make rooting hormone
Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

As I was taking cuttings of roses this week, I was reminded that it might be time to discuss the willow method of rooting plants.

by John Bagnasco

Rooting hormones available as liquids or powders contain a synthetic form of indolebutyric acid (IBA). IBA in its natural state is a plant hormone or growth regulator. You can make your own rooting hormone from the ever-versatile willow tree. Willows contain a high concentration of IBA however the effectiveness can vary by the amount of twigs you use, the level of IBA that is present when you take your cuttings and the amount of time that you soak your mixture.

Any willow (Salix spp.) trees or shrub species will work.

Cut a good handful of willow twigs. Then cut them into two-to-three-inch pieces. Put them in a glass or plastic container with a few inches of lukewarm water. Soak for 24-48 hours. You will then use the water to soak your cuttings in overnight. Another method is to water your soil with willow water into which you have placed your cuttings. Two applications should be sufficient. Other types of cuttings may be rooted directly in a jar of the water. You will need to make a fresh batch of willow water for each use.

Most cuttings should form roots in a month or so and by the end of the growing season will have a good root system.

How to Make Organic Natural Willow Rooting Hormone For Propagating