Definition - What does Rooting Hormone mean?
A rooting hormone formulation is used to help cannabis cuttings (clones) go from green cell generation to root cell generation, and is often called cloning gel or powder in the cannabis industry. It’s used to help ensure better propagation of plants from cuttings, rather than from seeds.
Rooting hormones usually contain real or synthetic plant growth hormones known as auxins. In addition to gels and powders they can also come in concentrated liquid forms. Rooting hormones are readily available at hydroponics stores. The product is applied to the open tips of cuttings as soon as they are taken from the mother plant, and right before the cuttings are planted into a grow medium.
Hydrolife explains Rooting Hormone
In some instances, growing a plant from a seed is the best option. However, that's not necessarily true when it comes to cannabis. Mutations and genetic changes can occur quickly, within a single generation, so for growers who want to ensure identical CBD and THC levels, as well as other growth characteristics, growing plants from cuttings is necessary. The problem is that sometimes cuttings don’t grow well. A rooting hormone can be used to increase the chances of success.
When a cutting is taken and then placed in a nutrient mix, it must switch from producing green cells (leaf and stem material) to root cells. This can be laborious and difficult. Many cuttings die before roots can be formed. Rooting hormone can be added to the nutrient mix, and will speed up the process of root development. It works by increasing the signal to plant cells to develop roots, rather than green cells.
It’s important to note that rooting hormone formulations are not foolproof, and are not always successful in 100% of cuttings. Many are also expensive. A home-made rooting hormone solution can be made from willow trees or sprouted seed tea that is generally as effective, and costs a mere fraction of commercial hormone-based formulations, as well. It is also important to note that the cutting must be taken from the donor plant in the right way, or you immediately decrease your chances of success.