Choose the Right Hormex Questions about how to use Hormex products and which ones to use for particular plants give me the opportunity to explain more them: Q. I want to root crape myrtles. Can you recommend which strength Hormex to use? A. Yes, I can. I root crape myrtle cuttings with #3 Hormex if they are at the semi-hardwood stage. That means the tip of the branch will bend between your finger and thumb but not too easily and does not snap right off, either. It is in-between the tender, new growth and hardened off, mature wood. If your branches are past this stage now, try using #3 Hormex or soaking the cuttings for 15 minutes in Hormex Liquid Concentrate (undiluted). If the cuttings do not root, it is just because the wood was too old. You can take classic leafless hardwood cuttings of crape myrtle in late fall or early winter. Q. What Hormex powder should I use? I root Plumeria up to 2 inches thick and cacti up to 6 inches thick. A. Usually, Hormex #3 is right for Plumeria, and #3 or #1 for Cacti, depending on species. In general, if you let the cutting heal over before sticking, use the lower number. If the cacti are the sort that does not have to heal, use #3. However, the size of your cuttings and the nature of cactus indicate to me that they might root better if you dip them into a solution of Hormex Liquid Concentrate (undiluted) for 10-15 minutes before sticking into rooting media. The liquid penetrates plant material and the formula is suitable for both kinds of plants. Q. What Hormex rooting compound(s) do you recommend for cuttings from the following 3 native plants? 1. Salal (Gaultheria shallon) 2. Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) 3. Wild Rose (Rosa nutkana) A. Salal is a beautiful member of the Heather family and so related to azalea and rhododendron. Use Hormex #8 for Salal. Salmonberry and its relatives including raspberry, blackberry, and my precious dewberry are in the Rose family. Use Hormex #3 for salmonberry and also for the wild rose. Got questions about plant propagation? Send them to Hormex in our forum. Which Hormex product to use depends on the plant species, time of year, propagating conditions, as well as the size and conditions of the plant material. For example, my beloved Hollywood juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’, can be very slow to root. I failed at it twice before I discovered its need for stronger rooting hormone. A grower friend introduced me to Hormex #16 and it worked. Time of year matters because the growth stages between tender shoots and hard wood directly affect if and how the cutting will or will not root. The crape myrtle in question above illustrates how selecting a different Hormex product can increase your options when the ideal wood for that plant is not present. Propagating conditions range from enclosed systems with timed mist to flats under a plastic tent under a tree to a pot on the porch to bottle in the kitchen window. When conditions are, shall we say, difficult, adding HLC when you water the clones is a better choice than using a much greater strength powered Hormex. Too high a concentration can actually inhibit root production, sort of like my Daddy’s decision that if 2 aspirin were good, 8 must be great. Didn’t work, and actually made that headache worse. The condition of plant material can make a difference, too. Cuttings taken today are more viable than some carried home in a plastic bag from vacation and yes, I have done that, too. That’s when fresh cuts on a diagonal and a quick soak in Hormex Liquid Concentrate can be a lifesaver to revive them for cloning. Finally, a bit of advice to improve the odds of rooting anything: put the flats, pots, or rooting box on a heating mat made for use in greenhouses. Trust me; you will see results with the first clone you make.