Best Rooting Hormones & Cloning Gel to Propagate Plants from Cuttings

Rooting hormones are becoming a big must have in the propagating world. With its ability to not only speed up root growth but turn near death plant cuttings into healthy new plants, rooting hormones are a magical tool that all propagators should have in their arsenal.

If you have been on the fence about using rooting hormones or just can’t decide what form of rooting hormone (liquid, powder or cloning gel) is best, we are here to help. In this article we'll talk about how to choose the best rooting hormone to Increase the Success of Your Cuttings.

Don't have time to read the entire review?​​​​

I've simplified everything for you. Here is a straightforward table that provides the top 4 picks for each of the three types of rooting hormones you can buy. 

Top Pick for Best Rooting Hormone

Our pick for the best rooting hormone is the Quick Clone Gel because of the versatile nature of the product. With its ability to work on just about every plant of every size and shape it makes quick work of rooting trees as well as vegetables and flowers. 

This product utilizes brewed tea like in organic farming to promote healthy root growth and is perfect for large-scale propagation needs like for farming or floristry.

No matter how big or small your propagating project is, we recommend Quick Clone Gel to get the job done.

What are rooting hormones?

Rooting hormones are an amazing way to jumpstart root growth and promote healthy root systems from your plant cuttings.

They are added to your cutting before planting and kickstart the chemicals that are responsible for root growth like auxin. When your cuttings need some extra help, or you just want to speed up the process, rooting hormones are the safe bet.

What is rooting hormone used for?

If your cuttings are off a sick, frail or dying plant, you'll need something to get them strong enough to grow roots. The hormone adds a boost to the cuttings so they can become healthy plants. 

It is also a great way to speed up the process of root growth for those of us who are impatient and don’t want to wait around hoping the roots will start growing soon.

The key thing to remember is that the rooting hormones will never decrease your likelihood of root growth, but add to it, so there is no reason not to try it out.

The Various Forms of Rooting Hormones which one to get?

There are three grades of rooting hormone strength as well as three forms the rooting hormone comes in.

Strength Variations:

  • The first strength is ideal for soft and herbaceous cuttings.
  • The second strength is intended for semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • The third strength of rooting hormones is designed for hardwood cuttings that can be stubborn when sprouting new roots.

Types Of Rooting Hormones

Powdered rooting hormones:

The most common form of rooting hormone is powder as it can easily be applied to cuttings without risking using too much.

It is important to only dip the cuttings in the powder when it is dry because wet cutting can pick up too much of the rooting hormone and allow the spread of contamination from one cutting to another. When in doubt, simply tap or shake the cutting gently to release any access powder.

Liquid rooting hormones:

While the liquid version of the rooting hormone has the same active ingredients as the powdered version, it does include an alcohol base instead of talc. 

This requires a quick dip of the cutting, but it can be slightly more difficult to gauge if you’ve used too much so always make sure the cutting is dry and then pour a tiny bit of the rooting hormone into a dish to control the amount of exposure.

Dip the cutting in for about five seconds and then plant it immediately after or your cutting will die of thirst from the rooting hormone exposure.

Gel rooting hormones: 

Gel is quickly becoming the most popular type of rooting hormone because of the convenience when using it. This is because there is no need to time the dipping of your cutting or shaking off excess powder. Simply dip and plant with no worries.

How do you use rooting hormones?

Proper Dosage 

One of the most important parts of properly using rooting hormones is finding the right dosage. Not using enough rooting hormone can mean the hormone won’t work and too much of the hormone can make the cuttings dehydrate and die. 

So before you just start dipping the cuttings randomly, it is important that you figure out what the proper dosage is so you can get the best results. 

Quick tip: It is also important to avoid, so your cuttings don’t become diseased and die. By putting some rooting hormone into a separate smaller container instead of dipping the cuttings directly into the original container, you don’t risk contaminating the whole container and having to throw it away. 

