7 Ways to Make Your Own Natural Rooting Hormone

Being able to buy rooting hormone online or from your local brick & mortar can be nice, but it’s really nice to have a few recipes to help you make your own natural version at home any time you need it. Especially if you happen to be planting something you plan on eating. Being able to make your own natural rooting hormone can ensure you know just which ingredients your plant is exposed to as it grows. Which materials can you use to make your own natural rooting hormone?

You can use the following ingredients to make your own natural rooting hormone:

  • Cinnamon
  • Aloe vera
  • Honey
  • Willow water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aspirin
  • Saliva

Saliva, really? Yes indeed! In this article, we will explain how you can use each of the above ingredients as a means of growing your indoor plants. We’ll even provide step-by-step instructions you can follow for success.

Let’s begin!

7 Ingredients for Homemade Rooting Hormone


Not only does cinnamon add a kick of spiciness to desserts and other dishes, but your houseplants will love it, too. As you use plant cuttings to trigger the growth of new plants, cinnamon will ward off bacteria and fungus that can kill the premature houseplants.

Further, cinnamon can prevent ants from invading your indoor garden, as the insects don’t like the texture. Any natural methods for ridding your plants of critters are always welcome!

When using cinnamon as a homemade rooting hormone, you want it in its powder form, not a solid stick. You should only have to use the cinnamon rooting hormone one time and your houseplant will grow, grow, grow.

Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Grab a dry paper towel and lay it somewhere flat, like a kitchen counter.

Step 2: Take your pure cinnamon and dump out about a tablespoon onto the paper towel.

Step 3: Dampen the ends of your houseplant stems in some water. Don’t soak them, but make sure they’re a little wet so the cinnamon can stick.

Step 4: Coat the ends of the stems in the cinnamon fully on all sides.

Step 5: Transfer the plant stems to a pot with potting soil. Wait for growth!

Aloe Vera

For skin redness, sunburn, rashes, and other irritation, aloe vera gel makes for a very soothing solution. It turns out it’s also a phenomenal natural rooting hormone for plants.

Aloe vera acts a lot like cinnamon, preventing the development of fungus and bacteria in your young houseplant. If you’re going to use it as a natural rooting hormone, then it’s best you grow your own aloe vera. Alternately, you can buy a leaf from a grocery or planting store. Otherwise, you’d have to get the gel in pure form for it to be of any use to your plant.

Then, follow along with these steps.

Step 1: Take your aloe vera leaf, uncut, and grab a knife from the kitchen. You want to make sure it’s sharp, yes, but clean as well. A cutting board will also help with this step. Put the aloe vera on your cutting board. The smallest end of the leaf should be pointed in your direction. Make a cut into the leaf at the opposite end.

Step 2: Grab a clean kitchen spoon. Push the spoon from the end of the leaf with the spoon’s rounded side facing down. Keep moving the spoon up the aloe vera leaf towards where you cut it. The pressure should force the gel out.

Step 3: Take your gel and transfer it to a cup. Using the same spoon, keep stirring your aloe vera gel until the chunks become more uniform. Your spoon or even a fork can make the gel liquid-like if you have stubborn chunks.

Step 4: Dip your houseplant cuttings in your cup, making sure each has a good layer of the aloe vera gel.

Step 5: Plant your cuttings and see how they grow.


The sugary sweetness of natural honey can’t be beat, as its antibacterial properties make it great for a new houseplant. You want to make sure you use raw or pure honey for this job, not the stuff you can find at your local grocery store. That’s because the store-bought stuff tends to have gone through pasteurization or processing, making it less useful at keeping bacteria away.

It’s easier than expected to take honey and make it into a rooting hormone. Here’s how.

Step 1: Begin by putting a pot on your stove and setting it to a boil. You want to fill the pot with water, at least two cups.

Step 2: Let the water get to a full boil. Then, grab your honey jar or bottle. Squeeze out a tablespoon, so enough to fill a large spoon.

Step 3: Stir a bit until the honey integrates with the water. Then take the pot with the water and honey off the heat. When it cools down a bit, transfer the mix to a canning jar or any other container with a tight cover.

Step 4: Make sure you’re using plant cuttings that you’ve trimmed at an angle of 45 degrees. The cuttings should also be at least six inches, up to 12 inches at most. Coat the bottoms with the water/honey liquid and then transfer them to your potting medium, including rockwool, water, or soil.

You can use the honey mixture again for the next two weeks if you stash it in a container and keep it somewhere dark, such as a cabinet.

Willow Water

The cool thing about willow water is you can combine it with just about any of the other natural rooting hormone ingredients we’ve talked about thus far. It plays especially nicely with honey and cinnamon.

Willow water comes from the willow tree. This tree naturally contains indolebutyric and salicylic acids, which can both prevent infections, fungus, and bacteria from killing your new houseplant. Experts even believe your plants may sprout up faster when using willow water as a natural rooting hormone.

Why wouldn’t you try it for your plant, then? While obtaining your willow tree branches to make willow water is a precise process, the results are more than worth it.

