If you are reading this article is probably because you are curious to find out more about how to propagate succulents with honey and how this method actually works.
Succulents are easy to propagate, and that means you can create a new plant from the plant you already have by using leaves, cuttings, or seeds.
There are multiple ways to propagate succulents and certain species are easier to propagate than others. Usually, the process involves the use of a rooting hormone as an aid to increase the chances of successful propagation.
What Is A Rooting Hormone?
Rooting hormones are used to stimulate the plant cutting so it speeds up the process of sending out new roots or new nodes. Rather than letting the new cuttings struggle on their own, rooting hormones encourage faster and stronger root development.
This also helps increase the success rate of your plant propagation because they act as a catalyst for the new roots, protecting the cuttings from fungus and diseases that may have occurred during the cutting process.
You can find rooting hormones in different formulations like powder, gel, or liquid available from online garden sites or at most garden supply stores.
But if you are concerned about the chemical ingredients and how they might impact your health, you might want to try 100% organic formulas. There are natural products you can use that can help with the process of rooting your succulent plants. Some of these products are common household items you may have in your pantry, such as honey and cinnamon.
Using a rooting hormone to root succulent cuttings is not necessary to successfully propagate your succulent and some growers don’t even like to use it. On the other hand, others swear by it and use it to root all their cuttings.
Image Credit @fairyblooms
Honey Vs Synthetic Rooting Hormone
A synthetic rooting hormone is a synthesized, man-made form of a plant’s natural hormone indoleacetic acid (IAA), also referred to as auxin. The synthetic auxin hormone, in varying amounts, stimulates root growth in plants. You can easily find rooting hormones at your local store or online.
Although synthetic hormones are very effective for propagation, there are many health risks involved in their usages such as eye and skin irritation and upper respiratory tract irritation.
If you are environmentally aware and want to minimize health risks, choosing a natural rooting hormone alternative such as honey could be a good option. It’s probably the best natural “one-ingredient” rooting hormone.
Honey contains many kinds of sugars, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants, and works very well as a natural rooting agent due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may help keep bacteria and fungi away from succulent leaves and stems you’re trying to propagate.
Honey is a safe, cost-effective, and easy method used to help cuttings develop new little roots. It’s interesting to know that honey contains only 17% water and at this low level, it sucks the water out of bacteria and fungi, killing them.
According to a study published in the University of Hawaii Extension, a series of experiments were conducted to find out the efficacy of honey as a rooting hormone as compare to commercial rooting hormones available in the market.
It concluded, “Honey did demonstrate an ability to root plant species, but it is not as successful as synthetic rooting hormones.” It means you can use honey as an alternative to market products. Read more here!
I have tried to use honey as a natural rooting stimulant and I have found the propagation process quite easy to do, but I have to admit that the root growth is slower compared to the synthetic forms. Naturally, it does not contain the rooting hormone for plants, it only works to protect them from diseases and infections.
That’s why compared to other synthetic rooting hormones, it is slower to see the results with honey. If you are not in any hurry, perhaps you can give it a try!
Can I Use Store-Bought Honey As A Rooting Agent?
Organic Raw Honey is the best choice because is not treated and contains all the natural antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Store-bought honey, although is much cheaper, is processed, pasteurized, and homogenized, therefore might not be as effective.
How To Propagate Succulents With Honey – 5 Easy Steps
Following this easy 5 step-by-step guide, you can learn how to propagate your succulent using honey as a natural, chemical-free rooting agent.
Step 1: Prepare Your Leaves Or Cuttings
One of the easiest ways to propagate succulent plants is through leaf propagation. Make sure to choose healthy leaves from the mother plant for a higher chance of success. Look for full and plump leaves, not dehydrated and flat leaves. Choose leaves that are uniformly colored without any discolorations, spots, or marks. Do not use leaves that are damaged, ripped, torn, or misshapen. Gently remove the leaves from the stem.
Using your fingers, carefully twist off the leaves from the stem with your thumb and forefinger. You’ll notice that some leaves come off quite easily, whereas some others are firmly attached to the stem.
Using a gentle motion, twist the leaf back and forth until it comes off. Make sure to remove the whole leaf, including the base that attaches to the stem otherwise your newly propagated plant will not survive.
Alternatively, you can choose to propagate your succulent by using stem cuttings. To do so it’s essential that you cut healthy and young stems from the mother plant, using a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors.
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.
The best time to propagate by cuttings is during late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing and the new baby roots on the cuttings will take less time to form.
Step 2: Drying out Time
Allow the leaf to dry out for several days in an area exposed to sunlight, but not under direct sun. You can keep them outside when temperatures are warm or inside when it’s too cold.
Meanwhile, prepare your pot with moist well-draining soil.
Step 3: Honey Dipping Time
You can choose to dip the tips of the leaves or your stem cuttings directly into pure raw honey or alternatively can try this simple recipe: add two tablespoons of honey in two cups of boiled water and allow the solution to cool down. Once it reaches room temperature, dip the tips of the leaves or the cuttings in. The mixture can be stored and will last for about two weeks.
Step 4: Rooting Time
Once you have your leaves or cuttings nicely coated, lay them on top of the potting soil or you can make holes in the soil with your finger and stick them inside cut-down. I prefer to lay the cuts on the potting soil because I can see when the baby roots are starting to form.
