Corn Kernel For Rooting Cuttings

I've posted so many pictures of plants I've rooted, I don't think one will be necessary here. I haven't tried this tip as I have no trouble rooting cuttings. For those of you who try my methods and still aren't successful, you might want to give this tip a try.


Most cuttings root readily without the use of rooting hormones. Others, mostly hard woods such as camellias, do benefit from the use of rooting hormones.

Years ago, rooting hormones were not available. People had to improvise. One improvisation was the use of willow bark tea. I think most of us have heard of this.

Another improvisation, lesser known, is the use of a corn kernel. A long time ago, I was told this tip by an elderly farmer lady. She said, put a kernel of corn in the same hole as the cutting, making sure it was close to the cutting. She said this helped the cutting to root.

My analytical mind pondered this. I concluded that as the kernel sprouted and formed roots, it released hormones which were taken up by, and benefited, the cutting.

As I've said, I've no need to try this method. For those of you who find rooting cuttings difficult, I suggest you give it a try. You might find whole kernels in bird food or you could use pop corn, or use your imagination. If you buy dried ears of corn for deer, you could use kernels from them.

It may be that corn kernels were used because they were readily available. Other seed such as squash or cucumber might work just as well.

Happy rooting!


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