Projects & Plants – Rooting Cuttings with Honey

My Lemon Verbena plant is thriving, but it is in definite need of a trim. I want to grow several lemon verbena plants in my herb garden this year so today was the perfect day to take cuttings. In the past I have used rooting hormone on the stem ends of the cuttings, but this year I am aiming to go as natural and organic as possible. I have heard in the past that Honey is a natural rooting compound. I always have honey in my pantry so I pulled it out and gave it a try.

I followed the same protocol I use with rooting hormone. I punched out a drainage hole in 3 oz plastic cups and filled these with sterile soil. I watered the potting medium and created a hole with a plastic highlighter.

I dipped the lower inch and a half of the verbena cuttings into the honey and inserted them into the soil. I avoided brushing the sides of the planting hole to keep the honey intact on the stem end.

I gently firmed up the soil around the stem and then inserted the cup in a plastic bag and sealed it. The honey is anti-fungal and will create a seal on the cut end of the cutting and help retain moisture.

When I was finished I had six small pots. I used a recycled cookie tray to hold the six cuttings steady, and placed them under lights in my basement.

The lovely smelling leaves I stripped away were also put to good  use. I simmered them in a pot of water and freshened up the house with a little extra moisture and lemon scent in the air.

22 thoughts on “Projects & Plants – Rooting Cuttings with Honey

  1. Pingback: Plant Tips – September Cuttings « Minding My P's With Q

        1. timelesslady

          Hi James, The plants seemed to do fine rooting with the honey. When they begin to grow, and thrive again I assume they have a good amount of roots…at this point I replant the cutting in a bigger pot. I usually don’t see the roots unless some of the dirt falls away. I’m not sure what the answer to this question would be without having a side by side comparison of the two techniques. Come to think of it that might be a good idea for a future experiment and blog post. Happy gardening to you, and thanks for the comment.


  2. Mary-Elizabeth McSorley

    Your article is fascinating. I look forward to trying your process. How do I pin this to my gardening board????


    1. timelesslady

      You can pin it by using the photograph in the body of the post and the Pin It link that Pinterest provides. I need to find a way to include a “Pin It” button on my blog. I’ll look into it. Thanks for the stopping by today. Kathy


  3. Leave it to Timelesslady to post something that is educational, interesting(to say the least) & ALWAYS, ALWAYS, a very enjoyable read. Thank You Ma’am. In my opinion, you are priceless…Monet has nothing on you. 🙂


  4. you realize of course, that my fanny perpendicular is going to be in a world of trouble, as I will be “stealing” my wife honey (the same honey she uses for making homemade bread)for any plants I cut. *LOL*


  5. shaye

    Hello! Very informative! Thank you! About how long did you keep them in the bags and in the lighting before being confident with the roots to move them? Thank you!


        1. No, I usually do not need to add any water. The plastic bag keeps the humidity in and the soil stays moist. It actually is okay to open the bag periodically just to let a little air in. If the soil seemed dry at that point you could water, but I doubt it will.


          1. Reemy

            Thanks so much! I’ve gotten thicker cuttings and placed them in water and they’ve failed. So I’ve decided to give honey a go. Fingers crossed it works for me! Thank you for responding!


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