings

The Hormex Vitamin B1& Rooting Hormone Concentration is on our top 5 list for being the best liquid rooting hormone. It comes in one water-soluble strength. It is used to prepare cuttings before you transplant them or mix directly with soil mediums.

This rooting powder has been around for 60 years and is unique because it prevents the root rot, slow rooting, and sagging associated with other liquids. It is also offered in many sizes, including 1, 6, 12, and 50 lb. containers.

Why did it make our list?

  • We love that his rooting hormone concentration comes so versatile. You can use it for hydroponics and Aeroponics in a diluted solution, dip the base of cuttings in full-strength Hormex for one to five minutes for cutting or drench newly planted soil area with it. It can be used in a hose on lawns and groundcover. Even indoor plants and flowers can benefit from a tsp. of this powder mixed per gallon.

What is not ideal about it?

  • This is a great product as long as you use it properly. If you are using it with plant cuttings, you need to work as quickly as possible and use it in conjunction with Hormex Rooting Powder, or cloning could fail. You must dip the cutting into the fortifying powder and then follow it up with a dip in the product.
4.

Quick Clone GelBest Organic

Features
  • Type: liquid
  • Composition: organic tea from herbs, leaves, and barks
  • Net weight: 2.54 fl.oz.

Other features: contains two strong hormones & four different vitamins, works on all types of pants

Quick Clone is an entirely organic gel that encourages faster-growing, stronger rooting clones. It is a very high-quality product with a strong vegetative nutrient profile that takes days to make and therefore is thicker than similar root stimulating products.

Quick Clone is unique because it is actually tea and contains no chemicals. It is the choice for the ecologically aware gardener or agriculturist. It is also the choice of many professionals who depend on fast turnaround for faster yields.

What stands out?

  • This high-end rooting gel is one of our favorites as it includes multiple rooting hormones at twice the concentration of most other brands. It also contains four different vitamins and over a dozen amino acids. It is incredibly versatile and perfect for all plant forms, including trees, roses, tomatoes, peppers, bonsai, cactus, and bamboo. Results are consistently seen in five to ten days. Although it is organic, it is also EPA regulated.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • One of the issues we have with this organic gel is exactly why it has this designation if it contains two strong growth hormones that are not named. Also, although the product does have great fail-proof results, the manufacturer tells us that “patience is key” before you see them. It is also unclear whether the cutting can be dipped in the jar or in a separate container.
5.

Hormodin Rooting CompoundBest Value

Features
  • Type: powder
  • Composition: 0.8% active ingredient, 99.2% evergreens and dormant leafless cuttings
  • Net weight: 8oz.

Other features: one jar treats 175,000 cuttings, no mixing or measuring required, works on almost every plant variety, contains 0.1% IBA

Hormodin Rooting Compound was selected as our top root growth stimulant for the value, even though it costs $112.24 US. The cost is well worth it, considering that this expense is for a ½ pound jug that can clone approximately 175,000 cuttings. The fact it is so cost-effective makes it a top choice for gardeners on a budget.

Our top choice for top value is different than other products on the market because it contains 0.8% active ingredients that help to propagate the most challenging root varieties, including many evergreens. It is also suitable for cloning dormant cuttings or ones you thought you could never bring back again.

Why are we impressed?

  • Aside from the incredible value of the product, this rooting product is straightforward to use. There is no measuring or mixing required, as is the case with rooting hormone gels and powders. The Hormidin rule is “Dip it-Tap it-Stick It.”; an easy and witty rule to remember.

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • We have almost no issues with this rooting hormone product, but you must work quickly to use it. You dip the basal end in the powder, tap off the excess powder and quickly plant it. Although the company claims that it can bring dead cuttings back to life, it also claims that it works best on fresh cuttings.

Things to Consider

To start, we will examine what you need to consider before purchasing rooting hormone, including what is notable about the three different types of product consistencies: gel, liquid, and powder. We also take a look at the ingredients you can expect to find in our top five choices and what is considered a hormone and what is considered organic, keeping in mind that even an organic option, such as our top organic choice Quick Clone Gel, can be a hybrid of both growth agents.

What is a Rooting Hormone?

5 Best Rooting Hormones Every Gardener Should Have

A rooting hormone is a plant growth stimulator that encourages a cutting to switch from producing leaves and stems to produce new roots. Their purpose is to speed up and simplify plant propagation. Yet another important benefit of using rooting hormones is that it can help to produce hardier plants of a higher quality.

One of the main things to understand about rooting hormones is that they manipulate plant genes. Not all plants can handle the same strength of hormones. There are many plants for which hormones are highly recommended, such as hibiscus, lobelia, or daisies. However, some flowers react to a dose of too strong hormones, such as petunia, coleus, or impatiens. The bottom line is that it is important to do your research online before treating any plant with a root-boosting hormone.

Available Formats

Rooting hormones are generally sold in three formats: gel, liquid, and powder. Be aware that some gels seem like liquids and vice versa and that some of them are actually herbal teas, such as our top organic choice Quick Clone gel that is made from organic tea from barks, leaves, and herbs.

