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 2 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.
"If some is good, then more is better and too much is just right!"! ~ Shayf
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