Boost Growth: Best Rooting Hormone for Cuttings in 2024


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As a hydroponic gardener, you understand the importance of giving your plants the best possible start. One essential element in plant propagation is the use of rooting hormones to encourage healthy root growth in your cuttings. If you’re striving for optimal results, knowing the best rooting hormone options for your hydroponic propagation efforts can make all the difference.

In the world of rooting hormones, several options are available, each with their own benefits and applications. Some of the top picks come highly recommended for their ease of use and effectiveness. By picking the right product, you can ensure higher rates of success and more vigorous growth, even for hard-to-root plants.

Best Rooting Hormone for Cuttings

When you embark on your next hydroponic propagation project, consider using a trusted rooting hormone to maximize your efforts. Your cuttings will thank you with stronger, healthier roots, and you’ll be well on your way to producing thriving plants in your hydroponic system. In this article, we’ll explore how to choose the best rooting hormone for cuttings to be used in hydroponics as well as our top picks of each kind.

Understanding Plant Propagation

Hydroponics vs Soil

When it comes to propagating plants, you have two main options: hydroponics and soil. Hydroponics involves growing plants in water-based solutions without soil. This method allows for a more controlled environment and faster growth rates. On the other hand, soil-based propagation is more traditional and involves growing plants directly in the ground or in containers with soil. Both methods can be successful, but it is important to consider factors like cost, space, and your desired results when choosing between them.

Stem vs Leaf Cuttings

There are different types of cuttings you can use for plant propagation: stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.

  • Stem Cuttings: These are the most common type of cuttings used for propagation. To take a stem cutting, you’ll need a healthy, semi-mature section of the plant with at least 2-3 leaves. Remove any leaves that would be below the waterline in your hydroponics system or beneath the surface in soil-based planting. Then, dip the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in moistened perlite, vermiculite, or Rockwool for hydroponic systems or in moist soil for soil-based systems.
  • Leaf Cuttings: In this method, you remove a healthy leaf from the parent plant, along with a small piece of the stem or petiole, if possible. Treat the cut surface with rooting hormone and press it gently into your chosen growing medium. This method works well for certain types of plants, like succulents and some houseplants.

Stem vs Leaf Cuttings

Keep in mind that the success of plant propagation depends on various factors, including the type of plant, the season, and the specific techniques used. So, it’s essential to research the best methods and conditions for each plant species you want to propagate. Overall, understanding and experimenting with different propagation techniques will help you find the most appropriate method for your specific plants and growing conditions.

Best Rooting Hormone Types

When propagating cuttings in hydroponic systems, finding the right rooting hormone can help ensure a successful growth process. There are three main types of rooting hormones – liquid, powder, and gel – each with specific benefits and applications. In this section, we’ll briefly explore these types, so you can determine which one suits your needs best.

Liquid Rooting Hormones

Liquid rooting hormones offer ease of use and are usually available in both concentrated and ready-to-use solutions. Since they can be absorbed quickly by the cuttings, they are popular among hydroponic growers. However, you need to be cautious with the dilution process to avoid harming your plants. Choose a liquid hormone that contains plant extracts, amino acids, and nutrients designed for significant root growth and branching.

Powder Rooting Hormones

Powder rooting hormones are easy to store and have a long shelf life. Simply wet the cutting, dip it in the powder, and insert it into the hydroponic system. Since the powder adheres well to the cutting, it provides consistent coverage and enhances root growth effectively. However, there are a few powder forms available that need to be dissolved in water and then applied as a liquid for them to work as advertized.

Gel Rooting Hormones

Gel rooting hormones combine the benefits of liquid and powdered hormones. The gel sticks to the cutting, ensuring a uniform coverage while protecting the plant from infection. Many hydroponic gardeners prefer gel hormones due to their ability to provide a consistent application and promote healthy root development.

To learn more about using rooting hormones on cuttings, check out our in-depth guide. Ultimately, choosing the best rooting hormone for your hydroponic plant propagation depends on your own preferences and growing conditions. Experimenting with the different types can help you discover the perfect match for your hydroponic garden.

Factors Affecting Rooting Success

There are numerous factors that contribute to the success of your plant cuttings in hydroponic propagation. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of cuttings and the environmental factors that can impact their growth.

