How to use cinnamon to keep plants healthy

Cinnamon might be the perfect addition to cookie batter and French toast, but this spice is so versatile, it shouldn’t be confined to the pantry. Many gardeners swear by it to keep their plants in tip-top condition.

According to Gardening Know How, cinnamon can be used as a rooting agent instead of willow water or hormone rooting powder. When you plant your cutting, apply cinnamon to the stem to stimulate root growth — it works for almost every plant variety, says Gardening Know How.

Simply pour a spoonful of the spice onto a paper towel, dampen the ends of the stem and roll them in the cinnamon before planting in fresh potting soil.

Feathers In the Woods

Cinnamon also helps to prevent the fungus that causes damping-off disease, a fungal problem that affects small seedlings in the early stages of growth. Feather In the Woods blogger Lisa Murano writes that her plants have been benefiting from the antifungal properties of cinnamon for years. She says dusting the soil of seedlings with cinnamon also “gets rid of those little fungus gnats that somehow appear around seedling trays.”

It’s not only damping-off disease that cinnamon can help prevent. Gardening Know How recommends spraying plants affected by slime mold and soil invaded by mushrooms with cinnamon. To make the spray, stir some cinnamon into warm water and leave it overnight. The next morning, strain the liquid through a coffee filter and transfer it into a spray bottle.

If you’ve gone a little overboard with the pruning, or one of your plants has an injury, cinnamon might help you salvage it. Murano suggests dusting cinnamon on the wounded area to encourage healing.

Cinnamon can be used to deter ants. Once you’ve found their entryway, you simply sprinkle cinnamon in the spot, and they’ll hopefully give it a wide berth. It won’t kill the ants, but it will help to keep them from coming into your home or greenhouse in the first place.

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Claire Gillespie

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