Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Putting cuttings in soil versus water

 
Posts: 79
Location: Winters, California
4
dog tiny house greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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?
 
steward
Posts: 4668
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1551
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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.



 
steward
Posts: 5007
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1377
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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...
 
gardener
Posts: 1508
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
350
hugelkultur dog forest garden fish hunting trees books food preservation solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've heard conflicting information on this; do the water formed roots adapt to soil, or does the plant have to develop another set?
 
Posts: 11
Location: Zone 6a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
Why fit in when you were born to stand out? - Seuss. Tiny ad:
dry stack retaining wall
https://permies.com/t/85178/dry-stack-retaining-wall
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!