Cutting Types: Softwood vs Hardwood

When you propagate a plant, your success rate can greatly depend on the type of cutting you are working with. Two common types of cuttings are softwood and hardwood.

Softwood Cuttings are taken from young and tender plants, typically during the spring or early summer. These cuttings generally have a higher success rate since they contain more growth hormones naturally. However, they may also be more susceptible to diseases and rotting due to their tender nature.

Hardwood Cuttings are taken from mature, woody plants. They are usually collected during the dormant season, like winter, when the plant isn’t actively growing. While they might be more resistant to diseases, hardwood cuttings may take longer to develop roots.

To maximize the chances of rooting success, consider using a rooting hormone to stimulate the growth of the root system. This can help both softwood and hardwood cuttings develop faster and stronger roots, ultimately leading to healthier plants.

Environmental Factors

Various environmental factors can influence the success of your cuttings in hydroponic systems. Some of these factors include:

  • Temperature: The ideal temperature for rooting cuttings may vary between plant species, but generally, a range of 70-75°F (21-24°C) promotes the growth of roots. Make sure to maintain a stable temperature around your cuttings to ensure their success.
  • Humidity: High humidity levels help to reduce water loss through the leaves and create optimal conditions for root formation. To maintain humidity, consider using a humidity dome or a misting system around your cuttings.
  • Light: Your cuttings will require adequate light to promote photosynthesis and support the development of the root system. However, too much light can lead to dehydration of the cutting. Provide a moderate amount of indirect light for optimal growth.
  • Nutrients: In order to support root development, your hydroponic system should provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as trace elements like iron, manganese, and zinc. Make sure to use a well-balanced nutrient solution tailored to your specific plant species.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Rooting Hormone

Type of Plant Being Propagated

When selecting the best rooting hormone for hydroponic plant propagation, it’s important to consider the type of plant you are propagating. Different plants have varying rooting capabilities and may require specific rooting hormones or concentrations. Research your specific plant species to identify its optimal rooting hormone for the best results.

Type of Hydroponic System Being Used

Your choice of rooting hormone may also be affected by the hydroponic system you are using. Hydroponic systems come in various forms, such as nutrient film technique (NFT), deep water culture (DWC), and aeroponics. Learn more about the different systems in our guide to hydroponics. These systems may require different forms of rooting hormone application like powders, liquids, or gels. Ensure that the rooting hormone you choose is compatible with your hydroponic system to maximize its efficiency.

Concentration of the Rooting Hormone

The concentration of the rooting hormone is another crucial factor to keep in mind. Some hormones are offered in ready-to-use solutions, while others may require dilution with water before use. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid over-dilution or under-dilution, as this may affect the success of your plant propagation.

  • Ready-to-use solutions: Typically required for gel and powder hormones
  • Concentrated solutions: Liquid hormones that require dilution with water per manufacturer’s instructions

Safety Considerations

Finally, keep in mind that some rooting hormones may be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Be sure to follow proper safety guidelines, wear appropriate protective clothing, and store the rooting hormone away from children and pets. Additionally, consider using a natural or organic rooting hormone to minimize the potential risks associated with the use of synthetic hormones in your hydroponic garden.

What is the best rooting hormone for cuttings? Here are our top picks of each form:

Best Rooting Liquid Hormones

DIP N Grow DG00201 Liquid Hormone Concentrate Hydroponic Rooting Solution

DIP N Grow DG00201 Liquid Hormone Concentrate Hydroponic Rooting Solution

  • A highly effective rooting hormone used by propagators nationwide.
  • It is a cost-effective and user-friendly seed-starting product.
  • The liquid concentrate formula contains two root-inducing auxins.
  • Is self-sanitizing, using alcohol as a solvent, eliminating cross-contamination issues.
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We recommend the DIP N Grow DG00201 for its effective formula, customizable concentration, and ease of use for hydroponic cuttings.

  • Highly effective liquid concentrate
  • Customizable strength for various plant needs
  • Prevents cross-contamination with its self-sanitizing feature
  • May not be suitable for smaller-scale home gardeners
  • Nozzle design can be improved for easier application
  • Alcohol content may concern some users

In our experience, the DIP N Grow DG00201 has proven to be a reliable rooting hormone for cuttings in hydroponics. Its liquid concentrate formula allows us to dilute the product with water to the desired strength, catering to the specific needs of various plants.

