A good gardener understands the worth of propagation, as it gives you a free and easy way to grow your plant family in no time at all.
Propagation occurs when you get the cutting or seedling of an already growing plant and plant it elsewhere, with the hopes that this will stem into life all of its own.
Although nature is pretty good at growing on its own, the best way to ensure success with propagation is to use a rooting hormone. These hormones are added to the mix to boost the health and growth of the cutting, giving you a much greater chance that the propagation process has worked.
So, what are the best root hormones for plants? Most rooting hormones work the same but come in three different types: gel, powder, and liquid.
Once you’ve established the difference that these types offer and how it can affect your potential garden, you’ll then need to look at the type of plant you want to grow and find one that best suits you.
If you have high hopes for your garden and would rather not spend any money growing your plant family, the propagation using one of the best rooting hormones is the way to do it.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing a gel, powder or liquid, and our recommendations for the top performers on the market.
Our Picks for the Best Rooting Hormone
When your cuttings aren’t surviving as well as you’d hoped, you can count on a root hormone to deliver. Rather than wondering where to buy rooting hormone that works, we’ve done the searching for you.
If you’re ready to start seeing results from your propagation attempts, check out our top picks for the best rooting powder, gel, and liquids on the market today.
Winner: Garden Safe Rooting Hormone
- Size: 2oz
- Type: Powder
- Made in: N/A
By far the best rooting hormone powder we’ve found comes from Garden Safe. This is a single count powder root hormone that features two ounces of product in each one, and it’s as simple as dipping the root to be propagated into the powder and then plating it where it needs to be.
The Garden Safe Rooting Hormone features indole-3-butyric acid which is a direct clone of the naturally occurring root hormone that plants create themselves.
- This is one of the cheapest yet most effective rooting hormone options on the market and it makes it even easier to get free plants using the cuttings you already have.
- Just one two-ounce tub will work for loads of your plants and it only requires a small amount to work.
- Customers found great results with Garden Safe Rooting Hormone and when compared to the plants they didn’t dip in this powder, it delivered larger and faster-growing cuttings with minimal effort required.
- The Garden Safe option is the best rooting hormone for cuttings of all types of plants, and according to reviews, it worked on everything including African violets, roses, geraniums, and woody ornamentals, just to name a few.
- As a powder, this can be a little messier to apply, and it does take some trial and error to get it right.
- If you’ve never used a rooting powder before, make sure you’re doing it somewhere with space and that’s able to get messy, as the powder can spread around easily.
- Customers have noted that you must keep plants out of the sun when you apply this powder from Garden Safe.
- Leaving a plant in direct sunlight with this powder on its roots will usually wilt the plant and turn it black, which no gardener wants to deal with.
When you’re ready to take your plant family to the next level, you’ll want all of the help you can get and at a cheap price, which is why the Garden Safe Rooting Hormone Powder is our favorite choice.
You can get your hands on a two-ounce container of this powder for around $4 or save some money and buy a bulk 12 pack for under $80, saving yourself shipping fees as well.
This is one of the easiest ways to grow new plants and as long as you know how to work the powder, you’ll get instant results. Shopping from Amazon gives you the option of free returns as well, so if you don’t love the Garden Safe Rooting Hormone and see an improvement, you’re able to send it back for nothing.
Runner Up: General Hydroponics Rapid Start
- Size: 4.23oz
- Type: Liquid
- Made in: USA
For those wanting a powerful liquid rooting hormone gel, the General Hydroponics Rapid Start is a 4.23oz bottle of dynamo.
General Hydroponics Rapid Start contains amino acids, nutrients, and plant extracts, all working together to boost root growth and the development of root hairs and it can be used at any stage of growth.
To use, you apply directly to the soil, roots, or plugs, and let Rapid Start work its magic.
- Customers have found the best results using Rapid Start on seedlings and it’s the best rooting hormone for succulents, roses, vegetables, hemp plants, and more.
- You can use it at any stage of the growth cycle which gives you more options and allows you to get better results.
- The root branching seen when applying this is what makes it worth the money, and you’ll notice white and healthy roots within days of application.
- Customers loved seeing results first hand that proved how effective the hormone was.
- If you prefer to buy US-made products, you’ll love the range from General Hydroponics. Everything is created in their California lab so you can feel peace of mind that you’re buying locally and supporting a local business, too.
- This is one of the most expensive rooting hormones on the market, although it does seem to have some of the best results for seedlings specifically.
- If you’re looking at plant cuttings and don’t want to spend a fortune, you won’t appreciate the higher cost of the Rapid Start product.
