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Willow Tea for "No Cost" Rooting of Cuttings

By Horseshoe
August 24, 2011

Need a "no cost" solution for rooting cuttings? Try willow tea. Use green willow branches steeped in warm water and cooled overnight, This solution will stimulate rooting, growth, and good health for cuttings as well as for established plants. The growing tips of willow branches possess high levels of the auxin indolebutyric acid, a synthetic form of which is used in most commercial rooting compounds.

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Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Aug 23, 2011 6:03 PM CST
Nice tip Shoe! If I wouldn't get dirty looks for snipping off a neighbor's tree, I might try that! Pretty simple to do. Maybe I need to go meet the neighbor with a willow tree. Big Grin
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 23, 2011 6:15 PM CST
Exactly right, Shoe. It works every time.
And Sheila, it just takes one little green branch to make a cup or two of tea. They won't miss it.
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Aug 23, 2011 6:33 PM CST
Will weeping willow work? I have a large tree in my yard. Confused
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Aug 23, 2011 6:35 PM CST
Weeping willow works well... Hilarious! plus if you leave enough of the cut branch, it will root also, and then you have another willow tree. Thumbs up
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Aug 23, 2011 6:44 PM CST
So any kind of willow tree will work? There are willow trees at my sister's condo community, but I don't know what kind.
Name: Margaret
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mcash70
Aug 23, 2011 6:46 PM CST
Thanks Cindi, How would I use it as a tonic for my garden plants?
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Aug 23, 2011 6:53 PM CST
I really like this tip. Willows are weeds around here. They pop up everywhere and grow so fast.
Wish I had known this before potting up my cuttings this week.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 23, 2011 7:16 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Same here, we have many thousands of willows all through our bottom land.

We have a pond that dried up this summer. Once it dried up, hundreds of willows sprang up out of the moist floor of the pond! This is an area that had been submerged by water for quite a while. I don't know where they came from.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Aug 23, 2011 7:53 PM CST
Do you put the cuttings in the willow water? or do you use it to water the cuttings after they are potted?
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 23, 2011 7:58 PM CST
What a cool tip! Now I just need to find some Willow trees. And how do you root a willow? And what frostweed asked. how do youuse the willow tea for rooting?

SHOOOOOOOOE!!!!! We need more info. here.

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Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
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imapigeon
Aug 23, 2011 8:03 PM CST
Oh yeah----thanks for the reminder! I have a curly willow in a pot that works great!
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Name: Evan
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eclayne
Aug 23, 2011 8:15 PM CST

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I'm all ears!
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Aug 23, 2011 8:42 PM CST
Howdy, Folks....

I use weeping willow because that is what's available. I can only assume other willows have the same compounds.

You'll need to use new growth wood, not deadfall. New growth wood is what contains the auxins you want to use.

Cut your branches into 3" or 4" pieces. One cup of twigs will give you a nice "stock" to work with. Put them in a stock pot and cover with one quart of water, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or so, covered. Let it sit over night to cool. Strain the sticks out and store this liquid in the fridge for several months if you like.

I've used it as is (straight) for dipping cuttings in (bring to room temperature the amount you're going to use) or you can dilute it 50/50 with water. The best thing about making this strong stock is you can use it for many cuttings at different strengths. For example, green tip cuttings of gardenias will be fine using a 50/50 dilution (or less), woodier cuttings (hardwood) may do better using full strength.

This solution is also a nice "pick me up" for ailing plants when diluted and used as a foliar spray or lightly watered around the root system.

Go for it! Have fun!
Shoe
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
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Samigal
Aug 23, 2011 8:47 PM CST
Now I have to find out where I can find a willow tree. Better start investigating, may have some in my neighborhood.

Great tip!!
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Aug 23, 2011 8:55 PM CST
Willows love water so look in areas with ponds, rivers, low-lying "swamp" areas.

And if you have room to grow one, when you find a willow tree stick a couple branches in the soil and they'll usually root pretty easily. When they do dig them up and put them where you like

Shoe
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Aug 23, 2011 9:18 PM CST
Great info, thanks, Shoe!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Aug 23, 2011 9:36 PM CST
Thank you very much for the information, I will give it a try, I am always rooting cuttings so I can make good use of it. Smiling
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Aug 23, 2011 9:37 PM CST
Hurray! I have a huge weeping willow!! Shoe would that tonic be good for my daylilies in the spring and the fall, get them going and put them to sleep? Hilarious!
Name: Shelly
Colorado (Zone 5b)
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Shelly
Aug 23, 2011 10:03 PM CST
Wonderful tip! Thank you for the added info also! Big Grin
I have been wanting a pussy willow, and now I can justify buying one even more.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horseshoe
Aug 23, 2011 11:22 PM CST
Thanks for the "thanks", Folks.
I'll bring up any topic that can save people some moola! I'm a miser, ya know.....


"Shoe would that tonic be good for my daylilies in the spring and the fall, get them going and put them to sleep?"

Margaret/mcash...hmmm, maybe some willow tea to wake them up and some chamomile tea to put them to sleep, eh? Smiling

Shoe (wondering why he's still up at 1:30 am; must'a been that cup of willow tea)


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