One major benefit we noticed is its self-sanitizing feature. Thanks to the use of alcohol as a solvent, cross-contamination issues are virtually eliminated. This ensures that our cuttings remain healthy and free from potential diseases during the rooting process.

However, we believe that the DIP N Grow DG00201 may not be the best choice for small-scale home gardeners, as the product is designed more for professional or larger-scale use. Additionally, we found the nozzle design could be improved for easier application, and some users may be concerned about the alcohol content in the product.

Overall, if you’re looking for a highly effective, customizable, and reliable rooting hormone for your hydroponic cuttings, the DIP N Grow DG00201 Liquid Hormone Concentrate Hydroponic Rooting Solution is a solid choice. Just be prepared for the possibility of a learning curve if you’re a home gardener, and consider the alcohol content before making a decision.

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General Hydroponics RapidStart 1-0.5-1

  • Promotes root growth and enhances plant vigor and yield.
  • Use it for rooting enhancement in various mediums, including coco coir, soil, hydroponics, and more.
  • Works with propagation trays, cloning machines, and root drench.
  • Can be used during the entire growth cycle.
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The General Hydroponics RapidStart is a must-buy for anyone looking to improve root growth and enhance plant vigor in hydroponic systems.

  • Effectively promotes root growth
  • Enhances plant vigor and yield
  • Versatile usage across various hydroponic setups
  • Slightly pricey compared to other options
  • Potential for bottle damage during shipping
  • A bit of a learning curve for new users

In our experience using the General Hydroponics RapidStart 1-0.5-1, we found it to be extremely effective in promoting root growth, especially in our hydroponic systems. Thanks to the well-formulated liquid and nutrient feeding process, our plants appeared healthier and more robust.

What we especially appreciate about this rooting hormone is its versatility. It works well with various setups like coco coir, soil & soilless, continuous liquid feed, cloning machines, propagation trays, and as a root drench. This makes it a fantastic choice for those with diverse gardening interests.

One drawback, however, is the price point. While it is among the best rooting agents on the market, it is a bit on the expensive side – but considering what it offers, we believe it’s worth the investment.

As we continued using the RapidStart, we discovered a potential shipping issue. Some buyers might receive bottles that are damaged during shipping, which could affect product quality. As a result, double-check your product upon delivery and request a replacement if needed.

Lastly, we noticed a slight learning curve for first-time users. It might take a few trials to find the perfect application method for your specific hydroponic setup. However, once you get the hang of it, the results are truly impressive.

In conclusion, despite its minor drawbacks, the General Hydroponics RapidStart 1-0.5-1 is a fantastic option for anyone looking to improve their hydroponic root growth and plant vigor. With its versatility and effective formulation, this rooting hormone is definitely worth considering.

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Hormex Vitamin B1 Rooting Hormone Concentrate

  • Prevents plant shock and stress, promoting healthy growth.
  • Improves root and stem growth, increasing foliage.
  • Works with all plant types and growth mediums.
  • Boosts plant health, helping them grow faster and stronger.
  • Highly concentrated and easy to use with no need to adjust pH.
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We highly recommend the Hormex Vitamin B1 Rooting Hormone Concentrate for a strong and healthy root development in hydroponics and aeroponics systems.

  • Effective in promoting root growth and minimizing plant shock
  • Suitable for all plant varieties and grow mediums
  • Highly concentrated and easy to use
  • May be considered pricey for a smaller bottle
  • Might require careful handling and usage
  • Some users may have difficulty in applying it accurately

We were thrilled when we tried Hormex Vitamin B1 Rooting Hormone Concentrate for our hydroponic garden. It not only promotes deeper, stronger roots and stems, but also improves foliage growth by playing an essential role in photosynthesis. We noticed that our plants responded positively to the product and started showing new growth quite rapidly.

The liquid rooting hormone concentrate is easy to use and apply as is, and it is suitable for all plant varieties and grow mediums, including hydroponics and aeroponics. We appreciate that there is no need to adjust pH, and a teaspoon or less is usually sufficient, although label instructions should always be followed for different growing conditions. This product indeed seems to provide excellent value for the investment.

However, some users might find the price relatively high for a 4oz bottle, although a little does go a long way. Additionally, careful handling and usage are required, as some people may have difficulty figuring out how to apply it accurately or face challenges when trying to root cuttings of certain plant species.