Customers didn’t find the bottle to be that well designed as it seemed a lot of product spilled out when it was opened.
- You’ll need to be careful as you get used to pouring it and figuring out the right amount to use, which is a little daunting when you consider the cost.
There are loads of buying options when you shop on Amazon for Rapid Start including the rest of the General Hydroponics line. A 32fl. Oz bottle of this product costs around $25 so it’s one of the most expensive options, but as many customers have stated, one that delivers amazing results.
As well as the Rapid Start, you can combine this product with others like the General Hydroponics trays and plugs which enable you to grow from a seedling, and it comes in larger sizes that can save money as well.
Amazon will ship for free if you spend over $25 and they offer free returns on their range, so you can return them within a month if you’re not happy with the results.
Alternative: Bonide Bontone Rooting Powder
- Size: 1.25oz
- Type: Powder
- Made in: USA
For a powerful rooting powder that works on all types of plants, the Bonide Bontone Rooting Powder comes in a 1.25oz bottle and delivers everything you need.
Bonide has been developing gardening products since 1925 and the Bontone Rooting Powder is one of their top sellers.
This powder features the active ingredient of Indole-3-butyric acid that replicates the natural method of plant rooting hormones, giving you results that work, and it can be used on cuttings, bulbs, and seeds.
- The wide variety of plants that people have had results with include hardwood, softwood, ornamental, fruits, vegetables, and berries.
- If you have a vast garden and want a rooting hormone that can do it all, the Bontone option is one of our favorites.
- People using the Bontone Rooting Powder found the best results with plant transplants, so it’s not just useful for propagation.
- If you’ve had issues in the past trying to move plants to larger or new pots, a sprinkle of this on the roots will ensure a thriving transition.
- This is an easy product to use and would suit a gardener who’s never used a rooting hormone or similar powder before. All you need to do is dip the roots or cuttings into the powder and then they’ll get to work
- As a rooting powder only, this is an expensive option. Usually, you’ll find that gels and liquids attract a higher price, but not in this case, so unless you’re sold on the reviews and want the benefits that Bontone specifically offers, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
- The powder doesn’t last as long as some other root hormone powders we’ve reviewed.
- You’ll likely have to replace the bottle more often and since it’s a smaller package that costs more, this means the end price is even higher than you think.
If you have a large variety of plants to work with and prefer to use a powder option, the Bonide Bontone Rooting Powder is a fan favorite. You can get your hands on this powder for around $14 for a 1.25oz bottle, or purchase a three pack for around $30 on Amazon and save yourself some money.
When you spend over $25 at the online marketplace you’ll also benefit from free shipping, as well as free returns for 30 days should the powder not live up to the hype.
The Bonide Bontone Rooting Powder might be expensive, but if you want the best rooting hormone for succulents, ornamentals, fruits, and everything in between, it’s worth the cost.
Alternative: Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder
- Size: .75oz
- Type: Powder
- Made in: USA
Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder is a hormone booster that comes in five different strengths to suit the type of plants you’re working with. The number three is their top seller and comes in a .75oz bottle of powder that you dip the cuttings into for almost instant results.
Hormex Powder features Indole-3-Butyric Acid that delivers results, but the product features no alcohol or preservatives, which is a nice touch, and their range is made entirely in California.
This specific strength works on roses, ivy, oleander, and other similar species, so make sure you choose the right one to match your gardening needs.
- If you are in a hurry to propagate plants, people who used this product found that the Hormex Rooting Powder was one of the best and the quickest.
- One application of the powder means you’ll see new roots sprouting as soon as the next day so it’s got almost instantaneous results.
- You can use Hormex Rooting Powder in a wide range of mediums, so it gives you some versatility.
- According to Hormex, this works in Rockwool, peat moss, coco, clay pellets, soil, and outdoor garden beds, so there’s no limit to where you can test its magic.
- This is a natural product that you can feel good about using, especially if you like to be careful about what you garden with. As it contains no alcohol, dye, and preservatives, your plants will appreciate having this natural touch as well.
- As Hormex creates their rooting powders to be different strengths, this isn’t a multipurpose product like you might expect.
- You’ll have to purchase one rooting hormone for succulents and another for flowers, and everything in between.
- This is an expensive rooting powder and comes in a small bottle, so be prepared to grab a few when you buy it otherwise it won’t be around for long.
- Once you figure out the correct application, it only needs a small amount to work, but it’s not for regular gardeners and doesn’t work on all types of plants.
