Cactus and Succulents forum→Everyone's Thoughts on Rooting Powder

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Name: Mike
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Region: Massachusetts
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munchies24
May 30, 2020 11:56 AM CST
Hey everyone! I am really curious to figure out how everyone here feels about using rooting powder when propagating from leaves and cuttings. I am having a super tough time figuring out, without trying for myself, how much faster roots actually grow when using it. I've yet to find a comparison of "with versus without" for succulents/cacti.

Does anyone have experience that can tell me how quickly it works, or if it is worth using at all?
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 30, 2020 11:58 AM CST
I've used it over the years, and haven't found anything to make me believe that it actually helps. I've now quit using it. This is just my opinion. I don't know if it's true.
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MsDoe
May 30, 2020 12:29 PM CST
I've tried it, I don't think it makes any difference--other than to the seller of course. I've heard that it doesn't store well and becomes ineffective within a year, my jar may just have been old.
It might be helpful for some plants, but for the ones I propagate I don't think it speeds things up at all. Haven't done a formal study though, and I'm also curious to hear what experience others have had with it.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 30, 2020 1:32 PM CST

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I used to use it and then I stopped using it pretty much overnight, and I didn't notice any particular difference in how fast or how well my succulents rooted. So to the extent I never did a side-by-side experiment, I don't think it has any benefit for rooting the vast majority of succulents. It's not necessary or even helpful in my experience.

There is often fungicide in the powder in addition to the active ingredient, and that fungicide may be useful independent of any hormone activity. Even that is pretty unnecessary in my experience, given a reasonable amount of time for cuttings to heal (in a cool, well ventilated place) and careful attention to the water while they are rooting.

Rooting hormone (the active ingredient) tends to have a short lifespan, so you're not likely to get a lot of activity from an old bottle of rooting powder that has been in the garage a few years.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 30, 2020 4:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 30, 2020 7:35 PM CST
I don't use it. I felt on softer (more succulent) type plants, it just caused them to rot a little faster.

I do spray my cuttings with biofungicide before I plant them.
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Name: Charline
Toronto (Zone 5b)
Charlinex
May 30, 2020 8:29 PM CST
That's an interesting topic. I didn't know they would expire in a year.

I used it on a couple of rootless Haworthia maughanii x truncata a couple of years ago. They all have decent roots now. Don't know if the rooting powder worked.
Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 30, 2020 8:38 PM CST
This may be a little off topic. But what can be used to help prevent damping off? I have some seeds that just sprouted, I only have a few and don't want to loose any.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 30, 2020 8:54 PM CST
After you plant the seed, spray the entire surface of the soil with fungicide. The damping off fungus is on the soil surface. If its there, the little germinating seeds have to grow up through it. The fungicide will kill it.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 30, 2020 9:16 PM CST

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I cook the soil and maintain pretty strict hygiene to avoid fungal problems.
Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 31, 2020 12:47 AM CST
DaisyI said:After you plant the seed, spray the entire surface of the soil with fungicide. The damping off fungus is on the soil surface. If its there, the little germinating seeds have to grow up through it. The fungicide will kill it.

I have a thick spray type of fungicide. Will that work well??
Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
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Hallow
May 31, 2020 2:30 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:I cook the soil and maintain pretty strict hygiene to avoid fungal problems.

I have to look into cooking the soil. Have more seeds on the way that is almost impossible to buy live plants for. Does that prevent things like damping off permanently?
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Oilagave
May 31, 2020 6:42 AM CST
Well I don't use rooting power with leaves but I don't really take leaf cuttings anymore anyway but I do this reset so whenever I want to propagate something I chop of the head of then dip it in rooting power I'm not too sure it makes a difference it probably doesn't but I still use it anyways since it's lying around as I do keep other plants too apart from the subject plants I simply do this as leaves take ages to mature but with this method you need a couple months just to let it root and you have a full plant and this is particularly handy if you grow for a business or you sell your plants also the original plant will reshoot from the stem.
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
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ShawnSteve
May 31, 2020 7:30 AM CST
It may be effective, by using on a cactus plant, that you intend to remove offsets from, before you remove them, to root on their own.
Treat the parent plant & water it in, especially during the start of the growing season, so the offsets you intend to remove, have adequate time, to have absorbed the hormone, prior to removal.
Name: Charline
Toronto (Zone 5b)
Charlinex
May 31, 2020 9:40 AM CST
I sometimes bake the soil in the oven.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 31, 2020 9:56 AM CST
ShawnSteve said:It may be effective, by using on a cactus plant, that you intend to remove offsets from, before you remove them, to root on their own.
Treat the parent plant & water it in, especially during the start of the growing season, so the offsets you intend to remove, have adequate time, to have absorbed the hormone, prior to removal.


If that actually worked, I think you would have roots growing out the top of your cactus too.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 31, 2020 11:15 AM CST

Moderator

Hallow said:I have to look into cooking the soil. Have more seeds on the way that is almost impossible to buy live plants for. Does that prevent things like damping off permanently?


I don't have problems with damping off.

My approach after cooking the soil is to limit the exposure of the soil and the seedling to ambient air, keeping a lid on the situation until the plant is a reasonable size, and then making sure it gets plenty of light (hours of daily sun) from there on out. I go to great lengths to bleach pots, saucers, and (transparent plastic) lids if I'm reusing them, and I only use purified water.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 1, 2020 11:09 AM (+)]
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