• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

rooting hormone/help-organic of course!

 
Heather Alison Cook
Posts: 11
Location: Western Cascades Lowlands & Valleys, Oregon-Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What's a good rooting hormone for organic practices. I have read willow branches in water. Any other tried and true methods out there?... looking to root herbaceous and woody materials.
 
Nicanor Garza
Posts: 138
Location: Yakima county, Washington state
9
bike books cat forest garden greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heather Alison Cook wrote:What's a good rooting hormone for organic practices. I have read willow branches in water. Any other tried and true methods out there?... looking to root herbaceous and woody materials.

I have used this info to help with my plantings.
“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.
I have used it many time and it seems to work well.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1978
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
151
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I add this to Nicanor's answer, which is really good.

To increase leaching of the desired compounds into your willow water use a blender or sharp, sterilized knife to make smaller portions of the willow branch tips.
Do not soak in hot or even luke warm water, this will destroy some of the compounds you are wanting to infuse the water with.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1267
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm doing willow.
20150109_154346.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150109_154346.jpg]
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1267
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mine smells though. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't wash my jars out all that well beforehand.
 
Elliott Walks
Posts: 5
Location: Burlington, Ontario zone 7
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
indolebutyric acid stimulates root growth
Salicylic acid is the hormone fuel that the plant uses to protect itself, to form an immune system

you could also use honey. The sugars and nutrients in honey feed the cutting, whilst honey's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties protect the plant while it forms its own immune system. Plants can and do also produce salicylic acid endogenously. http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/honey-root-hormone.htm

I feel like it is better to stimulate the plants hormone system with willow water (which contains hormones the plant already uses) rather then feeding it from a source that it won't have access to. I would also rather eat the honey Willow also regenerate a lot faster then honey and therefore can be used on a larger scale. There are 400 species of willow all of which can be used.

Having said that if you do not have access to willow I think it would be worth experimenting with other plants that either contain salicylic acid or that sprout/ grow vigorously. Plants in the ribes genus (raspberry, blackberry, currants etc.) come to mind and might be worth experimenting with. I plan to try a small experiment with "raspberry cane water" this spring. A lot of unripe fruit also contains salicylic acid, so one could soak those into a rooting water and see what happens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicylic_acid there is a list of unripe fruit containing salicylic under the dietary sources section (no citation though).

I think willow water is your best bet though if you have willow growing nearby and would rely on the information provided above to successfully apply it. Happy Growing.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1978
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
151
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the odor is the same as the willow branch (where you cut it) then all is well.
If it smells different (sour or musty) then you would need to sterilize the containers and start over.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry if I missed these details, I too am in the middle of a willow rooting project.

How long before you should start to see the white roots poke out. What does it look like when things go bad? Do the ends get darker colored and kinda slimy? What is the maximum diameter and length you would consider viable? The size of your thumb? Way smaller? I just peeked in on my batch one... so I'm curious.
 
Heather Alison Cook
Posts: 11
Location: Western Cascades Lowlands & Valleys, Oregon-Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't readily have access to willow, I guess I need to go hunting around. They don't seem to be as common here in the NW as they are in the SW or NE US as I knew them to be. Thanks all!
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1978
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
151
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Landon Sunrich wrote:Sorry if I missed these details, I too am in the middle of a willow rooting project.

How long before you should start to see the white roots poke out. What does it look like when things go bad? Do the ends get darker colored and kinda slimy? What is the maximum diameter and length you would consider viable? The size of your thumb? Way smaller? I just peeked in on my batch one... so I'm curious.


IF you are sprouting willow branches for planting, it will take around 4 weeks for roots to begin poking out of a small rooting ball of sphagnum moss. Things are bad if you see; dark color at the cambium layer exposed by the cut, or slimey, mucous forming. It is possible to halt that by wiping down the sicon wood with a warm, water soaked rag a few times to make sure it all removed, then trim the cut end at least two inches before dipping it again in rooting hormone ( when spouting willow in the spring or even summer you can just strike some 2 inch long cuts at the bottom of the sicon branch and plant in a sandy soil mix then cover with a bell or even just fashion a plastic tent to hold humidity in, it will sprout roots in a few weeks) and plant or wrap with some root hormone soaked sphagnum and cover that with some plastic to hold in the moisture, just don't tie the plastic to tight against the stem. Branches for sprouting can be branch tips all the way up to 1 inch in diameter branches, you need at least 2 nodes of root space and three nodes above the root space. One or two leaves already out for energy production will help insure success.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!