When you have specific needs in the garden and want a rooting hormone powder with the correct strength to suit, the range from Hormex is the way to go.
Their number three powder comes in a .75oz bottle and costs around $15 when you shop online at Amazon, so it costs a lot more than others we’ve reviewed.
Amazon will ship for free with orders over $25, so if you purchase more than one, which others recommend doing, you can save some costs here.
Hormex is known for its natural and effective rooting hormones, and if you want to target specific plant species in your garden, it’s the most effective propagation tool out there.
Alternative: Hydro Dynamics Clonex Rooting Gel
- Size: 3.4 oz
- Type: Gel
- Made in: USA
If you prefer the benefits that a rooting gel has to offer, and you’re prepared to pay the price, the Hydro Dynamics Clonex Rooting Gel is our favorite find. This water-based gel comes in a 3.4 fl oz bottle and is applied directly to the stem and cuttings for optimal growth.
Clonex features a range of mineral nutrients and trace elements that do all of the work, and it’s like giving your plants a boost of what they do naturally, delivering far greater results.
- The results from this are what makes it a standout and you’ll get faster and more luscious growth than most other products offer. If you need a lot of help with propagation and not just a little, spending the extra cash to get this rooting hormone will be worthwhile.
- Clonex works differently from others which makes it a top contender, as it stays in contact with the cutting stem the whole time. This helps with health and makes sure the hormones are supplied exactly where they’re needed, which isn’t possible with powders and other liquids.
- Clonex can be used on all types of plants and will deliver just as impressive results.
- If you want just one product that you can use for your entire garden, you’ll be amazed at how multipurpose it can be.
- Even very young roots and seedlings will get a boost with this water-based gel.
- Although it might seem like better value coming in a 3.4fl oz bottle, you will need to use more of this product to get results.
- The overall cost of a premium rooting gel like this is a lot higher than powders, so it’s only worth it if you have the specific types of growing needs that it can meet.
- Learning how to apply the Clonex Rooting Gel has been hard for some customers, especially when it comes to managing waste. Unlike a powder that’s simply dipped in and planted, there’s a lot more to the process.
- Therefore, it’s better left to competent gardeners who’ve worked with this kind of product before.
If you prefer a gel rooting hormone and want the best that money can buy, you’ll love Hydro Dynamics Clonex Rooting Gel. This gel costs around $20 for a 3.4 fl oz bottle, and if you shop through Amazon, you’ll get it shipped to your door for free.
If the reviews are anything to go by, it’s worth buying two at once, as you’ll need to use more than you realize.
This is a dynamic rooting hormone that works on all kinds of plants, and at all life stages.
If you’ve used powders before and prefer something fast and powerful, the Dynamics Clonex Rooting Gel will rock your socks off.
Rooting Hormone FAQs
A rooting hormone isn’t one of the more popular gardening accessories, but it can lead to great results if you’re interested in propagation.
Before you go ahead and purchase a rooting hormone to try yourself, check out the answers to some commonly asked questions about them that can give you an idea of what they’re all about.
What Can I Use Instead Of Rooting Hormone?
Although a pre-made rooting hormone is going to deliver the best results, there are some natural methods that you can try as well.
Honey and apple cider vinegar are two popular alternatives you can try if you’d rather not use a rooting hormone product, although their efficiency is still unknown.
Is Honey A Natural Rooting Hormone?
Although honey is often used as a natural way to have your roots grow, it contains no active rooting hormones.
However, honey does contain anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that protect the roots and make ideal conditions for them to grow, but it can’t boost their success otherwise.
Does Aloe Work As A Rooting Hormone?
Some natural gardeners prefer to use products like aloe vera as a rooting hormone rather than the store-bought variety.
Although aloe is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredient, it won’t improve the health of the roots or their success in growing, but rather protect them from pathogens.
Can You Really Grow A Rose From A Potato?
When done correctly, a gardener may be able to propagate plants like roses just using a potato.
The potato isn’t used to grow the rose to completion though, but rather to help the roots grow in their initial stages. The cutting is planted into the potato which is then planted into soil and this is where the growth begins.
Boost Your Plant’s Chances of Success
There’s nothing better than creating a new plant life from one of your existing plants, and propagation is the way to do it.
If you’ve tried in the past to do so with unsuccessful methods, the addition of a simple root hormone could be all you need to start seeing results.
With our expert recommendations, you’ll be equipped with the best rooting hormones money can buy, and an easy way to propagate plants in the future.
The simple addition of these hormones can ensure greater success and grow your plant more efficiently than ever before, so they’re a worthy investment for any gardener.