We’ve been using a commercial rooting hormone for years, and then it crossed my screen recently to use unpasturized honey as a rooting hormone. 

Honey does, after all, have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. I’ve also learned that it protects the cuttings from pathogens and allows the natural rooting hormones in the cutting to stimulate root growth. 

But is it as good as the synthetic one we normally use? Well, a study by the University of Hawaii found that although honey does demonstrate an ability to root plant cuttings, it wasn’t as effective. 

You could also say it’s better than nothing though.

Adding a pinch of cinnamon to the honey creates added benefits, as cinnamon has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help to protect the cutting. It also allows the natural rooting hormones that are found in the green growth of the cuttings to produce roots. 

Honey can be used for just about any type of cuttings, including soft-wood, green-wood, and hard-wood cuttings such as rose, camellia, hydrangea, and geranium. Even succulent cuttings can benefit from honey.

As with any rooting hormone, the first step is to prepare your cuttings. Depending on the plant, the cuttings should be between 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in length and cut on a 45-degree angle. 

Once you have your cuttings ready, dip each cutting into the honey and make a hole in the potting mix for each cutting. 

Keep the potting media moist and you can expect roots to form in approximately 7-14 days.

Succulents can be dipped in honey and placed on top of the potting soil. In a few weeks’ time, roots will start growing from the lower part of the leaves.

Honey can also be used for water propagation. Just dip the cutting in the honey and  place it straight into the water.  Once the root gets to about an inch (2.5 cm) in length it can be potted up.

So, I’ll make the switch as I have many plants to propagate over the winter to prepare for Dunnville Horticultural Society’s plant sale in May.

Susan and Brad Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). DHS has resumed its in-person meetings! Their next meeting will be on January 20, 2022 (7 p.m.) at the Optimist Hall. They will have a special speaker, refreshments, and 2022 memberships will be on sale. Keep up 

with DHS at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org 

or on their Facebook page. You can also contact President Deb Zynomirski for more information at debzyn@gmail.com. Think green thoughts!

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