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In some species root formation can be promoted by pretreatment with root setting hormones (RSH) before they are inserted in the rooting medium. There are three principal ways of application:

  1. The chemical is mixed with talcum powder and the slightly moistured bases of the cuttings are dipped in the powder so that some powder will adhere.
  2. The chemical is diluted in water to a concentration of ≈ 20–200 ppm (parts per million). The basal part of the cuttings are then soaked in the solution for about 24 hours.
  3. The chemical is dissolved in 50% alcohol at a concentration of ≈ 500–10,000 ppm. The basal part of the cuttings are then dipped in the solution for 4–5 sec.

Root setting hormones can be made from a solution of the active chemical (e.g. indolebutyric acid (IBA) or naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA)) or it can be purchased from forestry or horticulture dealers under various commercial names such as IBA, Proportion, Seradix, Rootone, etc. For the specific use of these remedies reference is made to the individual instructions.

Certain precautions and tips when applying Root Setting Hormones are given below:

Note: Alcohol is toxic to the plants. Too long time in a concentrated solution containing alcohol may kill the cuttings.

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