Step 1: Wait until the start of spring to cut down twigs from the willow tree. You want them as fresh and green as possible, as these twigs contain more acids than mature ones. End shoots can work if you can’t find any green twigs.

Step 2: Remove all leaves from your shoots and/or twigs. These can be composted if you have no other use for them.

Step 3: Chop your twigs or shoots down until each one measures an inch.

Step 4: Transfer the twigs or shoots to a glass jar. Fill it with boiled water at a ratio of 1:3 (shoots or twigs) to 2:3 (the water).

Step 5: Wait at least 24 hours. Once that time elapses, you can strain your willow water, put it in another jar, and use it on your plant cuttings. The longer they spend in the water, the faster your houseplant can potentially grow. Let the cuttings sit for a few hours at least then.

Make sure you compost the shoots and twigs, since they will get strained out.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Yet another natural rooting hormone ingredient to consider is apple cider vinegar. Although not super pleasant to drink, those who do sip apple cider vinegar have found that it can aide in weight loss, protect the heart, control cholesterol, and prevent diabetes through lowered blood sugar. Apple cider vinegar also kills off bacteria, which can be quite useful for your growing indoor plant.

You do have to be careful of your quantities here, though. Overdoing it on the apple cider vinegar can keep your houseplant from rooting, which is the opposite of what you want.

With our steps, you’ll use just the right amount of apple cider vinegar.

Step 1: Pour water, between five and six cups, into a bowl or another container. Combine a bit of apple cider vinegar into the mix, only a teaspoon, and then stir. Store-bought vinegar is a-okay here.  

Step 2: Take your houseplant cuttings and coat their bottoms in the water/vinegar liquid mix. Don’t soak the trimmings through.

Step 3: Move your cuttings to their rooting medium and watch them grow from there.  


Got a headache? If so, you reach for the aspirin or something similar, right? Depending on what you have in your medicine cabinet, it’s possible you can use it as a rooting hormone for your indoor plants.

Aspirin must be in pill format and it must have no coating. It’s recommended to use a tablet containing 325 milligrams. Then you can get started making it into a natural rooting hormone.

If you’re wondering why aspirin works for a houseplant, it’s because of an ingredient in the pill: salicylic acid. This acid, as we explained, can safeguard your plant from fungus and bacteria as the roots grow.

Now that you’re ready to make a natural rooting hormone with aspirin, here’s what you have to do.

Step 1: If you don’t already own one, go to a pharmacy and buy a pill crusher.

Step 2: Place your uncoated tablet inside the pill crusher.

Step 3: Break down the aspirin with the pill crusher until it’s crushed into chunks.

Step 4: Remove the tablet from the pill crusher. Now, using your fist, a mortar and pestle, or some other method, continue breaking down the aspirin until it’s nothing more than a powder.

Step 5: Take your powder and transfer it to a bowl or container. Moisten your plant ends.

Step 6: Next, take your plant ends and dip them into the aspirin. Put the trimmings in your rooting medium to jumpstart the root growth process.


Nope, we’re not joking here. Your own human saliva has enzymes that can help your houseplant roots grow. In fact, some gardening experts believe that the best natural rooting hormone for houseplants is saliva. Yes, that’s even over cinnamon, willow water, or apple cider vinegar.

Given that this method is pretty effortless and it doesn’t cost you a thing, what do you have to lose by trying it?

Here’s what you do.

Step 1: Spit…a lot! The more saliva you can generate, the better. Make sure you contain the spit in a bowl or on a plate.

Step 2: Once you’ve accumulated a decent amount of spittle, do what you’ve done the entire time. Coat the ends of your plant trimmings in the spit and then put the plant in a rooting medium.

What are the forms of commercial rooting hormone?

Even though you may go the natural route, it doesn’t hurt to educate yourself about commercial rooting hormone as well. These hormone products, often synthetic, contain auxins. Auxins are a hormone that contain indole acetic acid, another type of hormone. Indole acetic acid can cause houseplant growth at a root level.

You can buy commercial rooting hormone as a gel, liquid, or powder. Gel rooting hormone provides optimal absorption because you can apply a sufficient layer over the plant cuttings. Liquid rooting hormone is either concentrated or ready-to-use. You would have to dilute the concentrated product, which explains why the other version is called ready-to-use. Powder rooting hormone is good for years at a time, making it worth the money.

How long does it take for rooting hormone to work?

You must have patience as you use rooting hormone, whether commercial-grade or homemade. The roots are growing as fast as they can, but even still, it takes a while. Expect to wait at least three weeks, maybe even four weeks to see any significant growth.

Can you root rose cuttings in water?

What if you’re a rose lover? You were thinking of using water to root your rose cuttings, but you’re not sure if it will work. Will it?

Yes, it can work. And just so you know, rose cuttings count as any stem pieces you’ve trimmed when pruning your rose garden. The rose cuttings you’ve trimmed that you plan on rooting in containers of water should be 12 inches or longer to increase your chances of success.

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