While waiting for the leaf or cuttings to root, keep them away from direct sunlight, better if in a partially shaded area. Too much direct sun could cause them to dry out completely and die.
The rooting time depends on the type of succulent, climate, and season, but normally, after a couple of weeks, you should see little pink roots growing from the cuts, and a new baby plant will eventually emerge.
The leaf that you used to propagate will start to wither on its own. You can either remove the original leaf by gently twisting it off or wait for it to fall off on its own.
Image Credit @addytude
Step 5: Transplant Time
Finally, it’s time to transplant the baby plant to its own pot filled with well-draining soil. Once you have done that, make sure you place the succulent in a sunny spot, indoors or outdoors, and you water it every 2-3 weeks. Read this interesting article on how and when to water succulents.
7 Best Succulents For Honey Propagation
If you are interested in using honey as a rooting hormone, I suggest you give it a try using cuttings of one following plants because they are quite easy to propagate.
Aloe Vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant that can grow up to 40 inches tall. It has thick, fleshy, green to bluish-grey-green leaves. It has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Egypt. The plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands.
It’s a very popular house plant and can be easily propagated by taking leaf cuttings and offsets from the parent plant. These succulents are great for beginners because they don’t need special care and are able to thrive if neglected.
Echeverias are one of the most well-known succulents and are native to Mexico and central and southern America. These plants feature iconic rosette-shape, fleshy leaves, and pet-friendliness.
Their uniqueness, beautiful appearance, and low maintenance needs have made Echeverias widely popular and you can often see them featured in succulent gardens, floral arrangements, terrariums, artwork, and even wedding cakes.
Echeverias produce offsets that can be gently removed for propagation. New plants can also be produced by taking leaf cuttings during spring or summer.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
This succulent, also known as crassula ovata, lucky plant, money plant, or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers that is native to South Africa and Mozambique. It’s a popular house-plant and was once thought to bring good luck to their owners so was often given as a housewarming gift.
It has thick tree-like stems and plump glossy oval leaves that may be tinged with red at the tips and edges. Jade plants are generally undemanding and easy to grow, but they are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases.
One of the advantages of owning a jade plant is how easy it is to propagate it. The simplest way is just to snip off a few healthy leaves from your plant or by using stem cuttings.
Sedum, a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, is a perennial plant with thick, succulent leaves, fleshy stems, and clusters of star-shaped flowers found in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Various sedum varieties, sometimes called stonecrop, grow well in almost every area.
They are one of the easiest succulents to take care of because they are extremely forgiving of sun and bad quality soil. Their adaptable nature also allows sedum to work as well in the landscape as it does in containers.
Sedums are simple to propagate: one of the simplest ways is to take a cutting from the tip of a plant and simply stick it in the soil. This is my own personal way of propagating any plant because it allows you to make a lot more new plants from only one. You can also make more sedums by taking leaf cuttings. This method takes a bit longer, but each leaf cutting can result in dozens of tiny plants.
Kalanchoes are native to Madagasgar and thrive in arid environments, making them popular house-plants for their colorful and long-lasting blooms. These succulents are very easy to take care of and will produce an abundance of flowers in a wide range of colors with very little care.
Kalanchoes are easy to propagate by stem or leaf cuttings. Stem cutting is the most popular method of propagation: cut a segment of stem 4 to 5 inches long from a mature plant. Allow it to dry out for a few days, then, plant in well-draining potting-mix, let it sit without watering it and the stem should take root in 3 to 4 weeks.
Graptoveria is a beautiful hybrid plant between Gratopelatum and Echeveria. Graptoveria grows in the form of rosettes with small fleshy leaves generally become 6″ – 8″ inches wide. Like all succulents, Graptoveria likes the sunlight, but are sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
Graptoveria is quite easy to propagate from the plant’s seeds, cuttings, or offsets. Even a fallen rosette has the potential to stick to the soil, sprout roots, and start growing as well as a fallen leaf. As the new plant begins developing roots, it will feed off the leaf of the existing plant until it may thrive on its own.
Also known as Zebra Haworthia, Zebra Plant is native to South Africa, has pointy leaves with zebra-like white stripes that appear as warty growth.
Zebra Haworthia is often grown as an indoor plant because of its attractive appearance and low maintenance. It produces offsets (pups) freely, and the offsets can be propagated easily. As your plant grows, you will see new fronds grow from the interior of the plant and you may even see some small “pups” develop around the surface of the soil. These pups can be carefully separated and replaced in new pots as completely new plants! You can also try propagating Zebra Plant from leaves. If you choose this method you would twist a leaf off right at the base, allow it to dry, and then stick the cut end into a fresh mix of potting soil.
Using honey as a natural rooting hormone for cuttings works for a variety of plants, not just succulents! Check out this video below on how to use honey as an eco-friendly substitute for rooting hormone powder.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on How To Propagate Succulents With Honey and found it comprehensive and enlightening! If you like, feel free to leave a comment or share your knowledge on this topic in the section below.
Enjoy more readings:
- How Long Can Succulents Go Without Water? 5 Interesting Questions Answered!
- Top 10 Amazing Benefits of Growing Succulents – Health Benefits and Much More!
- Black Spots on Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to This Common Problem