I’ve just found a great article from an old Soil and Health magazine about willow water, and thought I just had to share. I don’t take a lot of cuttings from plants because quite frankly they’re tricky and they just haven’t worked well for me in the past. I might just have to give this one a try though – especially as it won’t cost me a thing.
Willow water promotes rooting better then than any known substance. This probably comes as little surprise to anyone who has dealt with the invasive roots of a willow before. It also may explain why it’s effective putting an aspirin (originally from the bark of willow) into the water for cut flowers to keep them fresh.
Instructions on how to make your own rooting compound for free with willow, how to use it and some useful links after the jump.
To make willow water
Cut willow shoots from the current year’s growth. You can use any species of willow.
Remove the leaves and cut the shoots into pieces about 25 mm long.
place the pieces base end down in a glass, fill with water to a depth half way up the twig cuttings.
Cover the glass with plastic wrap and leave for 24 hours.
To use willow water
Use as soon as possible for best effect.
Steep softwood cuttings (this year’s tender growth) or herbaceous cuttings in the extract for about 24 hours. then put them in a rooting medium.
Take hardwood cuttings (fully mature stems from the previous year’s growth) in late winter. they are harder to grow and should be steeped in a glass of extract, then moved to another glass of extract after the first glass is absorbed by the cuttings. Don’t soak for more than 24 hours.