Last Updated on October 26, 2022
Have you ever transplanted herbs or seedlings in your garden beds? Do you propagate plants from your garden? If you have, you must have noticed that some of the transplants and/or stem cuttings don’t stay alive after a few days. If you follow the instructions of this how-to post, you will achieve better transplants and a higher rate of survival of your cuttings through preparing and applying your homemade root hormone.
In my first gardening years, I started experimenting with plant propagation and transplants, without much success. My cuttings suddenly looked weak, then they languished, and finally wilted. Watering was no solution because the cuttings didn’t have a root system to absorb water or nutrients. Sooner or later I learned some homemade recipes to prepare rooting hormones.
Homemade Root Hormone Willow Water
Willows are very special from which we can prepare a very good root hormone. New branches and leaves from these trees are packed with rooting hormones (from the auxin family). The Willow Water can be prepared in two simple ways, which only vary in the cooking tools, not in the ingredients. For this homemade root hormone, known as willow water, you will need:
- A few branching tips of a well-identified Weeping Willow (or another tree from the Salix relatives),
- A big jar or container with a lid.
- Enough water to cover the willow branch-tips.
How To Prepare and Use Willow Water Root Hormone
1. Collect some young willow branches with new and growing leaves. These branches are yellowish or have a light brownish appearance.
2. Remove the leaves off the branches (you may compost them).
3. Cut the leftover branches in small stems, of about 1” (2.5 cm) long.
4. Put the branch pieces in the container and cover them with boiling water, just like you would make a very concentrated tea. Let it stand overnight.
5. Strain the willow tea, which now has become the willow water, and keep it in the container until you wish to use it.
6. To use, pour some of the Willow Water in a flask, add water, and put your cuttings in for a few hours (or overnight) so they can absorb the root hormones in it. Plant the cuttings and observe them for new growth signs in the next few days.
Alternative Procedure to Prepare the Willow Water
There’s another way of preparing the Willow Water, but it takes a bit longer. Follow steps 1-3, put the willow pieces in a jar with water, close the lid. Let it soak for at least three days and proceed with steps 5 and 6.
Useful Tips to Preserve Your Willow Water
The Willow Water can be saved in a jar for up to two months if kept in the fridge. Remember to label it appropriately (with the substance name and date of preparation).
You may also find very deep and interesting info about the willow trees (Salix species) and a detailed procedure to prepare the willow water in Deep Green Permaculture.
In case you can’t get the ingredients for your homemade root hormone, or maybe you don’t have the time to prepare it, here is a small list of the best root hormones available for sale. These products are mostly organic extracts that have a strong growth effect on your plants’ roots.
How can I make rooting hormone at home?
Rooting hormone is made from the sap of a number of plants. The sap of the American Beech tree is often used, but there are others including the sap of the Japanese Beech (Fagus crenata) and the Sapwood Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). If you want to try making your own, then start by collecting some sap from the trees in question.
Make sure that you clean the sap well before using it, because the plant sap can contain bacteria and fungi. Once you have collected the sap, you will need to boil it for several minutes, or until the bubbles stop rising. You can then strain the sap through a fine mesh strainer and let it cool. If you like, you can add some of this mixture to your garden soil, but this will probably make your plants more susceptible to attack from fungus and disease.
What can I use instead of root hormone?
The most common alternative is to use an organic fertilizer (such as compost) and then water thoroughly. The organic fertilizers have a lot of nutrients that will help the plant grow.
What is a good amount of hormone for a plant?
There isn't an exact amount of hormones that is right for every plant. When you start with hormones, it's best to keep a small amount on hand. As you gain experience, you'll learn how much to add to the soil. Also, as you get more experienced, you'll be able to tell if a plant needs more or less hormones.
How can I increase my root growth naturally?
If you have a pot with poor drainage, it can be difficult to grow plants that need water. You can use a piece of wood as a base to help the plant stay upright. If you have a large pot, then you will need to dig out the pot and add more drainage. It is important that you get the right soil for your plant. If you are not sure what type of soil to use, then you should get some advice from a gardener or nursery.
Can sugar water help plants grow?
Sugar water is a solution of sugar dissolved in water. Sugar water is made with sugar that has been dissolved in water. The sugar solution provides essential nutrients to the plants. It also attracts water to itself. These are the reasons why using sugar water can help plants grow. The sugar acts as a fertilizer. It encourages the plant to absorb more water and nutrients. It also improves the environment in which the plant is growing. When the sugar water enters the roots of the plant it attracts water to itself.
This leads to a higher level of hydration. When this happens the cell walls are also strengthened. This makes it easier for the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil. Sugar water also helps to improve the root environment. The root environment includes the air around the roots, the soil and the water. By improving the root environment it helps to improve the growth rate of the plant.
I hope you try the Willow Water to improve the success rate of your cuttings in the garden and that you may also feel more confident in the process of plant propagation. Please tell me all about your experiences and if it works its wonders please share this post with your friends and gardening buddies.
Lory is an avid gardener who loves spending time outdoors. She is passionate about using her green thumb to create beautiful, lush gardens for her friends and family. She finds joy in tending to her garden, trimming plants, and cultivating new species. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with others who have a similar enthusiasm for gardening. Lory is a true nature enthusiast who loves to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors with all who meet her.