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Can I make a natural rooting hormone with things other than willow water?

 
pollinator
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So, I made some willow water last year, and it definitely does seem to help cuttings root.  But I don't have a willow tree, so I started thinking.  What if I could make something just as effective from something I do grow?

I read somewhere recently that people often use cuttings of the common houseplant Tradescantia (Wandering Jew) in order to make a natural rooting hormone, because that plant roots easily in water.

And willow is supposed to be great for making a natural rooting hormone because cuttings root easily.

This implies to me that any species that roots easily could probably be used to make a natural rooting hormone by soaking fresh cuttings in water for a few days.  Like, say . . . currants and gooseberries, which are known to be extremely good at rooting, are a cold tolerant edible that is suitable for many climates, and can grow pretty quickly and sometimes benefit from pruning.

I read somewhere else, last year, that fresh willow water can be frozen for about a year without losing effectiveness, so I made a big batch last year and froze it into small blocks of ice.  Every time I've wanted to root cuttings since then, I have taken one of those chunks out of the container in the freezer, melted it in the microwave (until it was mildly warm, not hot), and poured it into the pot with whatever cutting I was rooting.  It seems to be just as useful for its purpose as it was when it was fresh.

So, putting all those things together . . . could I theoretically make "willow water" out of currant cuttings when my little currant bushes have grown large and I'm pruning them annually?  And thus always have it available, just by soaking the chop-and-drop prunings in water for a few days before tossing them on the ground as mulch?

If so, that would be a pretty awesome additional yield, for very little time or effort.

 
Emily Sorensen
pollinator
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Just wanted to add another detail: I've seen coconut water also recommended as a natural rooting hormone.  I saw it in the context of someone saying it was good for getting bananas or succulents to make new pups.  I checked Google, and Google seems to think it contains rooting hormone.

So, that's supporting evidence for my hypothesis that maybe a lot of easy-to-root species could be used for making rooting hormone.

It also raises a new hypothesis I'd love to hear any information or experience for or against: does rooting hormone help suckering plants produce more suckers from the base, as well as producing more roots on cuttings and air (or ground) layered branches?  (Or does coconut water contain something else that has that effect, as well as being a good rooting hormone?)

If any natural rooting hormone would work to help a plant produce more suckers (or pups) faster, that would be great for propagation of a favorite plant.
 
gardener
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While I don't have answers for any of the above questions, I do know that Aloe Vera acts as a rooting stimulant. That's what I use.
 
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I learned that honey is also good.
 
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Swiping cuttings in aloe vera gel works for me.
 
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I don't know about currant cuttings or coconut water.... but here my thoughts.

Comfrey would be a good candidate for a natural rooting hormone. The allantoin in comfrey proliferates cell growth and an herbalist will use it medicinally to heal wounds. Any plant with this characteristic might be something to consider. Perhaps rooting hormone is another benefit to making comfrey tea for the garden. I would consider including the comfrey root when making a batch of rooting hormone tea, since growing new roots is the goal, this will infuse the water with the root "essence".

I have also heard of aloe vera gel being used as a rooting hormone substitute, which I first discovered in a post made by Strictly Medicinal Seeds.

I have not tried aloe gel or comfrey, but I find the topic interesting. With woodier sources like willow or currants, it might be important to leave the stems on the the water long enough to sprout and grow roots, therefore infusing the water with growth hormones.
Screenshot_2024-05-31-Strictly-Medicinal-Seeds(1).png
Aloe Gel Rooting Hormone
Aloe Gel Rooting Hormone
 
pollinator
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I read an article that said willow water increased rooting very minimally over just water.   Aloe, however,  seems to be a winner.  And here's an article on making an aloe, honey,  cinnamon blend for rooting.
https://www.daisycreekfarms.com/blog/yp0lf2f7e7axkyqls8rzhp9p7kwjy6
 
pollinator
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Just thought I'd add this about the "shelf life" of the aloe gel, or aloe gel mixture in the above video:

How long is fresh aloe vera gel good for?
Fresh aloe vera gel extracted from aloe leaves is generally good for:

1 day at room temperature
1 week when refrigerated
Up to a year when frozen

The above was cut and pasted from an online search.  I watched the video mentioned above about the aloe-honey-cinnamon mixture.  Honey and cinnamon powder last practically forever, so aloe gel was the determining factor in shelf life.  Now I know to use it within a week if I keep it in the fridge, and freeze it in cubes or smaller bits for longer term use!

