Prepare cuttings in the usual manner, however dip the ends of the cuttings in honey instead of rooting powder and you will have a high success rate. An old gardener friend has used this method for over forty years and he believes that the hormones produced by the honey promotes rapid root growth.
By Jan from Poona Queensland Australia
WOW! Now this is something I really gotta try! Thank you for the info! (03/06/2008)
I love my plants, so thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try that. (03/06/2008)
I'm going to try that also. I NEVER have success with the rooting hormone. Thank you for a great tip. (03/06/2008)
By Jean in GA
I usually cannot find my rooting hormone, but I always have honey on hand. Thank you so much for this tip! I can't wait to try it. (03/08/2008)
That is fantastic news since I always forget to buy the rooting powder and I always have honey. Thanks (03/09/2008)
Cheers from sunny Florida!
Honey seems to work great as a "rooting hormone" for any plants except those rooted from softwood - and even then you may have some success. I've used it on softwood cuttings of Cnidoscolus chayamansa ("Chaya") with great results. It's just that some fleshy softwoods (like African Violet, for example) can be rotted via increased bacterial activity spurred on by the honey's sugars in the soil.
The honey seems to have a bit of something resembling growth hormone already in it. As well, the viscous honey seals off the stem fibers, preventing immediate wilt from a sudden drop in vascular pressure, and also starts a bit of pinocystosis* ("cell-feeding") by giving the plant immediately available sugars. It's also nice that honey is also antibacterial, for a short while.
I just prepare the slip in my usual way, dip the end into honey poke a hole in the soil, drop the slip in and water *well*. Poking a hole first before planting is moderately important, as you will not want to disturb the honey coating.
You'll want to keep the cutting a bit on the wet side for a bit (if the plant will normally tolerate it, that is), otherwise the concentrated sugars in the honey, once absorbed, may crystallize and choke the plant cells and cause a rather mystifying, frustrating and *sudden* wilt and plant death.
All in all, I *much* prefer using honey over other commercially available preparations.
*Editor's Note: We have been informed that the correct term for the cell-feeding that is mentioned above is phagocytosis instead of pinocytosis. Here is information on both terms if you are interested:
By Steve C.
This is great information. Now the only thing I'm wondering about, is will this work on vegetable cuttings? (05/27/2010)
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