Honey As a Rooting Hormone: How to Use Honey To Root Cuttings

How Honey Works as a Rooting Agent

Raw Honey straight out of the Bees butt is about as natural as it gets. In addition to its to culinary attributes, pure Honey has anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities and also contains enzymes which serve gardeners well as a rooting agent for propagating cuttings.

The natural sugars the bees gathered from flowers and processed in their busy little bee bodies contain 15 – 18 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon, most of these carbohydrates come from the sugars. These same natural sugars also provide an added energizing boost that helps to nourish the plants that are being rooted.

How Does Honey Act As a Rooting Agent?

  1. Enzymes to stimulate new root growth
  2. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to curtail infection
  3. Nutrients via its natural sugar content.

A win-win and win again menage a trios of properties/qualities.

Honey Rooting Hormone Recipe

I prefer to use basic raw honey with a little cinnamon as well. Cinnamon powder applied to the stem when planting a cutting will stimulate root growth. Cinnamaldehyde is a compound in cinnamon that produces its unique flavor. It also works well as a fungicide, a deterrent for many pests and is useful for propogating root and stem cuttings. See – Cinnamon Fungicide and Rooting Agent


  • Cinnamon
  • Raw Honey


  1. Pour some cinnamon on a plate.
  2. Roll the moist ends of plant cuttings in cinnamon and it will encourage the growth of shoots and roots. At the same time, it will keep the cutting disease-free.
  3. Dip it in the honey… NO ! Don’t lick it – although your saliva probably wouldn’t hurt.

This process will work well with soil mediums, but the soil should be kept moist. For water-based mediums, or for rooting in water wait 2 -3 minutes after dipping the cutting in the Honey – Cinnamon mix to allow integration with the plant fibers before inserting your cutting in the water. This process has proven effective in basically any medium including those more commonly associated with Hydroponics such as Oasis Cubes, Rockwool, and even Coconut fiber.

There are a number of formulas and recipes for using Honey as a rooting agent, all will work to varying degrees. Many call for you to dilute the honey with hot water, which aside from dilution and possibly sterilization, serves very little to enhance or preserve the mixture.

Honey as a rooting agent / hormone

Can I Use Store-Bought Honey As a Rooting Agent?

Raw Honey is best, store-bought honey which is processed, pasteurized, homogenized, anesthetized, and blended with Lord knows what other preservatives and so forth might work, but certainly not as well. The label on the honey jar will state either “Raw” honey or “natural” honey.

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