Ask a Question forum: What exactly is Root Hormone?

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Name: Cheryl
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 22, 2013 3:02 PM CST
Does root hormone actually stimulate root growth? Or does it simply help prevent rotting? I have seen where cinnamon can be used to prevent rot. can it be substituted for root hormone? Thanks in advance.
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Name: Rick Corey
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RickCorey
Oct 22, 2013 3:22 PM CST
Rooting hormones are not designed to prevent rotting, but if they cause something to root in 1-2 weeks instead of several months, they might make save a cutting from dieing and then rotting,

If cinnamon or anti-fungal products actually deter rot, they would work in addition to rooting hormones. They would slow down rot microbes, and the hormones might speed up to rooting process. Using both might help.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 22, 2013 3:24 PM CST
By the way, I read this in just one place, but it makes some sense: hormones can only restore a plant's maximum ability to put out new roots. If you managed the parent plant perfectly so that it put out lots of shoots that were ideal candidates for rooting, and you cut them at the perfect time of year and phase of growth for rooting, those cuttings would root as fast without rooting hormones as with.

If that author is right, then the rooting hormones just make up for taking cuttings at the wrong time of growth, or the wrong part of the plant, or for pruning the plant when it was not in an ideal growth phase for producing vigorous, fast-rooting cuttings.

But that author had a million tricks for chopping plants up and burying them "just so", so that they produced ideal cutting material the next year!

And she might have just had a "thing" against rooting hormones and was boasting about her ability to do without them. Sorry, I don't have the book here so I could give you the title.

Edited to add:
here's a link to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_%28plant%29

[Last edited by RickCorey - Oct 22, 2013 5:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Oct 22, 2013 3:25 PM CST
Shady, I don't know the answer to your question, but I've also read that willow will secrete a rooting hormone as well if you just add some sprigs to the water. I've done this, but not as a controlled experiment (rooting the same plant in water without a willow sprig), so can't really speak to whether it works or not.
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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Oct 22, 2013 4:12 PM CST
I think this link has the best explanation and info. Scroll down a bit, past the "sales" info.
http://www.rooting-hormones.com/

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