Stimulants Of Plant Root Formation

Root-forming stimulants are used for stimulation of growth and development, and also for formation of root system at cuttings at propagation in this way. Of course, root-forming stimulants cannot be called those wonderful preparations which can "resurrect" a woody cuttings and lead to formation of roots on it, say, if it is cut in the middle of summer. But if you clearly follow the timing of cutting the shoots, cutting them into cuttings and planting them in the greenhouse, then root-forming stimulants will definitely help. The fact is that there are other crops, such as willow, hawthorn and gooseberry, that root very poorly or do not root at all without a rooting stimulant.

Stimulants of plant root formation
Rooting cuttings with a rooting stimulant. © Wikivisual

In addition to stimulation of root formation of cuttings of this or that crop, these stimulants can also help to develop additional roots when transplanting seedlings to a permanent place, for example, at breakage of part of the root of a seedling, at strong injuries of root system, and absolutely healthy roots they will also help to adapt faster in new soil conditions.

What are rooting stimulants?

Frequently they are biologically active substances, or as they are also called, phytohormones, which in the natural environment are formed in every plant, and the more phytohormones are accumulated in the shoots, the easier this or that plant is rooted. For example, they are very abundant in currants, a lot in cranberry, chokeberry and other plants.

The best-known phytohormones are probably indolyl-3-acetic acid and naphthylacetic acid. Two of these basic substances are included in a huge number of preparations considered growth stimulants, in one dose or another, are Charcor, and also Heteroauxin or Kornerost, although here the active ingredient is β-indolylacetic acid. These preparations can stimulate cell division and stretching, which causes the formation and growth of the root system.

An interesting fact: β-indolylacetic acid, which is considered the basis of the drug Kornerost, was derived by scientists almost a century ago from cultures of mold fungi.

However, there is another type of phytohormones, or root formation stimulators, based not on natural products, but on their synthetic substitutes, say, indolyl-3 - butyric acid, a drug of a different plan and called a little differently - Kornevin, or its foreign companion Clonex (gel).

The effect of Kornevin is interesting, which may well be identical to other similar drugs. When Kornevin (dry or in a solution) gets on the cut surface of a cuttings (naturally, the lower part) its active substance begins to literally irritate tissues and stimulate the formation of new cells. In the soil, Kornevin is converted into Heteroauxin, stimulating already further development of the root system.

What else is in the composition of stimulants?

Besides the main element, which just provides stimulation of formation of the root system and accelerates its growth, there are auxiliary components, such as, for example, the usual vitamins in the composition of drugs. They increase the growth activity in some way, although it is clear that only they, that is, vitamins, on the growth of the roots, although it will have an impact, but little noticeable. Usually the auxiliary components of almost every modern root growth stimulator are vitamin C and thiamine.

Stimulants from extracts

It is not unusual to use preparations derived from certain natural extracts as growth stimulants. For example, such preparations as Zircon, Epin (can be extracted even from pollen), Radifarm (polysaccharides, steroids, polypeptides, amino acids, zinc, vitamins, nitrogen), Ribav (a whole mixture of amino acids) are known, all these are the most real bioregulators of natural origin, They also have a stimulating effect on the formation of root system, its growth and development, and increase the immunity of plants, i.e. their resistance to various pests and diseases and temperature changes.

Separately, we must speak of Zircon, which is none other than the well-known to many hydroxycinnamic acid extracted from Echinacea purpurea. Zircon, as well as its brethren, is considered a true immunomodulator, and at the same time it stimulates the formation of root systems of cuttings.

Stimulants of plant root formation
Rooting cuttings in water with the help of rooting stimulants. © LynGianni

Forms of release of preparations and methods of plant treatment

Forms of release of preparations for stimulation of root system growth activity and its actual appearance on cuttings, can be quite a lot - it is a powder (different, but often just white color), and tablets, which perfectly dissolve in water, without forming a precipitate, and liquid in ampoules, droppers or screw-in vials. The third option is the most convenient, because you can literally pour out as much of the drug as you need, then screw the jar and put it out of reach of children. The main thing here is to observe the storage conditions and the expiration date. Often the preparations are also available as a gel (Clonex).

How to use root formation stimulants?

That information is usually listed in the instructions, it also refers to the dosage of the drug, and these data must be followed. Do not underestimate or overestimate the figures on the label: both can lead to the fact that the roots are formed either in insufficient quantities or will not appear at all.

If we speak about the most widespread variants of application of root-forming stimulants, it is either soaking cuttings or the root system in a solution diluted according to instructions (as a rule, overnight), or dipping in dry powder of preparation if we speak about cuttings of hard-to-root cultures (if such method is allowed by instructions on packing).