After dipping cuttings from the same plant into the small dish of rooting hormone, you should throw the rest away and rinse the dish out before using it on more cuttings.

Using Powdered Hormone 

If you choose to use the rooting powder, you should dip the end of the cutting into the powder and then gently tap the cutting to release any excess powder for too high a dose. You want a thin layer around the end of your cutting, and then you are free to plant the cutting.

Using Liquid Hormone 

The liquid hormones can differ depending on brands, so it is always important to check the label before use. While this is not the case for all liquid rooting hormones, some require dilution with water, so the hormone isn’t too concentrated and kills your cuttings.

The time that you dip the cuttings is also different because some cuttings need to be dipped for five seconds to get enough rooting hormone while others require only a second or two to get the job done.

Once again, always read the instructions for what you buy and don’t assume. Planting the cutting should always come quickly after the dipping, so the cutting doesn’t die of dehydration. 

Using Gel Hormone 

Gel is by far the easiest to use because it requires no diluting or shaking off excess powder. Simply dip and plant.

Dosages are easier to measure and require less accuracy than the other two mediums, so it is ideal for beginners

What are the Do’s and Don’t of using rooting hormones?

It is always good to make sure you understand what you should be doing and avoiding when using rooting hormones. For a more in-depth look you should check out my previous article all about this!

Our Picks For The Best Rooting Hormones: (Powder and get)

1: Best for beginners: HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel

Gels are becoming everyone’s new favorite option because of how easy they are to use. A simple dip and plant is hard to beat anyways, but Clonex provides a product that goes above and beyond with a vast array of minerals and nutrients to help your cutting sprout healthy and strong roots that will form the basis for a perfect new plant.

Plus it is alcohol-free. For someone who has never tried rooting hormones before this is an ideal first timer product.

2: Best organic In powder Form: Garden Safe TakeRoot Rooting Hormone

Garden Safe is a great company because they pride themselves on pest and disease control in a natural, organic form.

They believe in nature, and all their products are designed to mimic the natural processes. For their root hormone products, they mimic the hormone Indole-3-acetic acid that naturally promotes root growth with the hormone Indole-3-butyric acid that promotes growth on a faster scale.

For the gardeners that want to still propagate quickly and stay natural this is the ideal product.

3: Liquid option: Dip ‘N Grow Liquid Rooting Hormone

A personal favorite because of the self-sanitizing feature, this liquid rooting hormone comes with a ton of features that make it well worth trying out.

The liquid is a concentrate, which might be a deterrent in other situations, but this product comes with its own containers for diluting, so it is hassle-free.

Dip N’ Grow’s rooting hormones include auxin, which is a naturally occurring chemical in plants that controls and promotes root growth. Because the hormone is naturally occurring in plants it just promotes what is already in the plant cutting and speeds up the process.

While alcohol is not my favorite ingredient in products like this, Dip N’ Grow use it in a way that wins me over.

The ethyl and isopropyl alcohol used in this product provides a sterilization aspect that eliminates cross contamination and takes some of the stress off you.

4: Best for professionals: Quick Clone Gel for Faster, Healthier, Rooting

Utilizing brewed tea as a base like many organic gardeners do to optimize root development, Quick Clone Gel provides a great way to clone your favorite plants quickly and without issue.

This product is excellent because it allows for the root growth hormones we love with smaller scale plants to plants of any size including trees and bamboo

Within five to ten days you can have a strong and healthy roots for any and every type of plant you want, making it ideal for not only the hobby gardener, but professional farmers and florists as well. For professional growers, this is a must-have!

Conclusion

No matter which of these products you choose, I know you will be happy with them because they all offer significant benefits while still delivering the rooting hormone boost you want to grow roots fast and strong. 

There is nothing to lose and only quick root growth to gain so try it today and see why we love these products so much. Happy growing!

Here how to choose the best rooting hormones (liquid, powder or Gel) for Increasing plant propagation success

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Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.

Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.

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