Vinegar For Garden Use: Making Homemade Vinegar Rooting Hormone

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

There are many surprising ways to use apple cider vinegar in gardens, and rooting plants with vinegar is one of the most popular. Read on for more information about making homemade rooting hormone with apple cider vinegar for cuttings.

Apple Cider Vinegar as Rooting Hormone

Propagating plants by “starting” root cuttings is a simple way to add to your indoor or outdoor plant collection with little expense. Dipping the stems in rooting hormones get cuttings off to a healthy start and increases the chance of success.

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Many gardeners believe rooting hormones are an unnecessary expense, and that cuttings will root just fine on their own. It’s true that some plants, such as English ivy, will root freely without help, but many others enjoy the boost that hormones can provide.

Commercial rooting compounds are convenient products available in gel, liquid and powder form. They are made of auxins, which are naturally occurring plant hormones. Although auxins are produced naturally, most commercial products contain auxins made in labs.

These products are deemed safe when used in small amounts, but organic gardeners often prefer to avoid chemicals in the garden. Instead, they opt for propagating plants with organic rooting hormone such as a vinegar solution.

Making Vinegar Rooting Hormone

A small amount of apple cider vinegar is all you need to create this organic rooting hormone, and too much may prevent rooting. (Vinegar for garden use actually includes using apple cider vinegar to kill weeds.)

A teaspoon of vinegar in 5 to 6 cups of water is enough. Any type of apple cider vinegar at your local supermarket is fine.

To use your homemade rooting hormone, dip the bottom of the cutting in the solution before “sticking” the cutting in rooting medium.

Using apple cider vinegar as rooting hormone is a great way to give your cuttings that extra jump they need to grow roots.

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