I was taught to put plant cuttings into good soil after applying rooting hormone, but I've heard some references to people putting them into a bowl/bucket of water first. Does it make a difference? Does it depend on the plant?
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 3 years ago
I start my cuttings in water, until they root, because I live in an extremely low-humidity environment, and starting them in the ground, or into a pot of soil is rarely successful for me.
As an example, I used to harvest willow poles with my grandfather, and immediately stick them into the garden for bean poles. Very few of them rooted during the summer. If I stick them in a bucket of water, they would all root.
I get about 1% rooting of grape vines in soil, about 50% in water, and about 100% in water with hormone.
I tried herb cuttings this year and got thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano from a friend. I did some in water and some in potting soil. No rooting hormones in either case. The soil cuttings all took, the water ones never put on roots. I misted the soil cuttings every day but not the water ones. I'm sure my trial was far from scientific but I did get good results from potting soil on perennial herbs indoors. For what it's worth...
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Or, because any type of willow can be used as a rooting hormone, you can root it in willow water, then put it in the soil. Cut willow branches into 1 inch pieces, soak several days in a qt of water, drain and use water as a rooting hormone.
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What Karen said!
I've been using willow water for rooting for years and it is amazing!
As for the water roots taking to soil - I've never had any roots that I started in water have an issue with the soil - so long as you're putting them in good soil to begin with.
Just be sure to keep the soil moist after planting them.
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