If you are a plant lover like me there would have been occasions where you see a plant somewhere and you absolutely have to add it to your collection. So to acquire it (even steal a small part) we might have to take a stem cutting or leaf cutting.
Another situation is you want to create more plants from your precious plant or you accidentally cut off a part of your plant. So in both these situations, we just bury the plant in soil and hope that the leaf or stem cutting will root faster.
Now we place the cuttings in soil and we have to wait and let nature take its turn. But nature can take a long time to turn (this is a big problem as many of us have very little patience). So, in that case, we need to take help through some artificial means to speed up the process or some easy process that works very quickly.
There are many artificial rooting hormones in the market. Some do their job very wonderfully; some may take a little more time. These rooting hormones are good at their job but if you don’t like to use any chemical products on your plant you can go for some natural rooting hormones like honey, ACV and cinnamon. And in this article, we will talk about how to how to propagate succulents with honey.
Why Use Natural Rooting Hormones?
Natural rooting hormones are a great way to go as they have many benefits
- The first benefit they are organic
- They are cheap
- They are readily available
A few cheap natural rooting hormones are
- Apple cider vinegar: – it is well known as a weed killer but if used in moderation it can also act as a root enhancer.
- Cinnamon – it has anti-fungal properties that prevent fungus growth and also enhance rooting. Remember to use a wetting medium to help the cinnamon stick to the cutting.
- Honey – it is a good antibacterial substance and it helps in the rooting of cuttings.
how to propagate succulents with honey?
Succulents can be multiplied by cuttings or leaves only. The easiest way to obtain a large number of small plants is by using leaf-cutting for propagation.
The most common way to propagate is using water, but sometimes the issue with using water is the succulent can rot or it will root but the roots will be too fragile that once you transfer it into the soil the roots are not healthy to grow and the plant dies off.
So alternate ways to propagate the succulents is to directly place it in soil but it can also take a long time for succulents to root. In this case, using natural rooting hormones can boost root development.
Now let us see how we need to prepare the succulent for propagation using honey as rooting hormones.
Step 1 – Preparation of cutting
First, we need to get some leaves from your succulents, (don’t make the mother plant bald). Just gently pluck out a few of the leaves from the base of the plant, take care that the mother plant is not uprooted while plucking the leaves. The best way to pluck is to gently twist the leaves and it will snap out just easily.
Make sure that the leaf doesn’t break off while you twist it off the stem. The leaf should come out cleanly from the stem.
If you are taking stem cutting of the succulent use a clean scissor or shear to make a clean cut. Cut off the piece just above the leaf node. You can cut a stem that is extra in the mother plant or cut off a new shoot.
Step 2 – Drying out leaf or stem
After taking a cutting we can’t just directly place it in the soil. The wound cutting is still fresh and it can get easily infected, thus leading to rotting, if directly potted.
So it is important to dry out the leaf or stem cutting. Leave the cutting in open place with sunlight to dry out. You have to wait for 3 to 4 weeks for the cutting to callus over at the end.
Callus formation prevents the infection of cutting with fungus or bacteria and causing it to rot easily.
While the leaves are callusing prepare the potting mix using succulent soil mix.
Step 3 – Using Honey
Now we will see the magic of honey in root formation.
Take the dried out leaf or stem cutting and dip the end in honey to create a thin layer and then lay them on top of the soil in a tray or pot. Don’t bury the succulent in the soil.
It’s always better to lay them on top of the soil.
To encourage the growth of the plants, lightly mist them two days once a day, but don’t water it directly yet. Continue to mist the soil with water once you see the soil get dry.
You should be able to see small roots pop out in a few weeks if you continue the watering pattern and care.
The rooting time may vary depending on the climate, season and type of succulents.
Why honey works?
Honey is a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal product. So they keep out the bacteria and fungus in the soil and allow the natural rooting hormone in the plant to act.
With synthetic rooting hormones we can quickly see the result i.e. within three to four days the cutting will start to root. But in the case of honey, the rooting will take a longer time of about seven to fourteen days.
It is one of the best natural rooting hormones, that is readily available in all household and it has a higher success rate in producing roots.
What to do After propagation?
