Giving your Plants a Jump Start
Giving your garden plants a jump start is a great way of giving them a head start as they place their energy into putting forth new roots. Plant roots are like what the heart is to humans, without our hearts pumping blood as the veins carry it throughout our bodies carrying nutrients and oxygen our health will deteriorate which will put us in a critical state.
The roots of plants are no different and are responsible for water and nutrient uptake to be carried throughout the plant’s system in order for plants to grow strong and healthy which is so important to a plant’s life. Another purpose of plant roots is to anchor plants to the ground stabilizing them. These roots are known as taproots. In fact, plants have 3 types of roots which are
- Fibrous roots
- Adventitious roots
Root Growing Hormone
The function of these roots
1. As stated earlier the taproot is known as the anchor roots that keep plants stable and erected. In other words, these roots anchor the plants to the ground causing them to become firm. Taproots are large central roots that are thick, straight, and grows downward.
2. The job of fibrous roots is different from that of taproots. Fibrous roots are tiny hair-like roots that are attached to and grow from the taproots. What these roots do is take up or absorb nutrients and water for plant use.
Fibrous roots grow in the first top inches of soil that is nutrient-rich. An example of these roots in turf and annuals can be seen by digging a few inches in the soil.
3. Adventitious roots are roots that grow above the ground or soil surface. Adventitious roots grow from stems, leaves, and underground stems such as tubers, rhizomes, and corms.
An advantage with these roots is the ability to propagate plants from a leaf or stem cutting.
Root Growing Hormone
The purpose of plant root growth hormones
Many years ago when I first entered the landscape and gardening profession I was introduced to plant root growth hormones by my then co-workers and was blown away as they explained to me how it helps plant cuttings to produce a strong healthy root system.
I spent many days in our plant nursery using this growth hormone and saw firsthand as those cuttings produced strong healthy root systems and bloomed into beautiful plants.
How these hormones work
Plant growth hormones work by causing or encouraging a plant to put its energy into developing a strong root system first before creating green stem cells. In other words, these hormones stimulate root growth.
How to use plant root growth hormones
The root growth hormones that we used came as a powder in a small white bottle and the way we used it was by placing one of the cutting ends in water for about a minute or two then taking the end that was dipped in water placing it in the powder hormone. The purpose for wetting one end was for the powder to stick to that part of the cutting then placing that part of the cutting in the potting soil trays or small containers.
Word of caution. Ensure at all times that the soil of these cuttings do not dry out because this is a critical time for your cuttings. Moisture must always be present in order to achieve success. Do not overwater but keep the soil moist.
Also when planting cuttings it is good to remove the leaves so all of the plant’s energy can be put into developing a strong root system rather than supplying the leaves with water. Some person prefers to have a few of the smaller or younger leaves remaining while removing all of the larger or older leaves.
Homemade plant root growth hormones
Besides purchasing plant growth hormones from your garden center you can make your very own growth hormones organically which I think is pretty neat. Here are a few you can try.
1. Honey is so delicious and is used on pancakes, french toast, and so on but besides its great taste honey is known for its healing properties that aid the human body in so many ways. Honey can also be used as a hormone for plant growth. Here is how it works.
- Remove the top layer from the part of your cutting that will be planted in the potting soil
- Dip that part in the honey, place in the soil firming the soil around it then giving it some water
- Or without removing the top layer of the cutting dip the part that is to be planted in honey, place in soil firming the soil around it, and then give it some water.
2. Apple cider vinegar is known for its many health purposes but apple cider vinegar can also be used as a plant growth stimulator.
- Mix 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a gallon of water and dip one end of your cutting in this mixture for a minute or two before placing cuttings in potting soil
3. Cinnamon has anti-bacterial and fungus properties that will keep your cuttings in tip-top shape.
- Dip the ends of your cuttings in water or remove some of the top layers from the end that is to be planted, dip in water then in the cinnamon followed by placing in potting soil and your cuttings are good to g0
4. Aloe vera is so popular for the many health benefits that it has and has gained worldwide attention but do you know that this natural healer is also used to stimulate plant growth.
- Dip the end of your cuttings in the aloe vera gel or slime as some would say, sorry for being so gross then place that end of the cutting in potting soil and watch as your cuttings produce new leaves
5. Using organic liquid kelp is another way to grow your cuttings naturally.
- Mix 1 part organic liquid kelp to 4 part water
- Place cuttings in this mixture and allow to sit for 8-12 hours
- Next, remove cuttings from this mixture and place them in potting soil
Plant roots are pretty amazing in what they do to help in sustaining plant life. But what is also amazing is there are many roots that can be eaten. These roots are filled with vitamins and benefits our bodies in many ways. Here are some examples of edible roots.
- Sweet potatoes
These are just a few of the many edible roots that are loaded with nutrients and can be prepared in so many ways that both you and your family will enjoy.
Growing plants from cuttings is a great way to save a few $$$$$ as you fill your garden and landscape with beautiful garden plants. This is also a great way to increase food production.
So give this method a try and with a little patient, you will be well on your way to producing many healthy happy plants as you reap a good harvest.