I have seen opinions that dipping stem cuttings in a topical antibiotic such as Cicatrene which has a number of different formulations which include sulfates or zinc assists in propagating cuttings. I have never heard of this. I have read in numerous publications that all pruning and propagating should be done with clean or even sterilized tools for maximum success.

Does anyone use antibiotics and is there any reference material to back up it's effectiveness?

2 Answers 2


I've been looking into something similar. I did a quick search for studies and didn't find much on Cicatrene. What I did find wasn't in English.

Lately I've been reading more on using hydrogen peroxide for the same purpose. It appears to be beneficial. Here's a link to a related abstract. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?SEQ_NO_115=207538

Some of the non-scientific info I've seen seems a bit exaggerated but there are some benefits shown in studies. The solution is very dilute and cost effective. It's also a product that's generally approved for organic farming. Might be worth a look.


The card i gave you is about Cicatrene, of johnson & johnson, how it is distributed in Italy for human topic use, that includes: neomicina solfato 3.300 UI;Bacitracina zinco 250 UI; Glicina 10 mg; L-Cisteina 2 mg; DL-Treonina1 mg.

It is considered essential when you need to save a cactus from rotting from local expertises and for my experience too. I find it usefull also for other suffering plants, like Dieffenbachia, not for propagating but for enforcing or saving it, when you have to save a long trunk which has lost most of the leaves at the bottom.(How can I renew a Dieffenbachia that has lost all its lower leaves?)

That's what i was trying to explain here (How do I treat the survived parts of a cactus after some of it has rotten to prevent the problem spreading?), with very little success because of my bad English.

I use it with Dracaena too, cause of its large trunk, fill of veins, and in other cases, generally depending on trunks, before covering it with wax plug. And yes, it is propagating. Since i think that air is full of bacteria.

Not in all cases of propagation. If the stems are thin and green, and especially healthy (when I multiply the sedum or geraniums, for example), I do not use antibiotics. Nor for the parts that go directly on the ground, nor for those who remain in the air. Because they dry very quickly and a bacterial infection from the air is unlikely.

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