Propagation forum: Willow Water?

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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Jun 1, 2013 9:07 AM CST
Has anyone here used Willow Water solution as a rooting hormone? On one of my other sites, they seem to think it is really worth trying. May I have your thoughts?
[Last edited by JB - Jun 1, 2013 9:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jun 9, 2013 1:38 PM CST
I have not used it, JB, but I've certainly heard of it being used, extensively, as a rooting hormone. I really regret not getting some willow whips to bring with me prior to leaving Tennessee... especially now that I have this *@#$ rose that just does NOT want to root.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Jun 13, 2013 11:12 AM CST
I have talked to several people I know and they swear by willow water. I also worked briefly at a bonsai outlet...willow water was what they used to root cuttings.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jun 13, 2013 11:24 AM CST
I wonder if our desert willows have the same ingredient. 'Cause lawd knows, I sure could use some help getting things to root right now.... *sigh*...
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Jun 13, 2013 11:28 AM CST
no idea, but worth a try Shrug!
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jun 13, 2013 11:37 AM CST
Yep.... just gotta find one. Not a whole lot of them in the middle of the desert, lol.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 13, 2013 12:50 PM CST
I have a curly willow and I was told ANY WILLOW will do. I think I may have the post someplace with the information on it. I will look and see if I can steal it and move it. I need it too for a few of my difficult tropicals.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 13, 2013 12:56 PM CST
Here it is and it comes from a friend of mine in another garden group. I am sure he will not mind me sharing it.

Let's do roots !!!
“Willow Water” – How it Works
“Willow Water” is a homebrew plant rooting hormone that is easily made and can be used to increase the strike rate (growth of roots) of cuttings that you’re trying to propagate.

The way that it works can be attributed to two substances that can be found within the Salix (Willow) species, namely, indolebutyric acid (IBA) and Salicylic acid (SA).

Indolebutyric acid (IBA) is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth. It is present in high concentrations in the growing tips of willow branches. By using the actively growing parts of a willow branch, cutting them, and soaking them in water, you can get significant quantities of IBA to leach out into the water.

Salicylic acid (SA) (which is a chemical similar to the headache medicine Aspirin) is a plant hormone which is involved in signalling a plant’s defences, it is involved in the process of “systemic acquired resistance” (SAR) – where an attack on one part of the plant induces a resistance response to pathogens (triggers the plant’s internal defences) in other parts of the plant. It can also trigger a defence response in nearby plants by converting the salicylic acid into a volatile chemical form.

When you make willow water, both salicylic acid and IBA leach into the water, and both have a beneficial effect when used for the propagation of cuttings. One of the biggest threats to newly propagated cuttings is infection by bacteria and fungi. Salicylic acid helps plants to fight off infection, and can thus give cuttings a better chance of survival. Plants, when attacked by infectious agents, often do not produce salicylic acid quickly enough to defend themselves, so providing the acid in water can be particularly beneficial.


Willow water can be made from cuttings of any tree or shrub of the willow family, a group of plants with the scientific name of Salix. The more cuttings that are used and the longer they are soaked in water, the stronger will be the resulting willow water. Recommendations for the exact method of soaking vary. Cold water can be used, and soaking times of four or more weeks are often quoted. Other gardeners use boiling water to steep the willow twigs and soak the mixture for around 24 hours.





How to Make “Willow Water”
Here is the procedure for making willow water:

Collect young first-year twigs and stems of any of willow (Salix spp.) species, these have green or yellow bark. Don’t use the older growth that has brown or gray bark.
Remove all the leaves, these are not used. Don’t waste good green material though, compost the leaves or throw them in the garden as mulch.
Take the twigs and cut them up into short pieces around 1" (2.5cm) long.
The next step is to add the water. there are several techniques to extract the natural plant rooting hormones:
a) Place the chopped willow twigs in a container and cover with boiling water, just like making tea, and allow the “tea” to stand overnight.

b) Place the chopped willow twigs in a container and cover with tap water (unheated), and let it soak for several days.

