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Old 03-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default Willow Water rooting hormone

I was searching for heirloom information and discovered a neat author who was writing about Willow Magic. Ilene Sternberg has a sense of humor and mentioned this,
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Make your own willow water: Easily root azaleas, lilacs, summersweets (Clethra spp.) and roses by gathering about two cups of pencil-thin willow branches cut to 1-3 inch lengths. Steep twigs in a half-gallon of boiling water overnight. Refrigerated liquid kept in a jar with a tight-fitting lid will remain effective up to two months. (Label jar so you won’t confuse it with your homemade moonshine.) Overnight, soak cuttings you wish to root. Or water soil into which you have planted your cuttings with the willow water. Two applications should be sufficient. Some cuttings root directly in a jar of willow water. Make a fresh batch for each use. You can also use lukewarm water and let twigs soak for 24-48 hours.
I have done this. I do it a little differently and I always use twigs from weeping willows but I've done it. Ninebarks roots nicely in willow water. So do some native rhododendrons and Clethra. Has anyone else used willow water?
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:40 PM   #2
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Never heard of this. I have weeping willow trees, so I can try it. T
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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Ive done that. We collected river willow from the ditches along the river.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:00 AM   #4
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Yeah, willows produce salicylic acid...a rooting hormone. Works nicely for rooting quite a few plant genera. It's also aspirin, LOL~ Native American/First Nation peoples used to chew on willow twigs to relieve headaches.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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i've done this before too. i also have placed a small willow twig in a glass of water with what i was trying to root. works well.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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What species have you tried to root in willow water?
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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all things! most probably would have rooted in the first place, but i find putting the twig of willow in the water with them seems to speed up the process.

to be more specific, woody herbs and plants have worked, peppers, nasturtiums, snapdraggons, cosmos, (a friend said it worked trying to start a pineapple top to root!) etc... anything! i'm trying to root some stevia right now. it, alone in the water would not root, so am trying a branch with the willow branch.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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Pussy willows also work well, I cut them after the catkins swell and bring them inside. After 2 weeks the leaves sprout and if the stems have roots I repot them and keep them moist. This also is the same time I'm starting my annuals indoors so they go under the grow lights too. Most don't root and these are used for the willow tea, catkins and all. I use the willow soup when I put my annuals out and it helps prevent transplant shock
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:48 AM   #9
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I've read willow water reduces transplant shock for annuals.... don't remember where but I did read it. Niiiiiiiiiice friesian!!!!
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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I decided to make up a batch of willow water to use on some fruit tree cuttings. A neighbor saw me under the big weeping willow with a hand pruner, and ran over with his big extension saw to help me out. My attempt to explain that I was making a rooting hormone with willow twigs got a blank stare and his interpretation of a Chinese conversation.

Anyhoo, I thanked him for running over to rescue me. And I promised to not talk to him in Chinese any more. Still giggling.
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