Rooting hormones in powder form are generally more complex to use as they require some dilution in appropriate strengths suitable for the plant you are trying to grow. For instance, a tomato plant, an exotic orchid, and a grown cover most likely don’t require the same strength of auxin to exhibit results.

Gel rooting hormone is quite easy to use, with many formulas being prepared for easy or hard to grow varieties. A good example of rooting gel that works for both is our Editor’s choice, HydroDynamics Clonex gel that contains 3% Indloe-3butyric acid (IBA).  One drawback of using rooting gels is that it is not good to try and mix it in the soil unless the label says gel, but the product seems more like a tea or liquid, as is the case with our top organic gel – Quick Clone.

Ingredients

The main ingredient in every stimulating root hormone formula, whether it is organic or not, is always auxin. Auxin contains an important component called Indole-3-butyric acid that naturally protects against pests.  It also helps to protect your tiny new cuttings against infections.

Application

5 Best Rooting Hormones Every Gardener Should Have

The main misconception about applying all three types of rooting hormone powder is that you can just dip the basal end of your cuttings directly into the liquid, gel, or powder. This is not a good idea as it contaminates the product. Instead, remember at all times to place the root boosting product in a small bowl or cup poured from the product container.

Once you have the product in a separate container, you simply dip the end of the cutting into the root hormone product, tap it to remove the excess gel, liquid, or powder, and place it into its growth medium.

Some types of rooting hormone liquids and powders can be mixed directly into the planting medium as well. For instance or the third choice on our top 5 best rooting hormones list,  the liquid Hormex Vitamin  B1 Rooting Hormone Concentrate can be used for cloning cuttings but also sprayed directly onto the soil or onto a lawn with no need for any type of mixing

On the other hand, our second choice, Hormex rooting powder, is a powder that can be diluted and mixed in varying strengths so that the results are tailored precisely to the strength needed to encourage your plant to grow. For instance, a rose bush would need much more Hormex rooting powder than a herb like mint.  Root powders can also be diluted in a pail and used in larger amounts to spray directly on a lawn, or they can be mixed with different growth mediums such as peat, clay pellets, or moss

Gels are incredibly easy to apply as you can just coat the cutting with it directly. This both seals the plant “wound” where it has been cut, and it also helps protects it from pests and infections. Our top organic choice, Quick clone gel, and our top choice Hydrodynamics Clonex rooting gel, are ideal for this purpose

FAQ

The hormone that stimulates root growth is indole acetic acid IAA Trusted Source What is Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)? - Definition from MaximumYield This definition explains the meaning of Indole-3-acetic acid and why it matters. www.maximumyield.com , which is responsible for natural root stimulation. This hormone is responsible for just about every aspect of a plant’s growth, including cell division, the elongation of the stem, and guiding stems and leaves to turn towards the sun to help accelerate the process of photosynthesis and more growth.

Natural organic rooting stimulants that have been used for cloning have existed for hundreds of years before the invention of synthetic ones. You can use willow extract Trusted Source Homemade Rooting Hormone Made from Willow for Gardening Success Homemade rooting hormone made from willow is free and easy to make. Use this natural willow water for rooting cuttings or for easing transplant stress. www.attainable-sustainable.net as a natural boosting agent for your plant cuttings. Willow bark, from which aspirin is derived, is both a natural liquid rooting hormone that can be a wonderful growth agent.

Aloe vera gel can also be used as a rooting hormone because, like willow bar, it also contains salicylic acid (SA) with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Simply crack open a fresh aloe vera leaf filled with gel and dip the cutting in it before quickly transplanting it in its growing medium.

To create a honey-based homemade rooting hormone, mix one tablespoon with 2 cups of boiling water, let cool, and when ready to use, dip the end of a cutting in the solution before planting.

Whether synthetic or organic, other names for root hormones are auxin, root stimulator, root growth promoters, cloning powder, cloning liquid, cutting powder, cutting liquid, rooting compound, rooting medium, and root boosters.

Our Verdict

The rooting hormone solution that is best for you requires research about the strength need for your propagated plants. HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel was our #1because it works well for most plants and in most situations. Clonex rooting gel has that middle-of-the-road 3% Indole-3-butyric acid that succeeds quickly with easy to medium-hard to grow plants. It is also a traditional product with 97% vitamins and minerals.

Our top choice for an organic root booster is a thin gel brewed from a Quick clone gel that works on all plants, but the wait for results can be ten days.

Two different powders, Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder and Hormodin Rooting powder, also made our top 5, as they are easy to use on cuttings and in growth mediums. Hormex rooting hormone got our vote for being a trusted traditional favorite, and Hormodin Rooting Compound made our list for being a cost-effective rooting hormone with the ability to jumpstart 175,000 cuttings.

References

1.
What is Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)? - Definition from MaximumYield
This definition explains the meaning of Indole-3-acetic acid and why it matters.
2.
Homemade Rooting Hormone Made from Willow for Gardening Success
Homemade rooting hormone made from willow is free and easy to make. Use this natural willow water for rooting cuttings or for easing transplant stress.
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