With garden season about to start I am checking my supplies of necessary tools and
help aids. I start many plants from clippings so I always need a root growth hormone to speed up cuttings creating new roots.
Rooting hormones are available in most gardening centers and are a big help in
rooting certain plants. Besides helping a cutting to root quicker most rooting hormones
act as a fungi and bacterial control. I use them a lot particularly in the spring and fall.
If you run out of rooting hormone, are in a pinch for money or just like to experiment
and try new things you can make your own rooting liquid.
Find a willow tree or shrub. Any variety of willow (salix) will do. Just don’t trim the
bush in your neighbor’s front yard. Select fresh twigs what are ¼ inch thick. I cut the
willow twigs into three to four inch pieces with clippers.
You will need two cups of clippings to make a one-gallon batch of willow bark rooting
hormone. The next step is to place the willow clippings into a large container. I use an
old enamelware pot I picked up at the sale.
Cover the clippings with one gallon of boiling hot water. Let the mixture brew overnight. This releases a natural chemical in the willow called IBA (indolebutyric acid), which is a natural growth regulator. Store the willow bark rooting hormone in the refrigerator the next day in a clear glass container with a tight lid. I use a canning jar.
To use soak tip cuttings into the willow bark rooting hormone overnight prior to planting
in soil. The IBA infuses into the bark and stems encouraging rooting. It also inhibits fungus, bacteria and viral disease.
I have used the homemade willow rooting hormone many times. It has always worked. I
have also used a watered down version to water my young seedling with.