In conclusion, Hormex Vitamin B1 Rooting Hormone Concentrate is an effective and versatile rooting hormone that can significantly boost the growth and health of your plants in hydroponics or aeroponics systems. While the price might seem high for some, the results make it well worth the investment.

Best Rooting Powder Hormones

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Trifecta Myco Supreme Mycorrhizal Fungi Root Enhancer for Plants

  • High-performing mycorrhizal fungi product using bio-encapsulated spores of the Rhizophagus Irregularis strain.
  • Proven superior through repeated trials, with a root colonization rate up to 25% higher than competitors.
  • One-step solution promotes bigger, healthier plant roots and works in various growing systems.
  • Easy to use, both granular and water-soluble, and can be added directly to roots or mixed with water.
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This potent mycorrhizal fungi root enhancer is a top choice for promoting bigger and healthier roots in hydroponic systems.

  • Extremely concentrated – 20x more than leading brands
  • Versatile, effective Rhizophagus Irregularis strain
  • Simple and easy to use in various growing systems
  • Pricey for the amount (2 ounces)
  • Some users report no immediate results
  • Limited to a single strain of mycorrhizal fungi

We recently tried Trifecta’s Myco Supreme Root Enhancer and experienced significant improvements in plant root growth. The product’s high concentration and potent Rhizophagus Irregularis strain make it compatible with different growing systems, including hydroponics and soil-based methods. We also appreciate that it’s user-friendly – you can apply it directly to roots or mix it with water before application.

Upon testing this product on various plants, we noticed stronger, healthier roots that eventually led to improved overall plant health. However, it may take a little longer for some users to see visible results. Another aspect to consider is its 2-ounce packaging, which can be costly for its size, but its unparalleled effectiveness makes up for the price.

The Trifecta Myco Supreme Root Enhancer contains a single strain of mycorrhizal fungi, which might be a drawback for some users who prefer a diverse range of strains. Nevertheless, the Rhizophagus Irregularis strain is well-regarded for its adaptability and potency, living up to our expectations for promoting better roots in hydroponics.

In conclusion, if you’re serious about improving root growth in your hydroponic system, give the Trifecta Myco Supreme Root Enhancer a try. Its high concentration, versatile strain, and user-friendly application make it a worthwhile investment for accelerated plant growth and health.

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Hormex Rooting Powder #8 – Rooting Hormone for Moderately Difficult to Root Plants

  • Fastest rooting powder for plant cuttings
  • Suitable for all grow mediums
  • No alcohol, dye, or preservatives, making it safe for consumption plants
  • Effective for rapid root growth with 0.80% Indole-3-Butyric Acid plant hormone
  • Easy to use: simply moisten stem end with water, dip in powder, and place in any plant starter medium. Manage humidity and light for optimal success.
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We highly recommend Hormex Rooting Powder #8 for those seeking a powerful rooting hormone in hydroponics, especially for moderately difficult to root plants.

  • Fast and effective rooting for various plant varieties
  • Suitable for all grow mediums and helps prevent root rot
  • Contains no alcohol, dye, or preservatives
  • Small package size may not be suitable for large-scale projects
  • Higher strength might require careful application
  • Results may vary, especially with difficult plants

We were impressed by the performance of Hormex Rooting Powder #8 in promoting strong and healthy roots for our cuttings in hydroponics. The powder contains 0.80% Indole-3-Butyric Acid, which accelerates root formation and works well with different plant varieties.

Using Hormex, we were able to propagate even the difficult plants like junipers, grapes, and tomatoes and so we rate it as possibly the best rooting hormone for hardwood cuttings. The best part is that this rooting hormone powder does not compromise the quality, as it is free from alcohol, dye, and preservatives.

To use Hormex, we simply dipped the base of our stem cuttings into the rooting powder and placed them in our hydroponic system. The powder worked well with various grow mediums, such as Rockwool, coco, and peat moss. We were pleased with how it also assists in preventing root rot and sagging cuttings.

However, we found the package size to be quite small, which might not be suitable for extensive projects. Also, since it’s a higher strength rooting hormone, careful application is necessary to avoid potential adverse effects. Lastly, we noticed some variations in the results, especially with difficult plant varieties.

