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Make Rooting Hormone From Willow

Making your own rooting hormone with willow water.

Here's what you do:

  • Get a handful of willow twigs (any Salix species will do)
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  • Cut them into pieces a few inches long
  • Soak the twigs in a few inches of water for a day or two; then remove the twigs.
  • Use the willow water to soak cuttings in overnight, or to water flats of newly started cuttings, or to help transplants.

Now remember since this method isn't very exact, the strength of the willow water can vary depending on the time of year, the number of twigs, the concentration of hormones in the twigs, and the amount of time that the twigs were soaked. You will, however, still get a solution that will help your plants root.

By Sherry from Silverdale, WA

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November 18, 20070 found this helpful

I shall definitely try this - along the lane from my house there are loads of willow growing. Thanks for this tip!


Kindest Regards - Borasic Lint

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 21, 20080 found this helpful

An easy form of growth hormone is organic honey, as this also contains the same enzymes as the rooting hormone.

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October 16, 20080 found this helpful

Both of these ideas are completely new to me. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

In the spring when new growth begins would probably be the better time to take cuttings.
Simmering the twigs for a few minutes, then let soak over night should help the process along.

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July 22, 20140 found this helpful

I have used willow tea and had good results. I never boiled or simmered the tea and think it might be harmful to the rooting agent. Rather than using whole twigs, I used the bark stripped from tender willow growth to make my tea. It is said that this bark contains the highest concentration of the rooting agent.


I question that the 'enzyme' found in honey is the same as that found in commercial rooting hormone. I have no reservations about eating honey, but would not eat rooting hormone. Until I see scientific documentation explaining the mechanism by which honey promotes root development. I won't be using it.

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