Great thread and great contributions people!
 
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Well... don't hate me because I do use links to this blog. I don't benefit from posting it  in any way other than gaining an interesting and helpful information.  So... if you want to have an interesting read...here it goes.

https://www.gardenmyths.com/best-rooting-hormones/
 
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You could use lentil water, let them them soak in sprout in batches of water, change the water everyday and the combine the "used" water in another jar. I'm not too sure if it will be effective after freezing
 
pollinator
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In my nursery honey or treacle are used. Reason being both also fight fungus and bacteria. You need to source these either organic OR make sure they are not diluted with glucose or other additives, they must be "clean" 1 ingredient only.

Other advantage is that both keep practically for ever as they have inbuilt anti-bacterial/antifungal properties, I've had a large jar for 2 years and still going, (so VERY cost effective), just make sure your item you are dipping into these are free of dirt, brush away gently if so or wash first.

Adding cinnamon also helps prevent 'damping off' of new seedlings coming through if soil is accidentally overwatered. I obtain my "clean" treacle from a local horse supplier, if getting at a store, check no additives first.

Other uses for the honey is for stings or external ulcers to help them heal so great for permie multi-use.
 
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Research suggests that alcohol may be a more effective solvent for this than water.  If so, then  making a tincture ought to be more effective than making tea, due to higher extraction efficiency and higher concentrations of the extract being more effective for rooting.

Funnily enough, the Wikipedia article for “Tincture” actually features a photo of a willow bark tincture!  

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tincture
 
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Ela La Salle wrote:Well... don't hate me because I do use links to this blog. I don't benefit from posting it  in any way other than gaining an interesting and helpful information.  So... if you want to have an interesting read...here it goes.

https://www.gardenmyths.com/best-rooting-hormones/



Looks like you've put a lot of work into your blog, and you've written a few books too- can't hate that! I think permies helped me learn to find the value in anecdotal evidence, but I still hold the research and repeated evidence highly. I'll be bookmarking it! 👍
 
Mike Philips
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Many sources on the web say that Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and water can produce “Salicylic acid” (given enough time and/or temperature).  (It is a known laboratory lesson for chemistry students)

Additional published sources say that Salicylic acid promotes rooting, (*IF* it is in a suitable concentration).  

Whether it actually works or not, I don’t know.
But the literature does indicate a plausible basis for it.
 
Ela La Salle
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Kenyon Bryngelson wrote:

Ela La Salle wrote:Well... don't hate me because I do use links to this blog. I don't benefit from posting it  in any way other than gaining an interesting and helpful information.  So... if you want to have an interesting read...here it goes.

https://www.gardenmyths.com/best-rooting-hormones/



Looks like you've put a lot of work into your blog, and you've written a few books too- can't hate that! I think permies helped me learn to find the value in anecdotal evidence, but I still hold the research and repeated evidence highly. I'll be bookmarking it! 👍



No, no no! It's NOT my blog! I can't take credit for it. It's written and maintained  (blog & videos) by  Garden Myths  - Robert Pavlis (home page that explains  source of information that is posted).  https://www.gardenmyths.com/

I look into it often because it is backed by scientific findings and is interesting to read, and pass on the information because it is relevant
 
Mike Philips
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I searched google scholar for “ Salicylic acid rooting” and found what most folks would consider scientific papers saying that Salicylic acid by itself clearly promotes rooting at certain concentrations as compared to no treatment.  It’s also widely believed from many sources that aspirin and water make Salicylic acid.
 
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