The most common water solutions in which cuttings or the root system of seedlings are soaked overnight are prepared from preparations such as Heteroauxin and Kornerost (if they are in liquid form, then 0.5 g or 4-5 tablets per bucket of water); Cornevin dissolve in water usually grams per liter or 10 grams per bucket of water, Radifarm and Ribav need only a couple of drops per liter of water or two dozen drops per bucket, Zircon - 4 drops per liter or 40 drops per bucket of water, and Charcor - a milliliter per five liters of water or twice as much for ten.

Besides soaking in a growth stimulator solution, as we have already mentioned, immersion of cuttings in dry preparation or powdering with this preparation of the cuttings with a brush. The second option is more economical. To make the preparation "stick" to the cuttings, the latter must first be dipped in water, and then immerse about a centimeter into the dry preparation.

That is often done if using the preparation Kornevin or Clonex gel.

Additionally, you can make a powder stimulating formation of roots yourself, using other preparations. To do this, you need to mix the solution intended for rooting with ordinary activated charcoal, which is sold at any drugstore, or with talcum if for some reason you could not get activated charcoal. After that, the mixture is simply dried until it is loose. In such a mixture, you can bury the cuttings by a couple of centimeters.

Important! After soaking or placing in a dry preparation, cuttings should be immediately planted in the greenhouse in a special soil consisting of humus, river sand and nutrient soil. The dissolved preparation should be replaced by another, its shelf life is usually only one day.

Stimulants of plant root formation
Sprinkling the cuttings with a root-forming stimulant. © Kevin

Natural rooting stimulants and how to use them

For those who don't want to mess with any preparations in packages and pay money for them, we offer several ways, using which you can also try to grow quality planting material from cuttings you have cut in due time.

The first option is flower honey; grape cuttings are said to root very well in it. Honey has quite a strong stimulating effect, of course, if the dosage is not too small. Honey should be diluted in exclusively soft and warm boiled water, it is excellent if it is melted or rain water. A bucket of water should be poured a couple of tablespoons with a pebble, stir everything well and the resulting solution can be used both for rooting cuttings, and for soaking the root system of seedlings before planting in a permanent place.

If you soak grapes in a solution of honey, then immerse them in this solution completely and not overnight, but for two days.

Willow water is also considered a strong stimulator of root formation in hard-to-root crops and stimulate growth activity when planting seedlings on the plot. To get willow water, you need to cut pieces of a hundred willow branches, about a meter long, and put them in water. Wait until the willow twigs, parts of which are submerged in water, the rudiments of the root system appeared, then they should be removed from the water, and the resulting liquid used for rooting cuttings and to water the newly planted seedlings on the plot. It is well known that willow water has in its composition quite a lot of phytohormones and it is said that it can compete in effectiveness with the well-known and rather expensive preparations.

In exactly the same way you can use pyramidal poplar twigs, only per bucket of water, as in the case of willow, you do not need a hundred shoots, but only five dozen of them.

A well known and excellent growth stimulator and "drug" causing growth of the root system of cuttings, is the juice obtained from aloe. In order to prepare the most effective solution, you need to dissolve three tablespoons of aloe juice in half a liter of water, then let the solution stand in a dark and warm room for about a week. This will be a concentrate for obtaining a liquid suitable for soaking cuttings in it, for the sake of obtaining actually new plants with roots, and seedlings, for more rapid rooting in a new place: you must dilute the obtained composition in a bucket of water.

Yeast, ordinary, baking yeast, also a very effective stimulator of root formation of cuttings. To prepare the miraculous composition, be sure to use water that has been boiled. The yeast solution contains a lot of vitamin B and many useful trace elements. To prepare the solution, you need to dilute 500 grams of yeast in five liters of water. Then, soak the cuttings in the solution for 24 hours, and then immediately plant them in a greenhouse. By the way, the remaining solution, diluted ten times, you can periodically (once a week) additionally water the cuttings planted in the greenhouse.

Stimulants of plant root formation
The degree of development of the root system of sweet pepper. On the left without root formation stimulants. Right when plants were treated with root formation stimulants. © r3f

Mechanical influences

There are also methods of mechanical action on cuttings that can facilitate root formation. For example, hawthorn cuttings before soaking in any of the above growth stimulants are slightly flattened with a hammer, and on dogwood and mulberry cuttings make shallow incisions with a sharp perforating knife or a razor, this increases the yield of rooted cuttings by 25-30%.

In general, know that the use of root formation stimulants, which can serve as excellent stimulants also for the growth activity of the root system of seedlings, is quite justified and bears its fruits. But stimulants alone, be they the best and most expensive, without observance of the temperature regime, humidity regime, the timing of cutting and planting of cuttings and seedlings, only stimulants will not be able to work a miracle. Therefore it is necessary to consider them only a part of a big complex of measures concerning the propagation and cultivation of plants of the most different breeds, from the modest humi to the majestic walnut.

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