Make your own rooting hormone? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Have you ever heard of making your own rooting hormone with willow branches? This is from willow bushes, I believe. You take a branch and bruise it by hitting it with a hammer. Place the branch in water and Voila! free rooting hormone. Never tried (yet).

Don't have any willow around here. Wonder if there are other root hormone recipes as that stuff is pricey.And you have to drive to town to get it.

-- Ann Markson (, January 17, 2002


Willow works, its not even neccessary to beat it up first.

stick one or two branches in the water w/ 1-4" above the water, as it roots it gives off lots off 'root nodes here' hormones so whatever you are also rooting in the water gets the message. have fun propigating! spring has sprung for lots of us it seems :)

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, January 17, 2002.

Does not willow have some form of salicylate(aspirin) in it? Is this what causes the growth?Anyone know? Terry

-- Terry Lipe (, January 17, 2002.

it is a bit pricey but a little bit goes a long ways. Out of curiosity about using willow I found quite a few references. Here's on recipe;

Use any willow species, including Salix babylonica 'Pendula' (weeping willow).

  1. Remove the leaves if you are making the hormone during the summer. For a gallon of hormone, select 3-4 branches from the tree or shrub. Cut the youngest branches into 1-2" chunks, filling a large kettle 1/4 to 1/2 full.
  2. Cover the pieces with water.
  3. Steep the willow pieces over very low heat for 12 hours. Do not boil.
  4. Cool, and strain the liquid into a container. Label the container Willow Water and clearly mark the container "Do Not Drink". There will be a slight coloration to the liquid.

To use:

  1. Pour enough willow water into a mason jar to completely submerge the base of the cuttings you have prepared.
  2. Stand the cuttings in the liquid overnight in a warm location. This will allow the willow rooting substance to be drawn into the plant tissue.
  3. Stick the cuttings as per the normal process.

Willow Rooting Substance has shown a positive rooting influence for a wide variety of woody and herbaceous plants.

-- Dave (, January 17, 2002.

Can this mixture be used to help new seedlings take root? We are getting 11 new apple seedlings this spring, would it help to but some of the mixture in the hole that is dug for the apples, or any fruit tree for that matter?

-- Cordy (, January 17, 2002.

it probably is the salicylic acid in willow that does it. Indole butyric acid is the active ingredient in rooting powder. Maybe the willow extract works as a fungicide also to prevent damping out.

-- Dave (, January 17, 2002.

Yes, cordy--exactly. This is what you would use. I am trying to root bushes (blueberry, forsythia and one with orange berries (name?)) at the moment.

So anyone? Any other plant that I can make root hormone out of? How did the pioneers do it besides willow?

-- Ann Markson (, January 17, 2002.

Interesting topic, found this link WILLOW WATER STORY that gives a sort of history on the subject. Appears that anything that roots easily has these natural auxins (rooting hormones) and can be used to prepare a rooting solution.

-- BC (, January 17, 2002.

99% of anything you want to root, does not need rooting hormone. It will root on it's own. The few things you would want to root that would need RH, needs alot of other factors taken into consideration also.

-- Laura (, January 17, 2002.

BC: can't get your link to work. Shucks!

Laura: Now this is getting interesting, Could you elaborate? How does one know which cutting NEEDs hormone and which don't?

And what are some other fast rooting cuttings that would work just like willow?

Speaking of damping off--which someone suggested the willow may help with, I know that chamomile tea is supposed to help with this--but how do you apply? Mist, poured in water? Dip the seed/cutting?

-- Ann Markson (, January 17, 2002.

Here is the url for the link, http://www.texas-rose-, guess I need to work on my coding.

-- BC (, January 17, 2002.

It is definitely not the salycilic acid that promotes the rooting. It is the indole Acetic acid and it's derivatives...a natural plant hormone called Auxin and to a lesser extent the group of plant hormones called gibberelins that promote the rooting.

If you don't have willow, try aspen, or cottonwood or other members of the Salix and populus genera. If you want to make more of any of these trees, cut a dormant branch and stick it in the soil and wait til spring.


-- Oscar H. Will III (, January 17, 2002.


Damping off is a fungal or bacterial infection of the root's typically in seedlings which causes them to wilt and die. Most often damping off is a problem with your vegetable starts in the spring. Cuttings of non-woody species are also fairly prone to damping off. Woody cuttings are less prone to it especially if you make the cuttings on dormant tissue in the winter and let them callous nicely in cool moderately humid conditions...dip them in parafin even. Then stick them in a well ventilated area to keep those spores moving on.


-- Oscar H. will III (, January 17, 2002.

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