For those with moderately easy to root plants, Hormex also offers Hormex Rooting Powder #3, which can be a more suitable option for your needs. All in all, we found Hormex Rooting Powder #8 to be a reliable and efficient choice for hydroponic systems to get strong and healthy roots from cuttings.

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Element Nutrients MYCO+ Root Booster

  • Ultra-premium root booster that works for all types of plants.
  • It’s fully soluble and can be used in all gardens, including hydroponics and aeroponics.
  • Increases root size and strength, improving plant quantity, quality, and value.
  • Using it is easy and makes gardening faster and more exciting.
  • Great value at under 8 cents per gallon treated, and outperforms other root stimulators.
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We highly recommend Element Nutrients MYCO+ for anyone looking to boost root growth and improve overall plant health in their hydroponic system.

  • Effective root booster for various types of plants
  • Easily soluble for use in all types of gardens
  • Great value at under 8 cents per gallon treated
  • Measurement scoops can be confusing
  • Not all plants may show rapid results
  • Better results in combination with other nutrients

Having used Element Nutrients MYCO+ root booster in our own hydroponic setup, we experienced significant improvements in the root growth and overall health of our plants. This product, containing beneficial fungi, amino acids, and other essential nutrients, has helped our plants develop stronger and denser root systems, leading to improved nutrient uptake and growth rates.

The MYCO+ root booster is incredibly easy to use, dissolving effortlessly in our hydroponic system’s nutrient solution. We appreciated its compatibility with diverse growing techniques, from soil and coco to rockwool and aeroponic setups. The product not only promotes rapid root growth but also improves drought resistance and hardiness of the plants.

Though Element Nutrients suggests using MYCO+ from the seedling stage until the end of the vegetative stage, we noticed that our plants have been thriving well, with increased yields and better quality harvests. However, keep in mind that not all types of plants may show the same rapid results, and it is crucial to use the product as directed, alongside a base nutrient. We also found that using MYCO+ in combination with other nutrients provided even better results, as it increased the root surface area exponentially.

In conclusion, Element Nutrients MYCO+ is an excellent choice for hydroponic gardeners seeking a cost-effective, easy-to-use root booster for enhancing their plant’s root growth, resulting in healthier and more productive plants. Just make sure to carefully follow the instructions and combine it with other nutrients for the best results.

Best Rooting Gel Hormones

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HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel

  • A water-based rooting compound designed for high performance.
  • It’s loaded with essential minerals and trace elements that help feed developing roots.
  • Hormones supplied to stimulate root cell growth.
  • Vitamins provided to guard against damage to young root tissue.
  • Promotes root development in plant cuttings.
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Boost your hydroponic cutting success with this reliable and effective rooting hormone gel.

  • High-performance water-based compound
  • Full spectrum of mineral nutrients
  • Promotes root cell development
  • Slightly expensive
  • Might require extra care to avoid contamination
  • Gel consistency might be harder to wash off

Our experience with the Hydrodynamics Clonex Rooting Gel has been nothing short of fantastic. The gel-based formula provided the perfect blend of nutrients, hormones, and vitamins our plant cuttings needed to form healthy roots. We were able to establish robust root systems on various cuttings in our hydroponics system without much effort.

We noticed that the gel’s consistency required us to be more careful when handling to avoid contamination. That being said, it didn’t slow down the process, and the results were still impressive. It’s essential to keep your tools and hands clean, as well as using a sterilized container if you plan to dip the cuttings directly into the gel.

One downside we noticed was that the gel’s residue might be a little harder to remove from our hands compared to a liquid rooting hormone. But, considering the effective results with our plant cuttings, this is a small inconvenience we were willing to accept.

In conclusion, we highly recommend the HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel to enhance your plant cuttings’ root development in hydroponic systems. Its blend of essential nutrients, hormones, and vitamins ensures healthy root growth and benefits the overall success of your hydroponic gardening.

Buying Guide, Propagation

Claudia Lewis
About the author

I’m Claudia, a hydroponic gardening enthusiast with years of experience in this exciting and rewarding hobby. Over the years, I’ve experimented with different hydroponic systems, nutrient solutions, and plant varieties. 

On this website, I share everything I know about growing plants without soil. You’ll find everything you need to know to start your own hydroponic garden, from choosing the right system to selecting the best plants and nutrients.