PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Propagation"

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Willow Water

After some early spring pruning here at PRFCT HQ, we have an abundance of pussy willow (salix discolor) that we placed in water for rooting. We have heard that you can use newer growth from willow cuttings to create a natural plant rooting hormone so we decided to put it to the test and invite you to join our willow water experiment! 

Plant rooting hormones are substances that stimulate root growth in plants. Some plants naturally produce their own rooting hormones and of those plants, willow species are considered the best providers of natural, organic rooting stimulators available. This is because of the presence of indole butyric acid (IBA) and salicylic acid (SA) in their species.

IBA is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth and is present in high concentrations in the growing tips of willow plants. By soaking, you can get significant quantities of IBA to infuse into the water. SA is a plant hormone involved in signaling the plants defenses and works to fight off infection and threats giving cuttings a better chance to thrive.

Below, follow the steps to brew your own natural plant root hormone from your spring clippings of any Salix species of willow. We'll share with you how our experiment is progressing and send us your results!

How to Make Willow Water

Gather a handful of willow twigs, cut early in the spring. Use the newest, greenest twigs you can get because these have the highest acidic properties. These are the supple green new-growth portions of our willow cuttings.

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Remove all of the leaves (and compost them, or throw them in the garden as mulch)

Cut your twigs into short pieces 

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Place your twig pieces into a pot or a mason jar, and cover with boiling water, just as if you were making tea. Let it stand overnight.

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When finished, pour the liqui d though a strainer or sieve and store in glass container with a tight lid.

If you keep your willow water in the refrigerator you can use for up to two months.

To use, just pour some of your willow water into a small jar and place the cuttings there like you would flowers in a vase. Or you can use it to water whatever propagating medium you have used for your cutting.


We will test our willow water on this Jade plant propagation. So far we have waited 2 weeks for roots and they are just starting to appear. Stay tuned for results!

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