When finished, separate the liquid from the twigs by carefully pouring out the liquid, or pouring it through a strainer or sieve. The liquid is now ready to use for rooting cuttings. You can keep the liquid for up to two months if you put it in a jar with a tight fitting lid and keep the liquid in the refrigerator. Remember to label the jar so you remember what it is, and write down the date you brewed it up, and to aid the memory, write down the date that it should be used by, which is two months from the date it was made!
To use, just pour some willow water into a small jar, and place the cuttings in there like flowers in a vase, and leave them there to soak overnight for several hours so that they take up the plant rooting hormone. Then prepare them as you would when propagating any other cuttings.
The second way to use willow water is to use it to water the propagating medium in which you have placed cuttings. Watering your cuttings twice with willow water should be enough to help them root.





In Summary
As you can see, this is a garden potion that is really easy to brew up, and it keeps in line with the Permaculture principles of avoiding waste and caring for the Earth – no purchased synthetic chemicals, containers, it’s all natural, and best of all, free! So, next time you’re out on a hot summer’s day enjoying the shade and natural cooling provided by a majestic willow, grab a few twigs and take them home to help you in propagating plants for your garden!
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jun 13, 2013 1:03 PM CST
Wow, thanks, JB!!!
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 13, 2013 2:09 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. Group hug
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 14, 2013 8:39 AM CST
Terrific article, JB, thank you. I don't have any willows here in FL but I don't have much trouble rooting cuttings anyway.

My daughter has a nice corkscrew willow in her yard in Utah, and I send the article to her. She is moving soon, and has been trying to root a bunch of cuttings to take with her. This will be a great help!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 14, 2013 9:36 AM CST
Those corkscrew are so easy to root in just plain water. She should not have any problem with them. They grow in pots too. I stick several in a pot then I twist them as they grow and they look really good.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 14, 2013 10:34 AM CST
Yes, we've already rooted one cutting of the corkscrew willow, and it is well on its way. Your article explains how it rooted and took off so easily! I had pruned it, and used one of the fairly big 5ft. branches to stake something else. Lo! and behold, a tree sprang up from that 'stake'.

She is also trying to root cuttings of other things in her garden like the beautiful Black Lace Sambucus and her Niobe clematis. I think the willow water will help her, and she can make lots of it using the corkscrew willow twigs.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 14, 2013 1:15 PM CST
I am so glad it is making someone happy. That is what I like. We all work so hard to grow our favorite things, it is so refreshing when once in awhile nothing dies. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
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ilovejesus99
Jun 19, 2013 9:31 AM CST
Do you think drying the willow pieces and making this later from them will work or does willow pieces have to be fresh. Asking as I don't have a willow and willow water is only good 2 months. Wonder if freezing it would work with either stems or the water.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 20, 2013 9:10 AM CST
I am sorry, maybe you could google it? I just do not know, since I have never used it.
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
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ilovejesus99
Jun 20, 2013 11:48 AM CST
I did just that Thumbs up and found out you can freeze willow water http://infinitegardens.blogspot.com/2008/03/willow-water.htm... Smiling
Now to find a willow tree Smiling I tip my hat to you.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
Image
JB
Jun 21, 2013 8:14 AM CST
ilovejesus99 said:I did just that and found out you can freeze willow water http://infinitegardens.blogspot.com/2008/03/willow-water.htm... Smiling
Now to find a willow tree Smiling I tip my hat to you.


Oh Thank you so much. What a help that should be to those on this thread. Thumbs up

Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
Image
JB
Jun 21, 2013 8:26 AM CST
Would this information be able to be a "sticky"? I do not know how to make them but maybe someone can help us if it qualifies.
Confused
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
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ilovejesus99
Jun 21, 2013 9:35 AM CST
I read you soak the willow pieces over night in room temperature and there is your willow water. It you reasearh the internet you can also find a few other trees that contain the same ingredient.

JB you are so welcome I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

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