The Rooting Hormone Debate

rooting hormoneIs it safe to use a rooting hormone when propagating medicinal herbs?

As with anything else in life there are different points of view.

As far as herbs are concerned the purists argue that applying a rooting hormone, irrespective of it being natural or artificial, is contrary to what we are trying to achieve. It’s like eating hormone fed chickens or beef. And who wants to use a hormone treated herb as a remedy?

Others argue that taking a cutting is anyway, in most cases, not the natural means of reproduction for plants. Drastic situations need drastic measures. And to increase the cuttings success rate, rooting hormones are justified.

Others say: “Be realistic.” By the time you use the herb there’s not a single trace of the rooting hormone left. And if it is a natural hormone, it is completely harmless.

Then there are those who say: “What’s the fuss? You don’t need rooting hormones for herbs at all. They root just as easily without you trying to ‘intervene’ with a chemical. It’s just a money making scam.”

What’s your view about using a rooting hormone?


  1. Lena Soares says:

    How long should one wait until you can plant vegetables on ground that has been sprayed with herbicides (Roundup)? I have a large piece of ground which I wish to prepare for growing vegetables, but I’ve been spraying with Roundup for sometime for weed control.

    • Hi Lena. The active ingredient in Roundup doesn’t move very far in the soil and tends to break down rather quickly. Waiting a week or so should be fine.

      • Lena Soares says:

        Thank you Di-Di. I had heard that one should wait approx. two years after spraying, before planting any vegetable.

  2. I believe the latter…it’s just a money making scam.” I root herbs all the time with just potting them up or using water. Mints do not need any rooting hormones, they will be glad to be re-potted.

    You are not organic if you use chemicals.

  3. Tiago castro says:

    Just try to root a rosemary cutting without rooting hormone and see what happens. Produce rosemary, mint and marjoram from seeds would be really hard on large scale. Im totaly in favor of rooting hormone!