Once you see the small baby plant start growing don’t move them suddenly wait for few weeks. Let the root develop properly and strengthen for a few weeks. Once it’s fully developed remove the old leaf from which propagation was started and plant your clone succulent in a proper pot with succulent soil mix. Keep them in the shade for a few days and slowly acclimate the plant to brighter sunlight.
Be patient, watch your succulent grow and develop into a beautiful plant.
Top 6 Succulents to grow when using honey as a rooting hormone
Given below are some of the succulents that can be easily propagated with honey
Jade plants are resilient easy to grow indoors and outdoor plants. They can survive for a long period. They have a thick woody stem and fleshy oval-shaped leaves. They have the appearance of a miniature tree which makes them a favorite among indoor plants. Jade plants like warm temperature they are not entirely drought tolerant as other succulent species. They like to be watered at regular intervals. they are not suitable for cold temperatures. They are easy to propagate from stem or leaf cuttings. The leaf or stem need to be kept for a few days after its cut to callus over. once callused the leaf or stem can be planted in soil with the aid of a rooting hormone natural or artificial.
Echeveria is an absolute favorite of all succulent lovers with its thick rosette-like structure leaves. They are slow-growing and usually grow in a spread. There are more than 150 varieties of echeveria plant. They produce a lot of offshoots or baby plants. They grow well in full sun with well-drained soil. Rotting is the main issue with these plants as they are water sensitive. Echeveria is the most popular plant that can be propagated from the leaf. The leaves after callus formation have to be just laid on top of soil tiny roots will emerge from the base of the leaves and the old leaf will start to wither off.
The Kalanchoe plants are famous for their bright colorful flowers. They are also called the widow’s thrill. They like to be placed in bright shade and watered weekly once. These are propagated by seed, stem cutting, and leaf-cutting. Stem cutting is the most popular method of propagation. take a cutting that is 4 to 5 inches long, remove few leaves from the bottom. then leave the stem to heal for a few days and after its healed pot it in a succulent mix in a pot with good drainage. here also to accelerate the root growth we can use natural rooting hormone honey.
It is a large species of succulent with thick fleshy leaves and stems. They also produce star-shaped flowers. it is commonly known as stonecrops. They are very good for the rock garden, they spread gradually covering rock walls. They can be propagated by using seed, leaf-cutting and stem cuttings. stem and leaf cuttings are the most popular way of propagation. cut off the healthy leaf and after it heals stick the leaf in potting soil. The leaf gets rooted within 2 to 3 weeks and we can see new plantlets forming at the base. the same goes for stem cuttings.
Graptoverias are small, attractive succulents best suited as small house plants. They have small fleshy rosette leaves. Like all other succulents, they also enjoy bright light and good moisture in summer. They don’t like to be overwatered. it is a decorative plant that can be grown in small containers with adequate drainage. They have different varieties with colorful leaves. They can be propagated from leaf cuttings and offsets. Even the leaf from rosette fall off and produce new plants. They are a cross between Graptopetalums and echeveria. They also produce star-shaped flowers of the colour white to pink on long stalks.
Sedum rubrotinctum, Pork and Beans
This is also called as the jelly bean succulent or ‘pork and beans’. The jelly bean-shaped leaves that are green in color but the tips turn to red color when placed in full sun. They produce star-shaped yellow flowers. the plant leaves are very fragile that they drop off the plant very easily. These are easily propagated from drop leaves or from stem cuttings. The dropped leaves are left for two or three days outside to form callus after that the leaves are placed on well-drained soil. They are mainly cultivated as ornamental plants as they can be potted up in small containers in various ways. They are not frosted tolerant. They need to be watered moderately as overwatering can lead to rotting.
Rooting hormones are just used to increase the probability of rooting in the cuttings. There are many ways of propagating succulent and many rooting hormones are available. One thing to remember is that using a rooting hormone alone doesn’t lead to successful propagation.
Many other factors also determine the succulent propagation rate. Factors like the type of succulent, temperature of the environment, amount of sunlight, etc. Rooting hormones only increase the chance of rooting in the succulent.
In case you are opting for a natural rooting hormone – honey is the best option when considering to other alternatives as it is a low cost, effective, and readily available.